April 6, 2009

Control Freak? Yes or No?

We are participating in an Easter Egg Exchange through a pen pal group that we are a part of. The idea is to decorate construction paper eggs and swap with another family. I thought that this was a great idea. My kids loved this idea.

We are sitting down to make them and I am trying my best to not tell them how to decorate them. I did not want to stifle their creativity. Well after 30 minutes, I couldn't help it anymore. I know that my children are not putting out their best work. They are half-assing(if that is a word). I had to say something. When I asked the kids if they would want something that someone spent 20 seconds with or something someone put thought and care into. They all wanted the later.

I feel bad, because I said that I was going to let them do their own thing. I want them to understand that they cannot just sign up for things and not follow through. I want them to be responsible.

I just can't decide if I am really just a control freak. What would you of done?


SJ said...

I'm often in the same boat...I want my kids to have creative freedom, yet I also want them to think about how they affect others. It's a thin line and I don't have an answer yet. I'm just here nodding my head along with your post. :)

Theresa said...

You can allow creative freedom while still holding up standards for quality/effort.
I would not have decorated the eggs for them, or even told them how they should do it, but I certainly would have told them that they needed to put in their best effort and not accepted less. Perhaps I'd offer to let them try again at another time when they felt more inclined toward creativity. Sometimes it is hard to be creative on a schedule, you know?

jugglingpaynes said...

My kids have incredibly different styles, as I've illustrated in my comics. My oldest will take her time and create something beautiful, while my younger two will make a mad dash to the finish line. When my speeders start producing less than wonderful work, I do several things. First, I tell them they did a good job. I might suggest tracing over the design in pen since it's usually in pencil. I explain that the person it's for would have trouble seeing the details or might smudge the pencil marks. Then I ask them if they are going to add some color. I may offer something enticing like glitter or paint to get them interested again.

And if they really don't want to go further I let it go.

But if I have time, I also trace over their pencil lines in ink. ;o)

Peace and Laughter,

Alicia said...

BTDT! :) I find that if I sit down and do art next to them, they're generally inspired to slow down and try some of the stuff I'm doing before too long. I don't want to stifle them either and I also don't want to end up with them copying me instead of doing their own thing, but they generally will try what I'm doing and then go off in their own directions.

My two oldest kids are opposites in terms of taking care too. My oldest is a perfectionist and her little sister is a speed-doer. I sometimes think they'd be perfect if they averaged out! With the younger kids, it usually works to give them some really nifty art supplies. It can be hard to get excited about the same old crayons or art supplies, but if someone gets out oil pastels or funky stickers, they get a lot more into it.

You can also just sweetly remind them "remember to make it really special for the child who's getting it!" and "I'll bet this will make him very happy!". Thinking of the real person getting the art might do the trick. :)