Friday, September 2, 2011

Frowny Face

As a parent we are can be strict and very laissez faire all at the same time. We expect our children to be obedient immediately, or consequences follow. Our children are excepted to be well behaved at other people's houses, they are expected to eat all their dinner (age appropriate), etc.  But at the same time they are suppose to be masters of themselves, I do not entertain them, they are suppose to clean up after themselves.  I keep markers and scissors where they can reach them at all times.  We have only had a few incidences with the markers, and since they can always reach kid scissors, nothing seems to go bad, a toddler doesn't have the coordination, and the older child knows the rules and there is no novelty. I never do my children's art projects for, I will help them, but I never finish when they get bored.   Whenever we see art J and I discuss what we like or don't like about it.  Art is about expression not following the rules.  But like I said we do have ground rules, everyone knows we do not color on the table and absolutely do not color anywhere else. We are big believers in cause and effect.
This all being said, I've always been a bit concerned about my son in elementary school.  Elementary students do a lot of art projects, but the main purpose seems to be following directions not making self expression. Yesterday was the first day we had to pay the pied piper.  (That's not true we had one incidence in preschool, where I thought J was suppose to make a project, but it turned out to be mom making it for him, so we had to redo it.  I was surprised we didn't have more incidences in preschool.)   So yesterday our first hiccup.  Everyday J comes home with a behavioral calendar. The goal is to come home with a sticker.  Yesterday he had a frowny face, and it said, "J did not use his center materials nicely.  That is why he has a blue hand." I thought what?  blue hand? its a frowny face not a hand.  Then I looked over his palm was blue, I thought weird? they punish kids by inking their hand? Then I realized oh he made his hand blue. I asked him about it he looked thoroughly confused.  They were making finger prints and he put his whole hand in, and got in trouble.  I said did you know you weren't suppose to put your whole hand in?  He said no, and looked at me confused.  J is pretty cautious of breaking the rules, he didn't looked ashamed at all, he just looked confused. We talked about it again, and I could tell he still didn't understand, and I honestly didn't know what to tell him. Yes, this will a new experience for him, he knows how to follow the rules, but not when it comes to art. I personally think creatively will enrich a brain more than following directions, but what do I know.

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