Yeah, about that. It seems they're not THAT similar.
First off, I should start by saying that most of us acknowledge that it's harder to teach your own kid how to do something than it is to teach someone else or someone else's kid. That is definitely the case for Jillian and I; there are many times a week when I think that the Universe gave me this child in order to teach me patience. In addition to that little issue, Jilly's apple didn't fall too far from my frustrated tree; she has a hard time persevering with something if it's hard for her. Much like her dear mother.
So anyway, this weekend I've been hearing a lot of,
"Knitting is really frustrating/hard/tricky!"
"Finger knitting was a lot easier and faster than this!"
"Are you going to finish that hat you're working on? Maybe I can do your project instead of mine."
As a seasoned knitter, of course I'm highly amused by these comments. Ahh, those were the days, right?
Knitting still frustrates me from time to time, of course. For the most part, though, I'm lucky to have moved beyond frustration into enjoyment of the craft. This whole situation with Jilly leaves me wondering how that happened. What made me keep on picking up those bleeping needles when they were frustrating me? What made me work through my tears, my endless array of expletives and my first several crappy projects?
|One of my first knitting projects, a shawl with a lace heart pattern. What was I thinking?!?|
I think, for me, it was the desire to win. I wanted to master this craft, come Hell or high water. I was going to BEAT knitting into submission or die trying.
I don't like to lose.
I don't like to give up.
I don't like to feel stupid, like I can't do something.
So I kept going, and eventually my brain clicked and my needles clicked and now I can make pretty things.
|See? I designed AND knitted this particular pretty thing. I even spun the yarn!|
I want Jillian to get to this point, eventually. I'm not quite ready to teach her how to use the actual needles yet, as I've tried teaching other children around her age and it's really hard for those little hands (plus, you know, the aforementioned head-butting that happens every time I try to teach her ANYthing). I see this loom knitting as a stepping stone for her. If she can learn the steps involved, practice and hone her skills until she gets good at it, and demonstrate the patience required to finish a handful of projects then maybe she'll be ready for the challenge of traditional knitting or crocheting.
So how do I help her get over that mountain of frustration and enter the Valley of Peaceful Knitting? The Forest of Friendly FOs awaits her, I'm sure of it, but first we have to get past the anger and negativity to a place of positive happiness. I'll try teaching her that it feels good to figure something out, to finish something and to make a gift with love and your own hands. But what else is there?
This is where I need help from all of you, dear readers! What made you get beyond the initial frustration phase of learning a new skill and into the enjoyment phase? Whether it was knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving or something else entirely, I'm sure you all experienced that initial frustration and then the eventual "Aha!" moment. How do I get Jillian to push ahead to the "Aha!" of her own experience? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
Thank you in advance for helping me help my child. I love to enable future generations of crafters! May all your crafting be frustration-free this week!