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Mindful Approach To Kids Using Knives

According to knives.com, the cutting-edge parenting resource, the recommended age in years when children can be introduced to knives, while supervised,  is two to three.  And, although it feels obvious that their research might be strongly influenced, it’s just as difficult to find an opinion that isn’t. I know, because after feeling many times like I was flailing when my children ran for the cutlery, I directed my focus away, and onto the computer.  This online quest for knife-safety-tips quickly resembled my fruitless (ha ha, good one again!) search for guidelines for offering dessert to my children, and reminded me that the answer lies not in an external value set, but within.

My concern for my children using sharp objects arises frequently, and I will often push my fear away by intervening and taking away the knife.   Instinctively, I know this approach isn’t helping any of us.  Though I still have tremendous difficulty when I’m in the moment, opening and allowing my children to work with the knife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My fear arose again this past weekend when my children carved pumpkins with my husband.  My daughter picked up the sharper, serrated knife he was using and pointed it towards her pumpkin.  For a brief moment, I was able to see that she was using the knife safely.  But I wasn’t able to stop myself from quickly moving towards her, standing behind her/helicoptering over her, and suggesting she put it down.  And by suggesting, I mean, placing my hand on top of hers and guiding it and the knife towards a surface.  I hated myself for stopping her, and judged myself for emotionally sending her the message that she was inadequate.  How is she going to learn if you don’t let her?  I thought.  How would you feel if you tried something new and someone constantly overrode you? I doubted.  If I always make the knives scary, she’s going to always be scared.  As my thoughts spiraled, proving to me that I had handled the situation incorrectly, I tried to stop the swirl and come back to what we were doing.  I wasn’t able to take back my hijacking of the knife, but I was able to stop thinking about the past, to be with her, and to apologize for taking something away from her.

 

Often, when I am not sure of a parenting approach, which is really often, I will solicit my children’s opinion.  In the accompanying video, I set out to interview my son about best practices for knife use. Upon sitting down to talk to my son, my smaller dog, Margaux, attempts to plunge her snake-like tongue into the depths of my throat.  After succumbing three times to her amorous ways, and completely losing my focus as a result, I called it quits.  You can view my son’s and my attempts at conversation, and Margaux’s skills, in our video above.  And happy haunting! ~Karma Mamma

 

 

   

 

This is an accompaniment to a video on my blog. You can view it here.

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