Let Them Be Messy


The pressure for parents to be "perfect" is so great that we often feel forced to stop our kids from being kids.

Messy, silly, goofy, playful are all words that our kids are meant to experience. PERFECT is a curse word thrown onto families through the societal window we all know as social media.

(Pause for the screams coming through my social media window)

"Yeah ok Jenny, you come and clean up my dining room table after I've let them paint and play doh and glue and glitter!!!!" – says overworked Mom

"Where are you going to be Ms. Fun when my kids are amped up from all this play and it's time to settle them down for bed?!” –says exhausted Dad

I hear you! I really truly do. I say a million times a day "I know it's not easy". But I can help you because I truly believe the benefit outweighs the cost.

Pictured above is my new favorite art project. Puffy Paint!

One part shaving cream

One part glue

Food coloring

Mix it up, put it in a ziplock bag, cut the tip of the bag and CREATE!!

(Pause #2)

“What are the exact measurements!!!!

I need more specific instructions!!

Send me the link!

Can I google it!!"

I started to attach the link and then I changed my mind, because it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is one of those activities you truly can’t mess up. You have the ingredients you need so now explore with your kiddos to figure out the best ways to make it work. Laugh at the mistakes, allow your kids to have ideas and find the best way to create together. All the while remembering mistakes are okay, can be cleaned up and can teach us.

Now, you did not hear me say to do this in your fanciest room after an extremely hard day right before bedtime. What I am saying is to carve out a special play time with your kids and go to the kitchen, the bathroom the garage, wherever you feel comfortable and get messy. Keep paper towels close by, wipe up spills with a Clorox wipe, and let them mix colors that you know are going to turn out gray and brown.

If they are crazy and erratic at the end of this amazing play time, have them run in place as fast as they can then reflect on how crazy your bodies feel and how fast your heart is beating. Next you prompt and model taking huge deep breaths and slowly wiggling your arms and legs to calm your body.

(Pause #3)

“Jenny my kids yell at me that deep breaths don’t work and they won’t do it!!”

If they feel connected to you they will.

A child is only able to trust you when they feel like you are truly present with them.

After this 30 minutes of undivided play time with no pressure and lots of laughter they will not only feel connected to you and trust you, but you will feel re-connected to them as well.

Life is messy! Teach your kids how to enjoy it and work through it and know that you are right in the mess with them.

And remember that perfect is a curse word and your only goal is to be a good enough parent. Because guess what, that is enough!!

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© 2020 by Jenny Matern