Thursday 10 April 2014

How to be a #badmummy ....... do your child's homework/ project for them......

My #badmummy post for this week.......

Here's the shocker ....... sit down and reach for social services phone number but  ........... I let my child do his own homework.    I know how appalling, what an awful mummy I must be.

I don't understand it ..... perhaps I am living in a parallel universe?  I have spoken to soooo many parents (especially recently with the school Easter challenges) who have told their child how their model will look or what design their car should be.  I've spoken to almost as many who have sat up the night before it needs to be handed in fretting over whether the colours are correct or if they have written enough (well typed, the teacher would know they wrote it).

I get realllly annoyed by people who say "yeah but there's would be crap" ..... so what .... so what if it is the most over decorated, lary item with nothing to do with the topic?  YOUR child did it, YOUR child spent time on it and YOUR child is proud of it.  so what if Mr Smiths's little boys is symmetrical and colour orientated?  What's the betting Mr Smith DID IT???!!!

Your child may "only be 3" but if Nursery have said "make x" then make it WITH them ...... that doesn't mean make it while they watch!  They may need some help (e.g. sticking the googly eye on in the correct place that they have pointed to and told you).  
      Persuasion and Encouragement are very very important.

Lets have an example ............  Ben needed to do Eggs for school.  See my Easter post.  I got the paint out and let both him (5) and his brother (almost 3) go wild.

Once dried I suggested to Ben that we could turn them into a Superhero's theme.  I showed him how to make a wall (Lego bricks and paint) but he didn't like this and put his own spin on it.  I didn't take it off him and tell him it was wrong.  I didn't throw it in the bin and do it myself ..... I let him use it.  No  it may not be the best 'wall' in the display, it may not be perfect and you can be pretty sure Little Jonny's is in neat rows with exactly 2 mm gap around each rectangle (really WHO did it??  what did Little Jonny learn?).   I suggested to Ben the eggs could have capes - he chose the colours.  Ben told me where they should be on the wall and stuck them in - even taking the cocktail stick out of 'Super Ben' and repositioning it at a different angle.
   He named the characters and he wrote the label to stick on.  No it may not be the neatest, it may not have all the letters the same height but HE was proud of it.

He carried it to school knowing it was his own work ... not something mummy had done while he was asleep.

Yes I did draw the bricks on for him ..... but I asked him if he would like me too .... if he had said 'no I want to leave it like it is' then I would have been happy with that decision and not touched it.

For their Easter Bonnets the boys chose the different 'crap' to stick on it in the shops, they selected which bits to stick on and where.  The only help I gave was to put the sellotape or double sided tape in the right place.
  The bonnets were far from perfect, they were messy and overcrowded but THEY had done them and whether they won the competitions or not, they had the bubbly feeling that comes from knowing THEY worked hard on them.  and they did..... they didn't pick and stick anywhere, I could hear Ben debating whether to stick the pom pom on the left or the right, he took the egg off and stuck it back on because "the angle is all wrong".

I cannot stand to read "he's too young" or "it'll look like crap if they do it" .... what do you think happens when little Maisey or Thomas is at nursery?  do you think the teachers say "today we're going to do some painting...... no you won't hold the brush you can sit next to me while I do it"?   "Look Mark.... here's some glue and some sticky shapes .... eeek don't TOUCH them ... I'm going to stick them onto this cardboard box and you can watch because you'll just make it look a mess"

I've worked in nurseries you will be AMAZED at just what your child can do with a bit of encouragement.  even a 9 month old can paint daffodils on a piece of card.    Fair enough it may look like this but it's their representation ......
Daffodil by x aged 9 months

You'd be rather concerned if their key worker told you this was their work ....... wouldn't you?

Daffodil by David Clare
aged 55 and a bit
Yes, they've needed encouragement to put the paintbrush on the paper, the key worker probably only gave them greens and yellows to avoid pink or blue flowers but you know what ..... mummy won't care ... would you tell your precious little one their art was crap because it didn't look like a flower?!!

 Perhaps if you are one of these parents you should try it..... just once .... give them some craft things, some gentle encouragement and some stimulus and see what they do.... watch the smile light up their face as they realise how lovely their 'art' is.  
              Noah stuck stickers on a piece of paper the other day ....... that was it ... stuck stickers on.  But to him it was a picture, it had a story behind it and he couldn't wait to show daddy.  would he have had the same sense of achievement if he had sat next to me while I chose which sticker to stick where??  

Aelita Andre is 7 years old, at the age of  4 she had her own art exhibition in New York which sold out in 7 days.  She had been painting since before she was 1..... I wonder if things would have been the same had daddy told her she was just making a mess and not let her touch the craft things??
  I wonder who makes her Easter Bonnets at school?  I wonder if mummy does the glitter and sticky shapes on the family Christmas Cards?  I wonder if her Daddy insists she "just watches" while he makes a perfect maypole for Spring Bank?

Next time your child has a project to do don't think about their age, help and encourage them by all means but PLEASE let THEM do it .......... they may surprise you.

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