Trying to break an expectation or a habit your children have got used to is not easy. It was parents evening last night, and my children’s expectation was that we would go to the local take-away and come home with something to eat. This has proved to be expensive yet saying no would create a lot of disappointment. This meal was always been seen by my children as their reward to doing well at school.
Our answer to this problem was a compromise; over time we would transition away from buying something at the take-away, to instead getting something at the supermarket and then an some future point we would make the parents-evening treat from scratch.
The other reason for getting a take-away was there was little time during the evening to make a meal when we had parents evening to go to during the late-afternoon/early evening. So this is what we did:-
The children love Chinese food and I love Indian. We could make well in advance of parents evening the rice, for making egg-friend rice, and the dough for making naan bread. The supermarket sells ready meals, so we bought some. I would also add, I bought a pot of coriander which I re-potted and I should be able to use as a cut-and-come-again plant. We also bought a cheese-cake to sweeten the pill for the children in case they weren’t pleased. This was much cheaper than going to the take away. Egg fried rice was made and naan breads were baked in the oven, all in less than ten minutes. And the children loved it!
The plan for the next parents’ evening is to whittle away at the amount of ready meals we buy from the supermarket. Our thinking-caps will have to be put on as to what homemade take-away meals can be put together when we return from parents even. I think the secret will be preparation of the meal earlier in the day, so quick cooking and reheating can put food on the plate in minutes. We are changing our children’s parents-evening expectation slowly and in time they might even forget that we ever went to a take-away.