The internet has been buzzing about Mayhem, a four year old girl who makes dresses out of paper with her mom. They are beyond creative – some not even looking like paper at all. I saw it over and over again in my Facebook feed as people gushed about how amazing that little girl was. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing that mom was. A mom who forgoes the cleaning, the bill-paying, the tv show watching and sometimes even the blogging, to sit and spend time with her daughter.
I set down my phone and looked at my five year old son who was bouncing off the walls while watching TV and suddenly felt like I was cheating him. My beautiful, energetic, and ultra-creative little boy. I’m always worried about having to clean up a big mess, so I hide the art supplies in a locked closet. That’s not fair because I know I’m stifling his creativity.
I showed him the article about Mayhem and her paper dresses and his eyes lit up. I asked him if he wanted to make a costume or something and of course he was incredibly excited. So I handed him a box of different kinds and colors of papers, a couple of rolls of scotch tape and a pair of scissors.
He spent almost an hour measuring, cutting, taping and assembling. He asked me for help every so often, so I took breaks from nursing the baby to help attach things to him and cut things that he couldn’t quite get right. What happened next was pretty awesome.
I have kept those craft supplies locked up for too long for fear of messes. The best part is that he cleaned up the papers afterwards without a complaint. Giving him that outlet allowed me to connect with him in a different way, and of course he was more open to helping me by tidying up afterwards.
Do you let your kids work on crafts in your house?