When a Student Asks, “Do You Like What I’ve Done?”October 16, 2017
At the end of an art lesson, it’s important that students get a chance to reflect on their work. Sometimes this time for reflection is built into the art lesson, and sometimes teacher/parent asks questions to make sure the child has learned the lesson’s concepts.
But what should a parent do when your child takes over the discussion by asking,
“Do you like what I’ve done?”
Saying “Oh, you did fine!” doesn’t do much to help the young artist learn from their project. Here are some responses that might be more productive:
- Turn the question around and ask, “Do YOU like it?” or “What do you like about it?”
- You might also ask what they would like to change.
- If you have been doing the art project alongside the child (Working on the same art project as the child is a great teaching method!) you might modify the question and say, “I’ll tell you one thing I like about YOUR project if you tell me one thing you like about MINE.”
- Similarly – if you have been doing art alongside your child – you might tell them one thing you’d like to change on your project, and ask them if there is anything they’d like to change on theirs.
You might also change the emphasis, and instead of asking what they liked, ask what they LEARNED by doing the project.
Sometimes, the question, “Do you like what I’ve done?” comes before the comment, “I think it’s terrible! I hate it! It’s ugly.”
This kind of comment usually comes from a perfectionist who is accustomed to seeing everything turn out “right.” What can you do to handle comments like these?
First of all, it’s best to PRECEDE the lesson with reminders that
- Every art project is an experiment – we try an idea to see how it turns out, and it’s ok if things don’t turn out the way we expect.
- It’s also ok if we don’t like a finished project. Even famous artist dislike some of their work!
If you’ve begun a project with those reminders, and your child is still discouraged,
- Help them find one or two thing things that are good.
- If they’re still discouraged, you might put the project aside and talk about it later.
- Last of all, it may be that your child is having a bad day and is complaining about the art work to let you know they just want a little extra TLC.
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