Monday, March 30, 2015

How much should you support them?

Bean loves to paint and do crafts.  Her teacher just raved about one of her paintings last week, posting it on her Instagram.  Bean just knows when she grows up she will be an artist - as much as anyone knows what they will do when they are 7.  

She got an idea from her older cousins about starting her own business.  They've started making painted t-shirts and jewelry.  She thought this was wonderful and of course wanted to be like her cousins so she has now decided to start her own business selling her paintings.  She has enlisted her friends at school to make drawings, too.  She came up with a website name and wants me to take her to arts and crafts fairs to set up a booth.  She thinks this is something akin to Girl Scout cookie booths and believes all you have to do is grab a folding table and set it up outside the local BBQ joint for a couple of hours and people will flock to you with money waving.  Minty chocolate wafers are one thing - elementary school art is another.

But she has really put a lot of time into this whole concept.  

The downside is while I think everything is beautiful and rivals Picasso, I know these are paintings, drawings and artwork put together by a 7 year old.  And not a 7 year old prodigy.  Just MY prodigy.  

I know, aside from family, it will be hard to find customers for this business.  I would be reluctant to believe people are going to spend money on these items.  

Am I being too - I don't know - too something?  How do I explain to her that people probably won't buy?  

How do I let her down easy?  Or should I?  I guess I don't want her to get her feelings hurt or get disappointed in her talent.  I do think she is talented but I know I'm Mom, everything she does is great by me.  


How much should I support this right now?  I've told her she needs to keep practicing and I've bought her books, we've watched videos, I signed her up for classes.  All that.  But should I allow her to find some place to sell?  I think that might be too much.  And Lord help anyone that says anything to hurt her feelings if she ever did set up somewhere.  Mama Bear will come out on anyone that makes any disparaging comment.  

I am afraid my hesitations are just that - mine - and not something that should hold her back from what she believes in.  Sometimes though, it's okay to be hesitant, right?  What if I sign her up for some booth and no one buys anything and she gets discouraged.  I think she is the type of personality that if she does not succeed the first time, she will flounder and give it all up.  It would break my heart if that happened.  

How far do you go to help your child and support their dreams?


  1. I don't have a child so I don't know what to say but I can say that you seem like you are being supportive. Sounds like you're doing an awesome job at being that great mom. :)

  2. Oh wow. It is hard when they are that age to figure out what to do in your situation. I don't think you're not being supportive; it's only natural to want to protect them from what a cruel, cruel place the world can be for just a bit longer.

    What I found helpful was telling my kids that I (and grandma, etc) wanted ALL their art, and at that age it helped. I just rotated out displays pretty often :) But mine didn't have competing cousins.

    I'd say you're doing the right thing by encouraging her to create, yet discouraging the sales booth for now.

  3. You sound right on! I have a youngest brother that was overly praised and "supported" and as an adult he still struggles with reality and rejection. I think its good to explain the realities to kids. I also think you can do both. Be realistic with them and praise their progress.


Thanks for your comments!