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Both my girls are little artists, and we've gotten into the Art for Kids Hub channel on YouTube.  Yesterday Annie picked the video of learning how to draw Pikachu.  She was SO excited because they had been playing Pokemon at recess at school, and she was Pikachu, yelling "PIKA!" the whole time, so it was the perfect one to choose.

I prefaced the activity, reminding them how it's okay to make mistakes.  We are practicing.  We can pause the video anytime. It's not going to look perfect.  We are learning.  It was a longer video, with a LOT of little lines to make.  I paused it after almost every instruction so we'd all be caught up.  I encouraged their efforts & kept Annabelle on track when she started crying when a particular line she made wasn't curved enough. She regained composure & we pressed on.

About 20 minutes later, we were on the last step - his tail. (It is a he, right?!) I made the mistake of pausing it too quickly, after only the first few lines were drawn, and we didn't have the whole picture.  When I unpaused it and the artist proceeded to draw several zig-zags, Annie LOST.HER.MIND.  She had already drawn her line all the way back to his body and there was no room for zig-zagging.  She threw herself down, bawling, kicking, all of it.  I tried acknowledging "You wanted it to be perfect!" but she was LONG GONE.

She grabbed her picture and started ripping it and crumpling it.  That's when I lost my ADULT mind. 

"She had worked so hard on this!  It's FINE!  It's just a line at the end, it's not that big of a deal.  It's not okay to wad it up, she needs to learn that she's going to make mistakes and she has to be okay with it." --was what I thought.

So, I picked her up and brought her to her room, laid her on her bed, and closed the door behind me. (This was 100% for me) I needed to collect myself and remember how to TEACH, not REACT.

I took several deep breaths as I heard her cry "I NEED A HUG!  I NEED A HUG!" I opened the door & gave her a hug.  I got her water & she blew her nose.  I carried her back out to the living room and let her cry some more.  Her body was under control, but she was still WAILING. 

pikachu drawing

It finally clicked.  This was a HUGE deal for her!  She spent all the focus & energy she had creating it to the best of her abilities. 


Me- "Does your heart hurt?

Her- "YEAH!"

Me- "Where?"

Her- "Right here!" & she pointed to her chest

Me- "I am your mommy.  You're safe with me.  I will hold you as long as you need to cry.  It's okay to be sad about your picture.  You tried very hard & you wanted it to be perfect."

She continued to cry for A LONG TIME, YOU GUYS.

It felt like FOREVER.

It was worth noting that this was at 5:15 pm and she was HUNGRY, and she had not gone to bed on time the night before.  (ALWAYS A FACTOR) I started to remind her of a time when Lyla thought she was never going to learn how to do a handstand, and she kept trying & trying & trying and she learned how to do it.  She remembered this vividly, so I tried explaining- "You want to draw Pikachu perfect, but this was your first time ever drawing Pikachu!  You will learn how, but you have to keep trying.  If we practice drawing Pikachu every day over & over, you will learn how to draw him(her?) perfect."

She began to get up after this & move forward, but came back to hug me a few times, and gave me a kiss, calling me her favorite nickname she has for me. 

I felt so connected to her. 

I was able to show her I could weather her storm.

I could handle her BIG emotions & keep her safe from herself. 

She needed me to understand that it was a REALLY BIG DEAL.

Whether our kids have lost the ability to go to school, the family pet has died, their favorite mask is in the wash, or they can't draw something perfectly...


When we believe this, we can intentionally react/act in a way that validates & connects with their whole self, influencing their behavior through our example in the MOST POWERFUL way.

Do you wish this was your "go-to" level of patience & response?


Schedule a call to chat about what's possible when we're able to break down all the competing factors, teach new approaches, and see behavior change in everyone!


What is a BIG DEAL to your child?



Tuesday, Sept 27th at 1:00 PM CENTRAL

Confidently parent your strong-willed child without caving in or dimming their spark so you can finally break free of power struggles, guilt + self-doubt!