Outcome vs. Output

Nov 2, 2013   //   by Franziska Macur   //   Simple Education, Simple Parenting, Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Outcome vs. Output

simplicity fallPinterest is a dangerous playing field. After spending a certain amount of time on this site, I’m feeling pretty certain that I can build my own dream house with paint swaps and a glue gun.  And it feels, for a short amount of time, very empowering.  But this period is rather short, which is one of the reasons I’m kind of over my initial Pinterest hype.  I haven’t cancelled my account or anything, but I’m over trying to live a pinteresting life.  Because even though there are so many beautiful things on Pinterest, sometimes they focus too much on the output rather than the outcome.

Whenever kids are involved in the crafting, the difference between output and outcome needs to take center stage.  I notice it every time I craft or color with my children.  I might have a specific product in mind that we should accomplish at the end (i.e., output).  They generally don’t.  This morning we attempted to draw a picture with a tree, fallen leaves, and rain (that’s how it looked outside).  I brought Q-tips to use for the leaves and raindrops. I explained to them where the leaves and the raindrops should go.  They listened kindly.  Then they started to work.

When I gleamed over the kitchen counter a few minutes later, they were completely immersed in their “art”, yet not doing it in a way I had intended.  Swirls of colors everywhere, red and yellow dots falling from the sky, blue dots (leaves?) sitting on the branches.  I caught myself in the urge to correct them.

It is not about the output. It doesn’t matter that the picture doesn’t look like what I saw on Pinterest.  It doesn’t matter that it’s not scientifically accurate that leaves are falling from the sky.  It is about the outcome.  My children learn how to paint, how to use color, how to be creative, how to draw without getting it all over the floor (at that point I do intervene!), how to immerse themselves into a project, how to have fun, how to feel free… That’s the outcome I intended.

I while ago, I read a German craft tutorial.  It highlighted in the beginning, that even though children would definitely enjoy the craft once done, the process of making it was really not intended for kids younger than seven or eight.  Instead, parents were encouraged to do the craft and letting the child do their own crafting with whatever remnants they had left.  This way, everybody was working together, yet crafting in a way appropriate to their abilities and creative stage.  The focus was clearly on the outcome of the working process.  The output was only important for the adult (who was probably triggered by the output in the first place).

It feels amazingly freeing to think about the process more than the goal: Outcome before output.

Happy Crafting.


Franziska-KansasFranziska Macur is a mom; a wife; a professional gone home; a sewer; a crafter; a cook; a baker; and a life-long-learner.  Passionate about simplicity, family rhythm; and a natural and healthy lifestyle.  You can read more from Franziska at her blog, http://homenaturally.org/

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