No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake and What We Expect from Our Children

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No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake

Last week, I was at a local restaurant for lunch when I overheard a conversation between and father and his little boy – who seemed to be about 5 or so.  The father was begging the little boy to eat and used the old “there are starving children in Africa” bit to try to convince him.  I laughed it off and considered the number of times I had heard that same line growing up.  But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wondered if that little boy even understood what that meant.  I’ve often talked about perspective on the blog and my thoughts led me to that idea again.  So here’s what I’m wondering… Are we expecting too much from our children?

No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake

My thoughts took me back a week or so to a conversation I had with Jack in the car.  Rain had cancelled baseball practice for the second day in a row and he was in full on melt down mode – tears and all.  I remember telling him that it wasn’t a big deal and that he needed to stop being so upset about it.  But the more I thought about this conversation, the more I realized how wrong I was to tell him that.  If we as parents do our jobs, our kids not getting to go to baseball practice (or whatever it may be) should literally be the worst thing that has ever happened to them.  Our job is to protect our children from the bad things in the world.  They shouldn’t have an in dept understanding of the atrocities that are occurring around the world.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think our kids should all have an age appropriate understanding of the hardships in life, but should my 6-year-old understand famine in Africa?  I say, no.


No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake

And while it’s easy to dismiss the tears when a favorite toy breaks as trivial, for our kids it really is one of the worst things that has happened to them.  Or at least it should be.  As I said, it’s our job to protect them and ensure they don’t experience pain and hardship.  And I think sometimes, we as parents, expect a little too much from our children.  What we see as “little things” they see as big things.  So I think it’s important to keep that perspective in mind.  Do we cater and pander to bad behavior, absolutely not.  But I think being able to understand what our kids are going through might make us better able to relate to them.  I think being able to relate to our kids makes us better parents.  But that’s just me…

No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake

Y’all this No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake is ridiculous!  It’s so easy and so delicious.  That topping with the Cool Whip and marshmallow creme is amazing.  I would eat that mess on a cracker if I could.  I just can’t wait for y’all to try it!

No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake

No-Bake S'mores Cheesecake and What We Expect from Our Children
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 20 sheets of graham crackers (4 crackers each sheet)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3.56-ounce to 3.8-ounce) box dark chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme (or marshmallow fluff)
  1. Crush 15 of the crackers well and combine them in a bowl with the melted butter. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the other layers.
  2. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, combine 1 container of the whipped topping and the cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add the pudding mix powder and mix well. Spread this layer over the crust evenly.
  3. To make the topping, combine the other container of whipped topping and the jar of marshmallow creme in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer and blend until smooth. Spread it over the top of the chocolate mixture. Crush the remaining 5 graham crackers by hand and sprinkle them over the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow the layers to set.


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  1. I agree that we do not need to make our children feel trivialized with what seems to be a big deal to them, but it is all about balance. We can’t keep our children wrapped in cellophane in our attempts to shield them from hurts and disappointments. I think our role is to help them see what is truly important in life and how to sort it out. Not an easy parenting challenge, but talking it through at a child’s level will teach compassion and empathy. I agree we do not need to be too graphic in describing starving and diseased children in third world countries and instill guit, but we can talk about how blessed we are and maybe introduce a missionary offering or a soup kitchen donation here at home.

  2. My take on this topic would be that, rather than protect my children from every pain and hardship, I am to actually teach my children how to handle them. That’s a skill we all need as adults when dealing with life! There’s definitely an age-appropriate way to handle these concepts, based on the maturity of the child and teachable moments that arrive in our own situations.

    The cheesecake looks amazing!!

  3. Thanks Stacey for the reminder!! Sometimes I forget that my 10 year old dove a different perspective than I do. Reminds me of the quote “Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”

    ― Catherine M. Wallace

  4. When I was young, it was: “Think of all those starving children in China!” At the age of 5 or 6 I didn’t know what starving really meant and no one could explain where China was. (in my Grams dish cupboard?) At the same time, I don’t think 5 or 6 is too young to begin teaching children to be appreciative of the food on their plates because all over the world there are children, who do not lhave enough food to eat — every meal — every day, No one even questions it when children, even younger, are taught “Thank you for the world so sweet, Thank your the food we eat. . .”

  5. Claudine says:

    Well, I’m not trying to be funny here, but when I was little, my Mom was always trying to get me to finish the food on my plate by saying, “You need to be grateful for a full plate, think about all those poor little starving children in China who would give anything for just one forkful of what you are refusing to eat!” Well I remember getting so tired of this that I replied one time by saying, “Well then, why don’t you just put it in a box and mail it to them because I’m not going to eat this!” Needless to say I was promptly punished for being rude. Looking back, I now think it is funny what happened to me, but at the time surely I didn’t! You can believe that I never said anything like that again, at least where my Mom could hear me. Bear in mind that this was in the mid-fifties when this happened, so punishment was done on a regular basis then. My parents weren’t being mean, but I was being disrespectful and smart mouthed. So I whole heartedly agree with you when you said we shouldn’t expect our little ones to understand the things that are going on in the world today and feel guilty about it. If we would only take the time and explain to them in terms they might understand, I think they would be better off and become more compassionate, But then, that is just an old woman’s perspective. And by the way, your awesome recipe really sweetened the deal! Thank you for sharing your recipe and thoughts with us and for letting some old long winded “windbag” like me vent!

  6. It really is more about teaching our children how to cope with the disappointments and hurts rather than wrapping them in cotton wool if you learn how to cope when you are young then things will not throw you off balance as you become a young adult and the world as we all know is a tough place

  7. Beautiful, Stacey! This looks so delicious. Love that it’s no bake!!

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  9. I didn’t really have a traditional and carefree childhood, but I tried to ensure my son had a good did because i never forgot the things I missed. If he became upset I understood his disappointment and when he calmed down I spoke to him on his level, and he learned though he may get upset or disappointed for some reason its not the end of the world.
    My father was permanently disabled in 1962 from a work related accident when my mother was pregnant with me. I was the youngest of 5. My father being the sole source of income was no longer able to work, my mother went to work in a sewing factory for very little money so we didn’t have much but we always had food on our table usually red beans, potatoes, and cornbread for dinner. Breakfast was oatmeal or cream of wheat eggs and fresh cows milk when our neighbors had extra. Our great uncles and aunts had vegetables gardens so we had fresh and canned veggies. My mother would make our clothes from bags of old clothes and material scraps. We all pitched in as we were old enough to pick veggies and fruits so we knew food didn’t just magically appear so my parents never had a problem getting us to eat. Believe it or not red beans, potatoes, and cornbread is still my favorite meal…lol when my son was growing up

    • I think those of us with humble beginnings are afforded some valuable perspective that many folks miss out on. Thanks for sharing your story, Gayle.

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