Thursday, September 22, 2011

Using Art to problem-solve

A couple of days ago, I shared our Matryoshka art project with you. Lest anyone think this all happened in one sitting or was a smooth project, let me tell you the real story. My 5 1/2 year old daughter has hit the perfectionist stage that many children between the ages of 5-7 go through.  (See this post for more about this stage.) Children this age often burst into uncontrollable tears, throw things or try to destroy their art when they do something they perceive to be a "mistake". With a little patience, however, these frustration tantrums can be great opportunities to problem-solve and learn how to channel anger into a constructive direction.

At one point while making the first painting, my daughter threw down her crayons and ran from the room screaming, "I never want to draw again!"  Hearbreaking for me, to say the least.  I took a deep breath, used every ounce of self-control not to react, and calmly reassured her that there were no mistakes in art and that she could come back to her project later if she wanted. That was on Thursday. On Saturday, she came back to the project of her own accord and started working again.  She finished it and then started another.  On Sunday, while making the collage, she did something that she was unhappy with, but looked up at me and said, "There's no mistakes in art, right Mommy?"

That made all the emotional turmoil worth it. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this. That's one of a kind om model answers, I should keep "inscribed" in mind for difficult situations in making art wit children... :)

  2. Sniega, So glad it was helpful! You have a beautiful blog as well! (Even though I unfortunately can't read Lithuanian.)