It’s exciting to have a vision of how things should be, or how they should look. It can be very frustrating when they don’t work the way we imagine. Especially when it comes to the stuff we make.

For kids, the gap between what they are capable of envisioning and what they are capable of making can be difficult. It is especially difficult for the child who has exceedingly high standards for what is acceptable.

Ish, by Peter Reynolds, can be a starting point for addressing this. In it, Ramon becomes frustrated with his painting until his sister expresses her appreciation for his painting: it may not look exactly like a vase, but “It’s vase-ish!” And Ramon realizes the freedom in doing things ishfully.

It’s easy language to incorporate into daily life, and can be especially helpful when modeled by parents: “well, these didn’t quite turn out how I wanted, but they are cupcake-ish!”