Anna Faris Says Doing This Activity With Her Son Helps Him Learn Life Skills

It also strengthens their bond.

Like any working parent, actress Anna Faris knows finding that balance between professional and personal pursuits isn't always easy. But, whenever possible, the Overboard star makes time for one very special activity with her 6-year-old son Jack — cooking together. 

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She's found the experience to be an invaluable bonding and learning opportunity for the entire family. 

"Jack and I cook together, but it's hard to find a time when you're working," Faris told POPSUGAR. "Of course, everyone knows this, but it's a really important way to spend time together as a family. Jack just loves cooking and he'll try things that he wouldn't normally try. The other night we made curry with basmati rice, which was great, and I don't think he would have tried that necessarily if he didn't have a hand in cooking it. I did call it buttered chicken."

As Faris notes, including her son in the process not only makes him more willing to break free from his comfort zone, but also teaches him lessons children can't always learn from textbooks.

"I think when they're involved with the cooking and their families, not only do they try more things, but maybe they're less likely to trudge down to the dinner table, too," she told HuffPost.

"I think they can learn a lot, too," Faris added. "It's learning about measuring things and also how to work with knives. My mom just gave Jack a kid's knife set. I think it's a fun learning process."

Faris also enjoys how cooking has strengthened his bond with his grandmother — her mother — because they're actively making memories each time they gather in the kitchen.

"Well, I think that cooking bonds [Jack and his grandma together] since they are actively spending time together as opposed to watching a television program together or something," she said. "I think that also it's just an important life skill to learn how to be self-sufficient."

Faris hopes that teaching Jack these life skills at a young age will aid his long-term development. "And later on down the road, I want Jack to learn how to clean the toilet and to do his own laundry. I view it as like a gift for his future partner."

Her experiences have since led Faris to partner with Uncle Ben's to promote the rice company's Homework Pass Challenge, which encourages schools to replace homework with home cooking for one week. Schools need only use the brand's "Homework Pass Kit," which can be found on Uncle Ben's website

As the site says, "life's best lessons begin in the kitchen." Thus, families and teachers can download kitchen lessons that feature recipes, as well as educational resources, like math problems and fun facts, that will help them make the most of their week. Ultimately, both Faris and Uncle Ben's hope this initiative will inspire families to cook together more often and make family dinners a staple, as everyone will inevitably treasure the memories made for the rest of their lives.

"We had family dinners almost every night," Faris said during an episode of her podcast, Unqualified. "I remember feeling sulky, but halfway through dinner, I'd be like, 'Oh yeah, we're bonding.' I'm so grateful that my parents insisted on that for us ― my brother and I ― growing up."

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

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