Frustrated kids can get me frustrated. Especially if it’s frustrated kids times 3, or if I haven’t slept much, or eaten recently, or had my morning coffee, or haven’t had a chance to put my contacts in for the day, or if I’m trying to do more than one thing at once. I simply prefer that my 1, 4 and 5 year old just not get frustrated. Is that too much to ask?

One of my favorite lines in my go-to homeschooling book by Lori Pickert is calm down so they can calm down. So true, obviously, but so hard. Of course they are going to get frustrated, but for me to calm down I’d have to work on sleeping and eating (and who really has time for that?!). So for today I’m going to share how I got them to calm down so I could calm down (or rather remain calm). They were so calm I had even had the time and energy to make myself a snack. See? Win-win.

It all started with some coloring around the picnic table in the backyard.
Juliette was upset for no other reason than the fact that she’s one, but soon after this picture Stephen was the one in tears. “I can’t draw real things like Eliana can. My drawings are no good!” Followed by some banging of the table and crayon throwing.

I was still calm and was able to remember the Picasso book we just got a yard sale for a buck. I quickly left the scene of the angry boy and his onlooking sisters to grab the book (and to take a deep breath). When I returned I explained Picasso and abstract art and how not all art looks like pictures we take with the camera. The kids were immediately interested. Their interest grew when they took the book from me and found the naked abstract art, but that blew over quickly enough.
They were inspired. It didn’t have to be perfect and they loved the freedom in that. Of course it never has to be perfect, but that’s an ongoing lesson at Our UnSchoolhouse.

5 thoughts on “An Art Project for a Frustrated Perfectionist

  1. Let Stephen can’t draw either. I even have a rubber stamp that says, I can’t draw so I stamp. Love their work though, It is still better than my drawings.

  2. Ugh! I know what you mean. If they are out of whack I immediately feel out of whack. Sometimes I’m good about keeping calm and sometimes not…depends on all the factors you mentioned!! Their artwork did turn out wonderfully though.

  3. Just pulled my kids out of school to start a homeschool adventure and this post is so helpful! Both of mine get so frustrated all the time and I hear that cry of I can’t, it’s rubbish so often. Very encouraging thank you!

    • Hi! Sorry I am just now seeing this comment. Good luck with your new adventure!! We continue to struggle with perfectionism, but as I re-read this post I can see my kids have really learned a lot in the past year or so about dealing with mistakes and learning from them, as well as believing that practice can help them get better. They don’t have to be great right away. So, don’t give up! 😉 They’ll get there. :)

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