Alan & Brenda Leonard

> I'm looking for words of wisdom for myself in working through this. As
> his Mama I want to step in and "fix" things for him, but I know that's
> not the best thing for any of us. It's hard for ME to see him struggle
> with his perfectionism. How can I be there for him and help him to work
> through his frustrations without imposing my own wishes or solutions on him?
I lived through this when my son was three or four. For lack of better
ideas, I did the same thing I did when he was two and wanted something he
couldn't have. I distracted him with something else. We got involved in
other ideas, other projects, other places to go. I put the crayons and
pencils and all that stuff neatly away in their boxes in a different place
that he could still reach if he'd really wanted them, but just a new home.

In the absence of seeing the source of his frustration every day, Tim got
involved in other pursuits. And when he came back to drawing, coloring and
such a year or so later, he was so much better at it. Just because he'd
used his little fingers to pick up stuff, manipulate toys, etc. And he was
happier in the meantime.

Interestingly enough, he seems to have learned something from that without
us ever discussing it. He now tends to walk away from things that frustrate
him and come back to them later. 10 minutes later, 10 days later, 10 weeks
later. And "later", it's often easier.



"Have you ever had a backwards day in your house? The whole purpose is to do
everything "wrong." Or call it an "opposite" day. Wear
clothes inside out or PJ's to the store. Paint the clouds black and the sky
green. Color outside the lines. Wear a blindfold while drawing. Eat dessert
first. "

Those are "wrong" ways to do things? ACK.
Not in my house.
We regularly eat dessert whenever we want, paint clouds and skies in multiple colors (clouds are NOT white anyway), color outside the lines (heck, we don't even use coloring books most of the time), wear pj's to the store, or a friends house....and my kids wear clothes inside out occasionally (especially Jalen).

I think unschooling means getting past "wrong" ways to do things, or seeing stuff like that as backwards.


Alison Broadbent

> <So I find myself just letting my kids know that it's okay for things
> to come out not the way that they intended them to. It's okay to play
> the wrong note, or use a color that doesn't look quite right
> afterwards, or write something in a way that you'll have to go back
> and rewrite.>

My 4 yo is into writing letters these days. He asks me to write a word,
usually a tv show title, then he copies it. He's just made this major jump
in his fine motor skills and I said, wow, those letters are really great!
He said the B wasn't perfect. I said my letters aren't perfect and he
looked at me and said, 'yes I know". Made me guffaw while I said that that
was OK too. But clearly it didn't seem OK for him.


Lisa H

<<I think unschooling means getting past "wrong" ways to do things, or seeing stuff like that as backwards.>>
<LOL> I agree wholeheartedly. Actually this game was introduced by a preschooler to our family and initially referred to as "opposite" day. Part of our fun in playing is recognizing that what other families consider opposite was not always the case in our going to school, bedtimes, parents asking kids opinions AND listening to the answer, not having to do anything, writing from left to write, etc.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]