Exploring the Culinary Arts

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m not a whiz in the kitchen but I learned enough as a kid to make it through college without having to subsist solely on peanut butter sandwiches and Ramen noodles. My wife and I both cook meals but we can’t seem to get our son (age 11) remotely interested in cooking. How do we get him interested in learning how to cook for himself?

A: You’re absolutely right—everyone should be able to cook enough to feed themselves. Most of us will never become great chefs, but it is possible to get your son to join you in the “not-a-whiz-in-the-kitchen” category. At the very least, knowing how to cook a few things will improve your son’s diet–kids who can cook are less likely to rely on fast food and more likely to eat healthier foods. There are a number of other advantages, which I’ll get to in a minute. But your first step should be to try to figure out what your son has against getting in front of the stove.
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How Much Money Is Enough?

at-home ddad

Dear Mr. Dad: Right now, I work fulltime and my wife is home with our twin preschoolers. However, after some discussion, we realized that she’d prefer to be working and I’d rather be home with the kids. Where we run into challenges is that my wife feels she can’t support us on the same financial level we are at now. Does who stays home have to be a financial decision or, assuming we can make ends meet and pay our bills with my wife working and me at home, is there any reason for us not to do that?

A: What an interesting situation. In most families where dad is at home and mom is the primary breadwinner, the decision to reverse traditional gender roles was made because mom earns more than dad. In your case, though, you and your wife are making your decision based purely on what each of you would actually rather be doing. Congrats to both of you for having the courage to even entertain the idea.
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