I am not a control freak…most of the time. There are a few exceptions (especially other people loading the dishwasher, don’t get me started).
I like to give my children space to explore their own thoughts and creativity. They can explore whatever topics they want, dress is whatever style their desire, and read whatever books they choose.
But some topics are my kryptonite. I’m going to focus on art today. I love art and being creative. I’m not an especially talented artist but I enjoy painting and drawing so I do.
For some reason I have a hard time letting go when it comes to my kids and art. I didn’t even know there was a wrong way to hold a paint brush until I had kids. It’s a challenge to watch them while they are being creative in this way but I want them to own their art, not me!
I was compensated for my time in reviewing this product The opinions in this post are my own (and my kids).
I needed to let go. Creativity is not fostered when your mom is hovering over your shoulder saying “Put this here and hold the pen like that”. And even in the moment I knew I was doing it wrong but I just couldn’t let it go. We turned to Sparketh Online Art Lessons for help with fitting in the lessons and giving me space to let it go.
So since I’ve been practicing letting it all go, I thought I’d share a few tips I’d picked up.
- Don’t watch them as they are creating. Make a conscious effort to remove yourself from the immediate area. Of course, sometimes this isn’t as possible, like when the 2 year old is painting. In that case:
- Immerse yourself in your own project. If I am drawing or painting next to the child doing their creating, it’s much easier to distract myself from the critique that don’t want.
- Pep talks. I believe fully in pep talks, as ridiculous as this may sound. Before they start to create, remind yourself how you want to act. Tell yourself you can do it! Promise yourself a candy bar for making it through, if necessary.
- Give them a safe creating space. If you have extra room or a backyard, give them a space they cannot destroy with paint and let them be. This ties back to #1. If you can’t walk away while inside, try to find a place where walking away would work. Give them paint clothes, a tarp, etc.
- Practice with Inexpensive Tools. My ids love to create using real art tools. They would paint every day on canvas if I let them! But real tools get expensive and definitely trigger my desire to correct them. So I compromise by giving them inexpensive tools sometimes that can be destroyed.
- Let someone else do it. Sign them up for a class, sign up for classes online, ask a friend, whatever it takes.
I got this all set up and decided to keep a safe distance – the dishes in the next room. I could still see him to make sure he wasn’t painting the computer, but I didn’t feel the compulsive need to correct every little bit.
How does Sparketh play into all of this?
My kids are still budding artists. They love to draw and create scenes but they would love some more instruction on technique. The problem is, I cannot teach art without falling into this controlling pit.
Sparketh provides video courses that show technique in step by step detail. Logi-Bear (6) was able to easily follow the videos and make a few masterpieces that we have hanging on the wall. He picked up a few new techniques without me interfering.
For the older kids, like Baloo (10) I can let him look at the video options and choose what he wants to learn about. He rarely needs me to help him understand a concept or work through a new technique with these videos. He’s wanted to learn to draw Manga cartoons and was able to watch a Sparketh video to get started.
He was so proud of himself! Do you see where the cat walked over it while it was still wet? He pretty much thought that was the greatest addition ever. I sort of agree except that I had to track down the cat before pink paint was everywhere.
The best part is, Sparketh has videos covering all kinds of art. Drawing, painting, watercolors, Manga, and more. It also breaks down the lessons into ability level. As I mentioned, Logi-Bear was able to follow the videos and work at his own level. At the same time, Baloo was able to pick up a lot more from the same video because he’s that much older.
Just before I walked away to let him do his own thing!
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