March 30, 2007

Are You a Ghost Artist?

Whenever my five year old is sent home with an art project, I used to let him do it and provide assistance only when he asked for it. Well, it seems some moms (or dads maybe) do the project for their kids and turn it in. So of course, their project would blow my son's project away. Not that he really felt jealous or even inferior, but he would admire their projects. Heck, I would admire their projects. Why didn't I think of that? But then I remind myself, it wasn't my homework, or project, it's my child's piece of work and for a five year old, he did an excellent job. So I am always proud of him. It is hard to resist the urge to maybe fix that, or add that, or even tell him how to do it. Especially after I would notice the work of the other "children." But after I saw the product of the last assignment, I was annoyed.

In the spirit of the theme of the month, "Nn" and neighborhoods, the last assignment was to decorate an old cereal box and make it into a house. Hubby and Oldest had fun doing it. It was nothing fancy, but Oldest was really proud of what they did. I had a lot of suggestions but Hubby kept reminding me that it was Oldest's project and his ideas so step back and let them work. Still, I wanted it to be spectacular and my creative juices were flowing. I'm ashamed to admit that after they completed it, I did a few minor changes. BUT STILL, I did not change any part of the fundamental integrity of Oldest's design.

Well let me tell you. When I saw the other houses, they were architectural pieces of work. Magnificent homes, with wings. I swear these parents went to Home Depot to decorate these cereal boxes. Ours and maybe 2 others, really looked shabby next to what the other children brought it. So I'm looking at the homes and Oldest pointed his out to me and he was just so proud. And I was proud. He did a great job.

But my point is, why do these other parents do the work for their children? Even if the child was sitting there "participating," and I find it hard to believe that a 5 year old thought of the design and constructed this home, I think that it's important to have the children do the work. Not the parents.

So if you are one those parents that does the project, share with us why. I'm interested in seeing your perspective on this.


Justice Fergie said...

I can totally understand the urge to "fix" your kid's project what with my Type A personality and all. But you're right - you don't want to deprive Oldest of being creative and confident and proud of his own work.

I love that he was still very proud of his project even next to all the Cheerio Mansions. That's what counts!

Forget about the other kids' projects. Those are the ones that are gonna end up wearing black eyeliner and inhaling spray paint fumes because their parents didn't believe in them.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree and trust me, the teacher totally knows that the parents are the ones who actually created "those" projects. Evan's teacher and I had this SAME conversation a few weeks ago!! I am so glad we just offer suggestions and minor help...he always loves the results!
Auntie Fe

Justice Jones said...

You are right, the teacher knows. So why doesn't she encourage the parents to let the child do the project? It's disappointing.

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