An adult student who came to me recently to play with clay explained that she never really got to be a child. Being an only child with an alcoholic father and a very pampered mother was a recipe for unhappiness and growing up fast.
From her earliest days, she remembers how when she asked her mother how to do something, her reply was “You’ll just have to figure it out. I don’t know how to do it.”
So try she would. Needless to say, it was tough because even when she did “figure it out,” her accomplishments weren’t acknowledged or encouraged in any way. It makes it hard for a kid to figure out whether she did well or not.
So, when came to making an oogly, this student had difficulty allowing herself to play. That old structure of “I’ve got to figure this out” didn’t allow much space for exploration. At first, she couldn’t just relax and play.
I’m happy to say, though, she finally did find her way and created two very fun ooglys. She gave one to her husband and the other to her mother.
She was thrilled to share with me that both of them were very complimentary about what she’d made. For her, it felt like the first time she’d ever received any positive feedback for something she had created. It was a big break through to have her mother think what she made was fun and OK!!
It excited her so much she was eager to attend her next class She realized she hadn’t really ever played as a little girl - she was always on the edge trying to figure it out with little or no praise.
Everyone discovered - You can’t resist complimenting an oogly. The fun and silliness is too hard to resist.