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I just started homeschooling my daughter 2 weeks ago (she's 5). For the most part it's really brought us closer and changed our relationship for the better. I am really enjoying it. My biggest complaint is that she is a perfectionist and when asked to draw something, she either refuses, saying it won't be good, or she draws whatever I'm asking for (following Oak Meadow) and then gets very upset and cries b/c it doesn't look nice enough to her/it doesn't look like a deer/etc.

It is SO frustrating!!! I like her drawings. She expects that her drawings should look like the illustrations in books, and of course they don't...so she's really mad about it.

What can I do to give her some positivity about her drawings (saying that I like them doesn't make her happy). I've tried describing what I see, too "The deer has two antlers and we're looking at him from up above, as if we're fairies..." etc. But...she still just really judges herself.
 

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Going through the same thing here. My 4.75 year old seems to be a perfectionist (so am I). We *just* started exploring art and she gets soooo frustrated things aren't just perfect.

I am giving her lots of positive feedback and complimenting her artwork to try to negate her negativity. Also trying to follow some art programs that are more creative and free and don't have her trying to follow and copy the finished product. (Except this morning we did "copy" an art idea, but we had fun.)
 

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We've got it here, too. There's the reason I REFUSE to put my daughter in our co-op's art class....gosh, I can't even imagine the frustration there.

Perhaps you could change mediums? I have found my perfectionist daughter REALLY enjoys painting....I see a lot less of the "not perfect!" fits when we pull out the watercolors.

And always, just remember repeating, all art is beautiful!
 

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My son wasn't a perfectionist, but he would have felt awful if he'd been asked to draw illustrations of things when he was that age - because none of them would have looked at all the way he would have wanted. When he was college age, on the other hand, he took a whole semester of nothing but art classes, just to see if it might be something he'd be good at. I'd drop the drawing requests, since nothing good or valuable is coming from them - and certainly not what OM intended. You like her drawings, but would you show them to your friends if they were yours instead of your child's? Maybe she just has a very keen eye and knows how much better they could look if she only had the skills - and someday she very well might have wonderful drawing skills.


Lillian
 

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Oh, I wasn't even thinking of "drawing illustrations"! I can see that would be tough, would scare me even, and I used to be artistic. Can you start off with more creative artsy stuff, not trying to "draw" something?
 

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I think that most 5-year-olds with a keen æsthetic sense would have similar reactions to being asked to make illustrations of real subjects. I would drop that expectation from the curriculum if it were me. But if you can't bring yourself to do that, I think that alternative media might be less fraught with difficulties ... clay, plasticene, collage, watercolour or tempera paint, 3D papercraft, etc.. Ephemeral media seem to be especially "safe" for a kid with perfectionist tendencies -- playdough, sand, magnadoodles, shaving cream, etc.. If she creates something she loves you can always photograph it to preserve it, but there's no expectation of a finished product to save.

Miranda
 

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In a more waldorf curriculum, you should be the one drawing and she should be imitating you. So, if you're watching deer and you want her to draw it, you need to be drawing first. If you're a really bad drawer, even better, she gets to see that mommy doesn't mind not being perfect. AND it gives her something less than perfect to imitate (vs. the book illustration). If I were you, however, I'd focus more on broad stuff, a big blue sky, vast green and brown trees (or autumn colors), fill the space, and make it easy to imitate.
 
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