My daughter is home this semester.

But that’s a whole other blog.

But what do we do about adult children living at home?

A few weeks ago, my daughter was making herself breakfast- potatoes and eggs. She knows enough about cooking to know that you need to put the potatoes in the pan first so they crisp up. (She was using leftover roasted, so it wouldn’t take long)

I went into the kitchen to make tea. Her potatoes were in the kitchen but she wasn’t.

Of course the potatoes started to get a little crisp (not burnt yet)

1) Do I lower the flame?

2) Do I call my daughter in?

3) Do I let the potatoes burn?

What is the most important thing?

Do I teach my daughter a lesson about why you don’t leave cooking food unattended?

Or do I “safely” let the food burn, knowing I’m right there and aware?

What’s the best way to teach something?

Do we explain?

Do we let them fail?

Do we just do for them?


76 thoughts on “Guide or tell

  1. It’s hard not to go into mom mode when kids return. You know they’re capable but just having them around makes them suddenly turn into 10 year old’s again who need extra guidance! I know I was an overly helpful mom during those return times even when I would consciously take a step or two back and tell myself to be quiet. Now I go to their homes, make a slight offer to help and when it’s refused I play with the grand kids or take my wine and go sit in the other room!

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  2. Maybe give them three strikes. First time it happens, tell them about it. Second time it happens, let it burn safely (with you there). Third time it happens, turn it off and let them start over.

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  3. Oh how I understand this situation! We have a 32 year old son and 24 year old daughter living with us. So frustrating at times when I see the garbage overflowing and dishes in the sink after I just finished washing. My husband is having a particularly hard time dealing with it all and I’m afraid that in the end he’s not going to have any relationship left with them. He scrutinizes every purchase they make, every time they accidentally leave a light on or a door open he has a fit. As far as your situation, if it wasn’t going to ruin the pan or start a fire, I’d leave it. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I hear you!! Mine are not living at home..yet… but wow, You try to tell them something or explain something to them and they just zone you out or get defensive. I try to plant a seed and make them think it’s their idea and that seems to work a bit better. Like you, I would’ve walked into the other room and asked if something was burning?

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  5. Would you come live with me? We are to the point of “what can we do to remember” to turn off the oven, etc.? I am usually the one to discover that my husband has left on the oven, and I have started telling him it is on with the thought that if he has to turn it off himself, maybe he’ll remember the next time. I am usually the one to leave a cast iron skillet on to dry before I grease it to put it away. The smell is a giveaway on the second, but usually too late. 😂

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  6. My daughter has done this and i just call to her about it as I’m doing my thing and ask if she wants me to help her out. Of course, I let her do the same for me as I will begin something and if she’s nearby and I want to attend to something, I’ll ask her to preside over it until I get back.

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    1. I get that, this has happened to all of us. But what if they’re alone? They have to learn to be ultra responsible when using a stove, or a dryer, or curling iron, or candles or anything.

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  7. I’d lower it and then call her in, explaining how much I saved her from a disaster. I don’t know many people who would leave it on the stove and let it burn. Besides being a safety hazard, it defies common sense. When you’re living with people, you often step in when you see something is unsafe.

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    1. I totally get that. But how does she learn not to leave it on? What if I wasn’t home? And does explaining work? She’s 18. These are lessons I’ve told her since she started using the stove. When does she realize the danger?

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  8. When I first read this, I really was floored because I just couldn’t imagine it with my kids who are so incredibly anal they wouldn’t have stepped foot away from the stove while cooking. Then I remembered the couple of times that I managed to burn something because I did this exact thing when I was younger. Seriously, I think my kids have broken me because sometimes I forget what an absolute screw up I was and the stupid things I did. I guess I did enough for all of us? lol! If this had happened with mine, I think I would have yelled at them (more of a just get loud so they can hear me from the other side of the house as opposed to an angry yell) asking if they were trying to burn down the house and why they weren’t in the kitchen watching what they were cooking. I probably would have also then made sure to give them non-stop crap about it (one of those never live it down kind of things) to ensure they never forgot and did it again.

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      1. I think part of the deal with my kids is I think I scared the crap out of them when teaching them the basics of cooking. I have a gas stove and I made it crystal clear how dangerous it could be if they weren’t careful with it. I think it must have stuck.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It took forever for my daughter to be comfortable enough just turning on the stove. She would cook just fine, but made me turn it on for her for the longest time. At this point, my kids are the only ones I’d even let near my stove.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. That would depend on whether or not I paused to think, or if I simply reacted. If it was the first, I would lower the flame and then go explain to my daughter that you can’t leave food cooking on the stove unattended, at least in my kitchen. If I simply reacted, I would probably just bellow “Who the h*ll left these potatoes to burn?”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree, the first thing is to pour Bailey’s into the coffee. I think you handled it well since she is enough of an adult to know better. Adulting is hard and many “young adults” do not have a clue how life actually works without having mommy and daddy swoop in and save them.

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