Life with kids can be full of random adult acquaintances – the room mom, the soccer coach, the parents at the community pool.
And generally, that is pretty cool. The fact that we all have children and live in the same vicinity is enough common ground to be friendly acquaintances.
This year, I got lucky. I hit the friendship goldmine. At a class party, I met Addy and her parents. My daughter Ava and Addy had sat together at the same table in class all year and it took all that time for us to realize we lived in the same neighborhood.
Our kids are now inseparable BFFs. Which is fabulous because we parents also really like hanging out together. Our partying speed usually includes a lawn chair on the driveway and they don’t seem to mind so we’re digging having grown up friends in the neighborhood too.
It also means that we’ve had lots of time to get to know one another’s kids. You do things together. You share bits of your life. You buy applesauce to keep in the fridge because the littlest one loves it (even though your kids hate it!) And in my case, you teach the kids to loom knit…
I do a lot of crafty things as a blogger at IwishIwasCrafty.com. It is pretty much my whole job. I really believe creating should ALWAYS be encouraged – without worrying so much about things being perfect. Creating should be fun.
What if I Make a Mistake?
I handed my daughter Ava and her friend Addy a ball of yarn and helped her start a scarf on a loom, she asked me the same questions that my own daughter asked me the first time I gave her some yarn:
“But what if I make a mistake?”
“What if I waste it?”
My answers to both girls…
I guarantee you will make mistakes! Lots of them – I make TONS! It is just yarn! I can help you fix it – or you bless the mistake and move on! It is totally up to you.
And you can’t waste it. It is not possible. Learning is never wasting.
The next day, Addy came back and brought a friend. They ALL wanted to loom knit. Awesome!
When I walked out of the room, I heard the new friend ask Addy, “what if I mess it up?”
Addy gave her version of the advice she got the day before. It is just yarn. You are allowed to make mistakes when you are learning something new. You can ask for help or bless it keep going.
Learn to Bless Your Mistakes and Move On
Then she had to explain what it meant to bless the mistake…
The kid version of blessing a craft mistake: Hey mistake, I see you there. Thanks for teaching me something. I love you for it and I am moving on.
The adult version: I’ve spent 7 hours knitting this blanket. I am not frogging the whole things to fix that mistake. I am moving on. (Frogging is a yarn term for taking out the stitches.)
Those conversations with 7-year-olds have stuck with me this week. What makes us fear mistakes when they are such a part of learning?
Teach Kids to Be Makers
If you are a parent, you are probably worried about all the consuming your kids do… I know we worry!!
Will they be entitled because they have too much stuff? Will they be empathetic because they never know what it is to not have their basic needs met? Will they be able to create real relationships because they are always online?
Crafts will not solve all the worries of parenting, but I do believe it is important to raise kids who are makers… who know how to put things into the world rather than just consume what is there.
I also think we lead by example by trying and failing and trying again…
Then teaching kids that there is no waste in learning…. it is just part of learning.
And there is no failure in mistakes… it is just part of learning.
The only failure is in quitting something you enjoy because it isn’t perfect. Or in overlooking things that might bring you joy because you have to work for them.
Work for it – the journey is rewarding. Make mistakes – fix them or bless them and move on – but makes lots and lots of mistakes. Make things as much as you consume them.
Wear the scarf made my a 7-year-old, especially if it is not perfect.