My Son Loves (and hates) Pinterest

Many moms I’ve talked to have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. We love being inspired by all of the creativity, having access to recipes and ideas in one click, and the ability to save and organize all of the amazingness that exists on Pinterest.

But the flip-side is that real life projects never seem to live up to what Pinterest shows, even when there are step-by-step details. If you use Pinterest for inspiration, you’ve likely experienced a #pinterestfail and it’s way too easy to feel inadequate when you see what people have the time and talent for.

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Love and Hate for Pinterest

My son is developing the same love/hate relationship with Pinterest. He became interested in Pinterest during Christmas. I was trying to find ideas for homemade Christmas gifts he could make for family members and if you know Pinterest, there was no shortage of great ideas. E was already into arts and crafts but when he realized he could look up ideas for art on the computer, he was excited!

He tells me “let’s find art on the computer,” which I just love because I think it’s so great that my son is into art. So I ask him “what kind of art?” because having an idea to focus on seems to make searching on Pinterest easier.

But of course he doesn’t know what he’s looking for- he wants to be inspired by what he sees, which led me to discover that “Art for 3 year olds” is a perfectly acceptable search term to Pinterest. It’s amazing what you can find! The challenge for E is often deciding what he wants to do, or being okay with the fact that we can’t do every project, because no, I don’t have PVC pipe or 3” pom poms in our collection of art supplies.

Once we’ve settled on a project and are loving Pinterest pictures for the inspiration, the hate can quickly follow. E loves making art that looks exactly like what is on the screen. When we found the Build a Bug Kit from Cutting Tiny Bites, he wanted them to be exactly like what he saw, down to the color and shape. We got out our construction paper, scissors, hole puncher and glue stick. I cut out everything and even used our lunch box as an organizer.

He had a hard time accepting that his bugs could look different. We’ve been working on the idea that it’s okay that our creations don’t look like what we see on the computer because art is what you want it to be and the idea is to be creative.

My son loves (and hates) Pinterest but we've had success a few times, like this lego design from
Pin for later!

Finding a balance with Pinterest

It’s taken some time but E is settling into understanding that there is a balance when it comes to Pinterest- we use it for inspiration but we try not to get mad at ourselves when we don’t create exactly what we see. It’s a great reminder for me too because I love to craft and create and can easily forget that Pinterest is meant to inspire; my projects don’t need to look exactly like the well-staged photo of the 5th version the creator made.

Most recently we’ve discovered that Pinterest has a huge variety of ideas for Lego creation. A challenge we’ve found is that many ideas don’t give the step-by-step instructions. E is used to following directions and having exactly the right pieces.

With these new ideas, we may not have the exact pieces, but we’re finding our way with it. We had #pinterestsuccess with the Silly Monsters! idea from Frugal Fun For Boys. E was so excited to create something new and I was proud that he was flexible enough to change a few pieces out from the original. Using Pinterest in moderation and with a flexible approach is something that E and I are both still working on. At least we’re in it together.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest?? How do you use it?


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