Helping your kids find a hobby can be one of the most rewarding things to do as a parent. You can share the things that you enjoyed and still do, help them discover a talent. You can spend quality time with them – plus you’d be amazed how much they open up about things when they’re having a good time.
If you spend much time crafting with your kids, you’ll also find out a bit about yourself. It’s worth listening to your internal monolog as you sit there with them, watching them get into sewing, weaving or any other craft. The range of emotions can be quite enlightening. The following sentences and phrases are all things you’re likely to think as you go along.
#1 – “This is stunning! My little girl is a genius!”
Sometimes your kids will pick things up as though they were born to do it. Unless you’re one of those reality-show moms who lives vicariously, you won’t immediately think of dollar signs. But it’s hard not to feel that your child could be good enough to do this professionally.
#2 – “You had it a minute ago! What are you doing?”
As much as parents and teachers give us the theory to learn, humans learn more by “doing” than by reading. It’s always been the way and always will be. So when you see your child changing what they’re doing – from right to wrong – don’t criticize. Just point out that they got it right before and don’t need to change anything.
#3. “If I don’t step in right now, I’m going to lose a sewing machine.”
Motor skills are something we refine over time with practice. Some of the smaller adjustments that we make when sewing have been honed over decades. So when your child first tries it, chances are they won’t have the same lightness of touch. Guide their hand. Talk calmly and encouragingly. And bookmark http://sewingmachinejudge.com/sewing-machine-the-easiest-way-to-use-it among other pages. Just in case they need reminding.
#4. “He never would have told me that over breakfast!”
There is something about spending quality time between parents and kids that makes a child more likely to open up. When you’re working together on something, it helps you bond and brings you closer. All parents will worry about their kids from time to time. Kids will keep secrets, but when you want them to be at their most honest, bonding over a hobby can do wonders.
#5. “This is a moment to treasure.”
There comes a time in every child’s life when their spare time becomes more about hanging out with their peers. It’s not about you – you were the same as a kid, and their children will be the same too. For the first several years of their lives, you will be the world to your son or daughter. While that’s a lot of pressure, it’s also a wonderful feeling. So even if they aren’t cutting straight, see the whole experience as joyful.
#6. “No, seriously. She’s great at this. We should go into business!”
A family business can be so many things. A legacy. A step up to a better lifestyle. A nightmare. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to develop the shorthand and the structure that all the best businesses have. The worst is that when it struggles, there’s no escape from it.
Maybe there’s something in the idea if you both have a talent for craft and design. If it’s still burning brightly when they’re in their mid to late teens, it’s worth revisiting.
#7. “There is no way he’s going to tell his friends about this.”
From a very early age, boys like to think that they’re the tougher sex and that “girly” pursuits are beneath them. But as is becoming clearer as time goes on, traditionally genderized hobbies are seeing those gender barriers fall. With that said, boys are still expected to prefer wrestling to weaving. So maybe don’t mention your crafting afternoons in front of his friends.
#8. “Well, that’s it. The student has become the master.”
Teaching your kids to craft can be hugely beneficial for them – more information available at http://www.parenting.com/parenting-advice/tips-tricks/research-shows-parent-child-craft-time-has-lifelong-benefits – and for you. When they’re off at college and their favorite jacket loses a button, they’ll be able to fix it themselves. It also keeps them from filling all their spare time with TV and video games.
At some point, the moment can come when they’re better at it than you are. That’s not a time to feel precious about it. You can still enjoy crafting with them – and maybe they’ll be able to teach you some things.