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Bonding over Pinterest Fails

Authored by Lorna Swearingen
May 15, 2019


                                      Bonding over Pinterest Fails

Let me explain myself. To those who walk into our Cooking Clubs it must look like one huge executive functioning nightmare. To us it looks like the kitchen setting for one of the most well run, famous restaurants in America. We feel strongly about our mess. We are proud, untidy, loud, energetic and at times really annoying. Food is flying across tables, hands are moving quickly and it is often difficult to hear yourself speak (or think) over the chatter, laughter, arguing, compromising, problem solving and of all things bonding. Bonding? Laughter? Chatting and making Connections?  We even have cliques developing. Actual cliques! We have groups of children who have marked their territory of friends! I could scream this fact off a mountaintop. We are creating friendships and social memories in each group.  We have a group of children and adolescents who were once thought to not have the ability to make friends. We have worried parents and concerned educators expressing concerns for children described as loners. 


Now we have many, many social development groups here at Skills but this one in particular seems to be checking off all the boxes for social success. Cooking Club, amid its chaotic appearance, sensory overload and at times unruliness has created for our members a microcosm, a miniature practice space for the real world. We now have a peek into what it actually takes to be part of and to feel good in a larger system that requires us not only to share space… but to cooperate, be flexible, and monitor our words and actions in order to reach a common goal.   As I look around I find such joy in our children, in their growth and their ability to laugh at themselves and others thanks to weekly Pinterest fails!

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