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.
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.
“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.
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.