A scene that I see being played out over and over again is when little ones are exploring or eating with a parent right on top of the child cleaning up after them. It drives me bonkers sometimes!
I get that there are people that are really fearful of germs; however, this creates little people that do not want to get dirty.
Case and point…
I love my husband but when our little man was a toddler I had to do a mini-intervention.
My husband does not like a mess. Well, this does not bode well with a toddler. Our little man would get distressed and run to wash his hands if he was dirty. It was becoming an issue. I did not want a little person that was afraid to explore or eat something due to becoming dirty. He was literally suctioned up after most meals with a “Dust Buster”.
After the mini-intervention (and after being kicked by me under the table a few times), our little man will power through his meal and will try touching different things (he does not like all textures but that is information for a future post regarding sensory related issues) while exploring.
When our little ones are able to explore their environments they learn so much!! If I see a little one that is “dirty” on the playground from jumping around and climbing I have to stop myself from going over and high fiving that parent!
If you are concerned about your child getting sick or hurt, it is important that you also look at the other side. Children that are not free to explore their environment can have increased fears and their physical development can be delayed.
Ways to be Prepared for a Mess while out…
1. Have a change of clothes with you
I made a habit of having a change of clothes in my backpack, diaper bag or my purse. I also had an extra couple of outfits in the vehicle for those last minute adventures
2. Have a few wet wipes or a cloth in a bag for those moments
Never hurts to be prepared to clean up a mess. Baby wipes have many purposes. I still have a package around for those moments 🙂
3. Join in and explore
By doing this you can teach your child how to explore in a safe manner if you are concerned. This also allows your child to see that it is okay because mommy or daddy is doing it too!
4. Carry a Plastic Bag
This has saved me a few times. Soiled clothes have a place to go without causing an issue.
Children learn so much when they are given the opportunity to explore. I am not sure about you, but man I had a blast as a child when I was free to jump in the puddles, make mud pies and roll down the hill.
I am challenging you to let your little one get messy. They will learn how to clean up after themselves and they will have so much fun doing it!
If you are looking for more information about the benefits of exploring the outdoors, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of “Balanced and Barefoot” by Angela Hanscom. Following is an affiliate link for the book.
Have fun letting your little one get messy!!