When I put out an art invitation for the kids more often than not I find myself doing it as well. I like to do art and I love creativity but I wouldn't consider myself a typical artist. I do not perfect my work. It's okay if things aren't straight or symmetrical and I added too many colors that I like instead of keeping it simple. I am really trying to minimize colors but I love colors.
To my kids, however, I am a talented artist and I enjoy that they think that!
Here are a few reminders when inviting your kids to create:
If your kids are comparing their artwork to yours in frustration then maybe you should not be doing it with them.
If they are comparing their artwork to yours in inspiration then go for it!
If you have a project in mind that you want to do, take into consideration that your children will probably want to try it as well. Meaning either provide similar tools for them!
If you put out an invitation for art let them decide how they will use the materials. It does not matter if it has the end product you anticipated. It's their process not yours.
If they are constantly asking for help maybe reconsider helping them because setbacks are part of learning to cope. Option 2 is the invitation was too difficult and simplifying it may be better, or asking them how they think they can do something they like.
Don't offer them suggestions! If they are not sure how to proceed ask them questions. What are you trying to do? what would you like to do? Send the question back to them so you are not always giving them answers . (Even if you have an idea that will make their art so much cooler- shhhh)!
How to respond to their work even if it sucks
Do you like …? Compliment something specific you like about their work. Be very specific.
If possible comment on the effort instead of on the product so they learn to relate success with perseverance.
If they give you their artwork as a gift, try to have a place you can display/keep it. Better if it's somewhere they can go back and look at it- This again shows process! You still have the right to choose not to display/keep all artwork- they wont remember anyway. Note: *If your entire room is filled up with their artwork already, you can selectively start making a book of it instead.
Have fun and make art. Creativity is crucial for growth and play!
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