I am going to start this post with a little disclaimer. I am not a parenting expert. Nor do I believe in parenting experts. I believe that certain things worked for certain kids and that as parents it is beneficial that we share what has worked for us. That being said I don’t think that there is a one size fits all way to parent and what worked for me may not work for you.
Peyton, 5, and Paxton, 4, have become quite the artists this year. I am not sure if it has been their age or something that they are just doing more at school but daily they are asking me for paper and markers and scissors so they can create.
Admittedly I am not a project mom so this meant that I had to go out and secure these supplies. They were quick to make me a list and help me navigate what they would need to make their creations.
Each day they started bringing me things that they had drawn or colored or cutout. I would ooh and ah over them even when I was unsure what they had made me. Sometimes I would even make a suggestion as to what the drawing was but lately I have started asking more questions rather than offering suggestions.
I have been saying “tell me about it” when they bring me a creation and these are a few of the unexpected results of working my question this way….
Develops Understanding on their Processing
The first thing I noticed was how much more information I got about a situation they experienced at school or with their brothers. Happy, sad or funny they started telling me more and more about how their drawing was about something they were feeling. Now don’t get me wrong I am still getting my fill of silly answers and craziness but they really have started opening up more and more to me.
At first when I would ask them to tell me about it I think they were a little confused on where to start. Over time they have started having an answer ready for me and I have been able to ask them more questions about color choices or shapes and so on. This has helped us develop a conversation rather than just a question and answer session. I have seen this now help with their conversation style with other adults and their peers.
Now that they see I am excited about what they are doing and also interested in their perspective they are feeling bolder to create more things and work on their skills. Peyton has become an expert at cutting out masks that he is outlining and creating on his own. He is also finding things on tv and online that he can try to draw himself. Paxton is also getting excited about cutting and writing. Now he is trying to journal stories based off of his drawings and this will be an important skill for Kindergarten next year.
Develops Language Skills
Not only has their conversation skills improved but their language and sentence development too. I have noticed in the past that sometimes they have a hard time coming up with the right word. Since we are chatting more about their art they are finding the right words more quickly to explain to me what they are done.
Deepens Our Relationship
Peyton came to me the other day and brought me a shoe box. He said that he wanted me to have a place to keep all of the things that he makes for me. He is seeing that I am interested in what he is making and knows I hate clutter so he is providing me a place to keep his art work. I love that he can make art and write me notes and then I can look through all of them at the end of each day.
The chaos of raising three kids is daunting some days. I know that there is so much I don’t get right but I am always doing my best and trying to do better about my shortcomings. It makes me happy to see my kids grow and thrive. It makes me excited for these coming years to see what other bends they have with their personalities and how their tastes and talents will develop.