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A mum who uses a particular parenting method has explained why she lets her two-year-old son cook lasagne, make cups of tea and do household chores.
Florence Taylor, 25, from West Sussex, uses the Montessori parenting technique, which advocates a more relaxed approach in which children learn more independently. And it's resulted in her son Jax, two, having a vast array of impressive skills.
Speaking to The Mirror Florence explained Jax has even made a lasagne, pretty much all on his own. And he can put a wash on, too.
"He is very independent, because he's been allowed to be. Without having to say 'mummy's busy/go play/no you're too little' all the time, he's learnt skills that some adults I've met don't even have," said Florence.
"My son can, and does, do a full laundry cycle. He knows how to put the right setting on, where to put the pod and softener, and to swap it to the tumble dryer when it's done.
"We have toddler safe knives and cookware and he has made a lasagne, bolognese and omelettes pretty much by himself. I am always right there to keep him safe. He uses the stove but he knows it's hot and not to physically touch it and he never has, he even told me to move my hand once because it was on the stove and the stove is hot."
Florence went on to explain that little Jax can even hold scissors and make a cup of tea, which he's mastered from start to finish, except for pouring the kettle, which Florence takes charge of.
The mum stresses that she doesn't "force" Jax to do anything, it's merely activities that he's taken an interest in learning about.
And the tot can decide when he wants a snack, too, meaning he doesn't need to ask Florence for permission. Jax is also a pro at crossing the road, and knows to wait rather than cross straight away. Of course, Florence explains she is always nearby to stop him if he does venture out.
Although some parents would be terrified of the approach, Florence explained if practiced properly, it is completely safe.
The mum explained she has received some negativity online, especially at Halloween, when Jax was using a knife to carve a pumpkin. Florence explained some social media users called it "child neglect, endangerment and bad parenting".
She added: "Putting a two-year-old with no experience, knowledge or practice in front of a sharp knife and a hot stove obviously is dangerous. But that's not what Montessori is about. It's about scaffolding skills to get to that point. I'm comfortable with that fact and peoples opinions don't effect me because I'm happy with my parenting decisions and so is my son."
You can follow Florence's parenting journey over on her Instagram page.
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