Saying yes to blow-painting

Wednesday 28 April 2004

Evenings are a little difficult: there’s lots of different things going on. I’m tired after a day of work, but I want to find out what’s been happening to everyone else. I’d like to relax, but I also want to play with the kids. I’d like to pursue personal projects, but there are house things to be taken care of too. There are blog entries to write (the blog in my head is much more interesting than this one), but there’s also work from the office to get done.

With all of these different possibilities, it’s easy to be pulled in a dozen directions at once. So when my youngest son appeared with a how-to art book, with a particular project picked out, it was very difficult to focus on it and agree to join in. My first reaction was, oh gosh, that looks really complicated.

But I remembered something about parenting I had read by Larry Cohen. He talks about creating a special time when you always answer “yes” to what the child wants. As much as you can, try to make the answer be “yes”, no matter what the request.

I thought of Larry’s approach, and decided to answer yes to the art project. It’s not like I was doing a big thing, but at the time, it didn’t feel like there was a way to sweep aside the evening hubbub to make room for a new untried art project. I said yes anyway.

Of course, it worked out great. It was a blow-painting project, and we managed to get the paint to move around, not quite the way it did in the book, but we were all pleased with the results. It’s not great art, but it was fun doing it together.

It’s easy to get lost in a swarm of distractions and worries, to be overwhelmed with what’s coming up, or what happened earlier, and to lose sight of what’s right around you. I’m glad I said yes. Everything else can wait.

The finished artwork

Comments

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Paul Freeman 8:36 AM on 29 Apr 2004

That's a great piece of art. I'm going to try this with my daughter this weekend

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brian 8:33 PM on 29 Apr 2004

Great posting. A few months ago, I made the commitment that when I got home from work, I was going to play with my son Luke and pretty much do whatever he wanted to do (within reason). This after he came out and asked me why it seemed that he tended to play more with his Mom than with me. I have to resist the tempation to open the laptop but it's well worth it.

[gravatar]
Barry Parr 1:20 AM on 4 May 2004

Thanks for the reminder. I really do need to remember this the next time one of the kids wants to do something that seems really complicated.

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Derek 1:53 AM on 4 May 2004

Being unemployed for 18 months, my kids got to see a lot of me. They're now 2 & 4, and I think they got a great deal (two stay at home parents). Now they have to adjust to me working, though its consulting, so with flexible hours I'm still around a lot.

Won't it be great when we raise of a generation of secure kids who made those strong bonds with their parents and can go out and really change the world. That's got to be important.

[gravatar]
Derek 1:54 AM on 4 May 2004

Being unemployed for 18 months, my kids got to see a lot of me. They're now 2 & 4, and I think they got a great deal (two stay at home parents). Now they have to adjust to me working, though its consulting, so with flexible hours I'm still around a lot.

Won't it be great when we raise of a generation of secure kids who made those strong bonds with their parents and can go out and really change the world. That's got to be important.

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