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Life Lessons While Baking Cookies

*Today’s post is a tad sentimental piece I wrote awhile back and now want to share with you. Enjoy your chocolate chip cookie craving.  ~Kate

I baked some chocolate chip cookies today.  There is something therapeutic in baking cookies to me. I baked them a lot as a kid.  My mom’s love language is baking; so we baked a lot in my house—when friends came over, family gatherings, missionaries visiting, or just because it was a Tuesday and there were chocolate chips on hand.

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I learned a lot while baking.  I learned that nasty tasting things like salt and baking soda were necessary to make that ooey gooey cookie that tasted so wonderful.  The world too had a little bit of nasty, but it didn’t stop the whole thing from being wonderful.  My mom was patient with all of my missteps. Like that one time I was helping bake angel food cake and looked up to see how much longer and my long hair got tangled in the beaters, so tangled my mom thought she would have to cut them out of my hair.  But the beaters, like many things, came out in the wash and it was all good and the angel food cake was still delicious.

Not that long ago I was a social worker and I had the privilege of teaching children many things that are best learned while doing:patience, trust, responsibility, listening, following directions.  I taught them, like my mom taught me, while baking cookies.

For the 8 year old with ADHD baking cookies was a practice in patience, in taking things one step at a time, and not rushing ahead.  Nothing was harder than taking those steaming cookies hot from the oven and then walking away to wait while they cooled.

For a 14 year old with Autism they were a means of being successful, of doing something well. Baking cookies was a chance to create something delicious and beautiful.  A chance to be confident and do something difficult on her own. IMG_1816

For an 11 year old with a rough past baking cookies was a chance to anticipate consequences and follow instructions.  Not always an easy thing to learn when your life has been chaotic and most adult’s don’t keep their word.  But when baking cookies it was clear that following the guidelines made sense and tasted good.

For a 5 year old with attachment disorder baking cookies meant developing a trusting relationship with a caring adult. It meant good listening, communication, and always knowing there is someone beside you to help if you ask.

Baking cookies…really such a small act, but one rich with memories, teaching, and meaning.  Baking cookies means loving life.  It means capitalizing “caught not taught” lessons of patience, trust, and kindness over a bowl of flour, sugar, egg, salt, oh and of course chocolate chips.

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9 Comments

  1. This is amazing. Absolutely amazing. First off, I am in love with the person first language. They are a CHILD not a disorder (such as autistic kid vs. child with autism…special educator pet peeve.) Second, LOVE the relationships formed through baking. What a great mommy, and what a great mentor you are!

    1. Thank you! It was kind of funny as I was baking and thinking through all of this I was nearly crying in my cookie dough. haha!

  2. Great post Kate. I love baking cookies and also find it to be a comfort. I loved when I was growing up my mom always let me help her bake. It was so fun and gave me extra time to spend with her.

  3. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I think it’s also a great way to teach life lessons. This is a great post Kate! 🙂

  4. Awesome post!!! I love how you took such a simple thing as baking cookies and gave it a whole new meaning. Now I wish I had some cookies! 🙂

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