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5 Reasons I Pin With My Kid

I avoided Pinterest for a long time. Seriously, I thought, who has time for another social media outlet? Not me -- I have this and that and that other thing over there to worry about. But the chatter continued, and sure enough, I was sucked in. Slowly at first, then I went a little whole hog, before I learned to rein it in and use it as a tool. Oh! Have you ever searched “whole hog” on Pinterest? Do not go there if you are a vegetarian. Trust me on that.

Anyway.

I found that I used Pinterest pretty much at the same time of the day when I used it. About 7:30 p.m., with one little one tucked in bed and the other getting in pajamas and his teeth brushed with Dad. The older of our two would dutifully run into our bedroom to drop off his clothes in the hamper and see me propped up on the bed, relaxing with Pinterest after a long day of being pulled in a thousand different directions.

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“What are you doing?” he would ask. More often than not, it was searching for ideas for a family event or something to do with the kiddos on a cold winter day. Pinterest saved me during last year’s Polar Vortex. And, avoiding the inevitability of his bed, my older son would crawl into my bed to see what I was doing.

And that brings me to these 5 reasons I pin with my 5-year-old:

1. He won’t always be 5. At some point, like in about ten minutes, he will be 10 and then 12 and then 15 and then poof – gone. At 5, this little guy loves to nuzzle his head right next to mine on the pillow and stare up at the iPad screen with me. Pinterest is a visual experience, to be sure, but when I use it with my kiddo, it is definitely a physical experience, too, each of us head to head piled on the bed, cuddling away while we scroll through all the pins.

2. Creative expression is cool. I am all for creativity and expression for everyone, adults and kids alike. Sometimes, my best, most creative ideas are sparked by looking at someone else’s best, most creative ideas. I see my son respond to Pinterest in the same way. He might see a pin about hosting a Star Wars party and love what he sees, but that doesn’t stop him from creating his own ideas after being inspired by someone else’s ideas. And he is brilliant (of course), so his ideas are always brilliant (of course).

3. We learn our limitations. In the mom blogger world it is easy and even trendy to take pot shots at the Pinterest over achievers of the world. Make my kid a bento lunch arranged like the cast of Frozen? Pfft. No thank you. But for some folks, that’s cool and their thing. I encourage my son, while we search for something specific together, to know that some things we’ll like, some things we won’t, and some things we’ll love, but won’t have the time, money, or skill to make them happen. Important lessons on Pinterest and in life.

4. I learn about what he likes. Collaboration and cooperation are important parts of any Pinterest search we do together. I might hone in on certain ideas and projects quickly, but my son likes to scroll and scroll and scroll – really wanting to see everything before he decides which his favorites are. He is exploring. So much of our days are about what we need to do and do quickly. Brush those teeth! Put on those shoes! Get to the car! When we relax and use Pinterest together, I let him set the pace, for the most part. This is time we have together that he can direct and I can follow.

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5. It’s free! And easy! And all about possibility! Three things that aren’t always associated with parenting. Pinterest doesn’t cost me a dime. Some of the ideas I choose to execute might cost. More often than not, though, I do some cheap, homemade version of something fancy and splashy we see, so, it’s a bargain. But the cuddles and the insights and the collaboration are priced just right.

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