I took my almost-three-year-old nephew to the art museum yesterday. As a former museum educator, I was so up for the experience. I couldn’t wait to share art with him! I was thrilled I was the first in the family to take him to an art museum.
But I was quickly disillusioned. All of my grandiose ideas for introducing art to him quickly faded as I couldn’t get him to slow down and stop–much less look at any of the art. He was wild, uncontrollable, and we zipped through the galleries at warp speed.
My greatest fear had come to pass. I thought he would remember the museum only as a place in which I told him "no" and "do not touch." I didn’t want him to think of museums in this way.
But today I asked him if he wanted to go back to the art museum and he got all excited and couldn’t wait to return!
I accomplished the most important thing at all: I made the museum a place he wanted to visit–even if it was to be on his own terms.