I took my two youngest children outside to play today while the older two were gone. My littlest had never experienced the sandbox before so when my 4 year old started taking the lid off of the box, I must admit, I hesitated. Not for the 4 year old, but I KNEW there would be no stopping the baby once he saw all of the messy sand fun right in front of him.
Oh, you are going to get dirty; I am going to have to hose you down when you are done; we need to eat soon, so you can nap soon, so we can stay on schedule to go get the older two. (The life of the forth child!)
Then I realized Kids Will Be Kids. Let them get messy. Does it really matter? So I will have to brush him off and wash his hands. Isn’t that my job? Yes, it is. My job is to let them explore, learn, play, imagine. Whether in the kitchen or outside, let my kids be kids.
There were plastic bears in the dining room, an army of stuffed animals downstairs including a stuffed snake wrapped around the handrail and a pile of UNO cards in the living room. I don’t want my house to be messy. I like a clean house! However, Let Kids Be Kids. Let them play. Messes will clean. Teaching our children how to wash their hands and clean up after themselves is a part of life. You make a mess, you clean it up. It’s a life skill. If we insist that our floors can’t get dirty or the cake has to look perfect, we will miss so many opportunities to teach our children. You are the greatest teacher in your child’s life.