I struggle with the balance of letting my kids learn on their own, and making sure their projects are perfect.
I never would have pegged myself as a controlling perfectionist … But here I am fighting the urge to “help” my kids with everything.
It’s especially hard with Caroline. She has all these cool projects that her teacher sends home and they tempt my creative side.
This weekend she got a “Disguise the Turkey” art project sent home in her backpack. Friday night she told me how she planned on decorating it….like a “milk cow”. (A Holstein cow to be more specific if you know about dairy breeds)
So I thought and planned and figured out a way to make hers super cute and impress everyone with
my…I mean HER creativity. I told her we would work on it Saturday morning.
Saturday morning she got up at the crack of dawn and quietly completed her project before I was up at 7:30. Saturdays I try to sleep in.
She woke me up and proudly displayed her creation.
She did a great job.
But it was nothing like I had in mind.
I wanted to fix it. Use all my great ideas. Make it MINE.
Then I realized it was not my project.
I am not in Kindergarten. I don’t need to learn these skills…but she does.
So instead of “fixing”, I praised her responsibility in completing her project by herself. I asked her to explain it to me.
And I watched the pride she showed explaining the thought she put into every “Cow Spot” that she drew in pen and colored in with crayon.
And I was so thankful I didn’t take this particular project over. Her perfectionist self needs to explore doing things on her own. With this particular child, me jumping in to make her projects different than she has planned will not encourage, it will tear down her confidence.
Hopefully I can wait till she asks for help before I excitedly jump in.
I am in no way saying anything negative about parents that help their kids more than I do with projects. Maybe Claire will need me more with school-work. I kind of hope she does, because I WANT TO HELP! She isn’t quite as fiercely independent as Caroline is…at least not yet.
I’m just making up this parenting thing as I go.
Have a good week friends.