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Alphabet Parenting: C is for Comfort

Editorial

8/27/2021 | Dr. Tamar Andrews

Comfort

 /ˈkəmfərt/

the easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress

Ask a child what starts with C and if they understand, they will inevitably say candy or cookies or cake! They’ll answer with so much enthusiasm and excitement because in their memories they can already taste the sweet treats.

 

We buy so much of our food today already made...meaning that we don't really participate in the creation of food, rather, we just order, warm it up or assemble it, and eat. But there is something about making food from scratch that is so personal, so real, and so magical. Take bread making for example. Using the simplest of ingredients: flour, yeast, water, oil, and sometimes egg, we watch the magic of the yeast bubbling, the magic of the dough rising, the magic of kneading and transforming these into the soul of our home. 

 

Nothing comes close to experiencing home cooking when there is the smell of freshly baked bread. By taking these mundane and ordinary ingredients, or even something as mundane as bread itself, we transform it into an activity that brings us physically and emotionally closer. For me, the C-word of parenting has to represent comfort. I use the home cooking analogy because almost everyone looks back and thinks fondly of their household’s home-cooked meals. That’s why it’s called comfort food! Oftentimes it’s a specific dish that mom or dad excels at and it becomes something of a legend in the tiny circle that knows of it. Again that’s part of the magic. 

 

Our homes should be a place of comfort with fond memories of the sights, smells, tastes, and joys of the things we did together. I believe comfort is often overthought. It should never require expensive goodies or a big trip. Comfort in the home is as simple as a few loving words, a familiar blanket, or a home-cooked meal. It’s even easy to include the children in these comfort activities, give them active roles so that their memories are more impacted. Allowing them to help knead the bread or sing a song with you. When they’re included, they build a stronger connection to whatever it is that brings them comfort. This opens the door for the birth of a new tradition that to pass down to their kids as well. The magic of parenting is creating something out of nothing. Scattered words or random ingredients alone don’t mean a thing, but in your hands and given with love they can mean the world to your children. 

 

So let me know, what are some of your comfort dishes? Or what’s a simple way you provide comfort in your home?

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