Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mommy Guilt

We are not a craft household, we don't have stunning art work by our kids hanging on the fridge or wall.  We don't have various craft projects on the go or have shelves lined with things drying. 

I feel guilty about this.

I want to have the problem of having so many different art projects that I don't know what to do with them.  I'd rather feel guilty about deciding what to keep and what to toss than having nothing.

And there are so many cute things I want to do with Lynden, in fact I have a board on Pinterest of things I want to do with him. 

So, every now and again my guilt over takes me and I break out the art supplies and find a craft I think we can handle.  It doesn't take long before the guilty quickly vanishes and anger takes over. 

Lynden is the type of person who will not do something unless he knows he can do it.  If he's not confident he won't even try, and this upsets me. 

Last week I decided to make caterpillars out of egg cartons with Lynden so while I had dinner cooking I dug out the paint and got him set up.  It took me about 10 minutes to regret my decision.  Lynden painted the top of the egg carton only and when I suggested he paint the sides he told me he didn't know how.  I showed him with the one I had been working on and once done told him to try.  Again I got "I don't know how" and that was it.  He wasn't willing to even try.

Yes, I know he's 3. 

But how will he learn to do anything new if he's not even willing to try??

Now, I realize it's a catch-22.  He doesn't know how to do it because we don't have a regular craft time and we don't do crafts because he's not willing to try.   (Much like my guilt for not doing more with him which turns to anger which leads back to the guilt for being angry over it)

But how can I make him try things?  He's 3 and stubborn (I don't know who he gets that from....). 

After getting angry with him and putting everything away I went and folded laundry.  Once I was done I asked Lynden to come and talk to me.  I explained that I want to do make things with him and to do that he has to try.  It's okay if we get dirty (Lynden's particular about getting stuff on his hands), we can wash our hands and clothes.  And if he doesn't know how to do something that's okay too, mommy will show him and then he has to be willing to try. 

He agreed, but he's 3 and has a selectively short memory (he'll remember that you promised him ice cream but conveniently forget to pick up his toys). 

He asked me to make worms, although I'm not sure what exactly that entails so we're going to draw them. 

I think one way I might go about it is I'll show him my Pinterest board and ask him what he wants to make.  Maybe if he chooses he'll be more excited about trying something new. 

I want to be that parent; the one who feels guilty about not being able to keep every wonderful piece of art work my kids make, not the one who feels guilty about having nothing to throw out.

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  1. In my experience...some kids are crafty...some are not. It's great to expose him to craft projects but there is also no point in forcing the issue. I know my girls were far more into the "crafty" things than either of my boys. I'm sure your daughter will supply you will hours and hours of hearts and flowers and butterflies but the reality is that many boys express their creativity in more concrete ways like making roads in dirt with toy cars or building with Lego or other construction type toys. When they are older they build ramps and courses to ride their bikes. You can always take pictures of his "creations" and put them on the fridge or in a scrap book. The important thing is to acknowledge his attempts in whatever form they take. Have fun discovering your boy!

  2. Very well said Lori-ann! I agree...3 kids myself & 9 grandchildren later, encouraging creativity on their own agenda & acknowledging their outcomes is most important!The other thing to remember, is that, yes...he is only 3. He has plenty of time to make better efforts at trying new things.

  3. Amanda, I have large yellow envelopes that I put the kids work into and then write the date on it. I will go through it all one day when they aren't home and get rid of most of it. Being a picture framer and artist, I used to frame a lot of their stuff. But I have seen a great idea, of taking pictures of their work and putting it into a callage (sp?) frame...or even photo album (less space)

  4. Keep trying with him!

    I am awful at crafts with mine- which is why I started crafts for the uncrafty- to force myself to do this!

  5. I just wrote about my own sense of guilt, but from a teenage perspective. Anything your child does is art. Once it is on the wall, it will be admired by all - and perhaps inspire more creative painting or drawing. I would have my kids finger paint and then give me a title to their piece - write in on the page when it dried and then hung it up. Another thing i did was by frames and framed their art -- they got to choose when to switch it out. I hung the frames in my room, their room and in our dining room. They always got great compliments on them. Good luck. Mom guilt is not easily cured :)

  6. sorry -