Despite our kids’ “cool” demeanor, I am always surprised when I offer kids a chance to do something “crafty,” how much they enjoy it. One highly capable, competent, high-powered young woman recently told me that to deal with the pressure she has in her job, she has set a goal to “get outside her head” each week. Her plan currently entails creating holiday craft projects for herself like cutting snowflakes to decorate her home.
“Getting outside your head” is only one reason for kids to work with their hands. For kids who’re not so successful at academics, this type of project can offer great positive feedback. Inviting friends over to create offers teens a chance to mingle with the opposite sex in a relaxed, low-pressure setting. Families sometimes lament to me that their kids don’t seem to know how to have good, clean fun; here’s a chance to teach/learn that. Another benefit for craft fun is a chance to interact with the family other than being rushed or hearing the constant, “Did you do your homework?”, “Did you pick up your room?”, etc. Think of baking cookies or doing clay ornaments as a way for the family to play together. If mom and dad have never done the craft before or aren’t so good at it, that can be good too. (A great piece of advice to me years ago as I raised a teen boy by myself was to do an activity with him in which he would ultimately be better than I was. . . beating mom at tennis turned out to be very therapeutic for him. . . maybe NOT so much for me! Same idea here.)
This project involving making clay ornaments is simple enough for preschoolers, purportedly. Surely it could be fun too for older kids. This link should take you to the site and instructions.
But even if this isn’t your cup of tea, I challenge you to consider doing something creative WITH your teens. My next blog will include our family’s famous recipe for what became known, lovingly, as “Chocolate Poo Balls.” You probably can hardly wait!