Christmas Trees All in a Row

Every December, Tornado S’s (and Tornado E’s old school) has the four-year-old’s class decorate paper Christmas trees to decorate the outside of the classrooms, giving the trees no grade.  (It was such a cute craft, I added it to the holiday craft section.)  For both boys, I had them paint the trees green.  Then I cut them out and gave them all kinds of stuff to glue on their trees.  Tornado E did a lot of shells and confetti.  This year Tornado S did buttons and beads. A lot of buttons.  With one look, it was easy to see the boys did their trees by themselves.

Looking at the display of Christmas trees, I had to smile.  Some trees were a chaotic mess of stickers, beads, scribbles, or glitter.  One tree was covered with pom-poms.  These were trees made with love, creativity, and energy.  I loved them.

Then there were a few that are perfect.  As in perfect.  Painted without paint strokes, one tree was decorated with a garland of popcorn and dried cranberry pieces.  After every third popcorn piece, a dried cranberry piece was glued in perfect symmetry.  Little pipe cleaner bows fill the rest of the tree.  Another tree had a garland of ribbon looped this way and that, making it look like it was gliding along non-existent branches.  Perfect, beautiful round beads grace the paper tree to make it look balanced.  The bird feed tree was decorated with different types of bird seed and small plant seeds in a stripped pattern.  All so very lovely.

I wondered if the kids did anything to help.  Anything.  Maybe they were allowed to help with the glue or did the parent just do it all.  Did the child stand watching, with his/her head propped on hands that rested on the table, a bored expression, waiting to do something fun?  Or was the child even aware of the art project?  Was she playing outside, was he watching tv, or was she sleeping; while Mommy worked on her art piece?

It’s such a simple thing.  To decorate a paper tree.  Are these the parents who will march into the school with the perfect book report poster or the perfect science fair display?  Have these kids learned when something is complicated, possibly hard, mommy or daddy will do it?  The children are four.  They may never remember this.  Their parents may only step in this once.  But those parents did just rob their kids of doing something fun and creative so that the project would look perfect.

4 Responses to “Christmas Trees All in a Row”

  1. unicorn Says:

    my father once did my science project for me. he also did my manger scene. he did another project too. it was like he wanted the credit. oh wait… he did.

    as a kid, i hated him interfering. everyone else’s project was done by them. i “did” mine by standing there pumping up his ego. come to think of it…. as a kid, i hated him. still do.

    yes, the parents robbed the kids of their creativity.

  2. feMOMhist Says:

    these are the same messed parents who tell kids where to hang ornament on the tree so that they are “evenly” distributed I believe. For years our tree had all the ornaments at lower than 2 feet. Now the kids fight to stand on chairs to do the top. At least my mom (an OCD type) had the decency to wait until AFTER we went to bed to rearrange ornament placement.

  3. beth reed Says:

    I use to volunteer at headstart when my kids were little and it was a source of pride seeing those kids produce their art.
    Parents may think they are helping, are involved or just do not want to have a mess to clean up.
    Parents do not realize they are stealing their childs confidence.

  4. notsosupermama Says:

    When I was a little girl my mom was the Brownie co-troop leader. She and the other mom-leader always were a little too involved in our art projects. I remember telling her “I’ll do a good job, I promise! I just want to do it myself!” We laugh about it now. We were all at a cousins birthday party recently and were making macaroni art dinosaurs, and my son was glueing his macaroni all willy-nilly and I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack. I calmly reminded her that he was making his own art how he wanted it.

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