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Sometimes, an excellent idea just doesn’t work out. In the case of creating a fun art project for a small child, that just might happen more often than not, especially if you have expectations and effort invested in preparing the project. We are right there with you.
Maybe you recently found a fantastic project idea that you know your kid will LOVE, and are surprised when the interest in that project just doesn’t happen. It is hardest when you have spent time, money, or effort in the preparation of this moment of greatness, and your little one just takes a 30-second test run through the food-colored-dish-soap-foam or the toys-frozen-in-a-block-of-ice excavation project, and they are done with it. Sometimes, that frustration and expectations that parents feel is even worse if the clean up is just as messy or complicated as the setup.
Most of the time, we know our kids pretty well and can guess at what will be loved or panned as an activity. Sometimes, though, and this has happened enough that we all remember it, we don’t guess it right. The beauty of this is that it is okay that it happens. It is great in fact that it does.
Once we breathe it out and get over the frustration at the circumstances, (this may take a few minutes or a few days), we can all realize some things.
How well we are reminded that our children are independent people, and they have their own thoughts and feelings.
There are so many things about parenting a child that is 90% effort for a 10% result, and that this is one of those situations. It is the age and phase your kids are in. One day you may notice that these types of situations have transformed into something else, and somehow your child has grown and moved into another phase.
The last thing we can realize is how great it is that our kids have opinions and that they voice it. There are so many influences in our great and wide world that will try and silence opinions as our children get older. Here and now in the comfort of your home, that opinion is heard and respected.
So, in those moments of effort and frustration, know that you are not alone and know that it is really okay that you put in so much time and effort and energy to help your child express or enjoy something. What it all boils down to in the end is love. Your energy and effort are acts of love. Even if a toddler’s 30-second interest in an activity doesn’t show that they recognize that moment of love, you know you did it out of love. From one parent to another, we know that you did it out of love too.