“How could they make such a mess? Don’t they know that I will have to clean that up and I don’t have time for that?”
“Why is the bucket of sugar dumped all over the floor?”
“Who spilled the cereal and just left it there!”
“Why is my son doing front flips on the couch when I’ve told him day after day that we don’t jump on the furniture?”
“Why won’t they just go to bed? Don’t they know how EXHAUSTED I am?”
“Why is my daughter’s hair covered in paint?”
“And why, oh, why is the neighbor kid peeing on my tomatoes!!?”
And … I’m guilty. I admit, one or two of those phrases has entered my mind before, but only once or twice. HA! I do think that some days my kids are out to get me. I assume their brains think the way mine does and I can’t believe they would want to inflict so much work on one person. And then I remember, “Oh, I’m the grown-up here and they probably don’t even see the mess.” Some days, it’s not easy to remember that.
While my husband and I were sitting in our parenting workshop and I was being flooded with new insights, he surprised me again and raised his hand when we were talking about consequences for when our children do something wrong. He made a very interesting and valid point. He said, “What if they’re not doing something wrong, and they’re just doing something that irritates us, but it’s not wrong or naughty.” He continued with, “I would guess that most times the kid is just being creative.”
And that is why he has a hard time with rules. If too rigid, rules can put a box around kids and keep them from flourishing creatively. Now, I’m no psychologist but that sounds good, right?
So, it got me thinking, (you know, me and my rules and all), do I sometimes care more about the rules and obedience than their opportunity to be creative?
I honestly don’t think our kids are out to get us (most of the time). The kid peeing on my tomatoes, well, who knows what was going on in his mind, maybe he was trying to help them grow. All I know is that our homes can be universities for creativity if we get out of the way and let kids be…kids.
Spilt sugar? Probably means they were seeking some independence.
My son doing flips on the couch? He’s probably just showing me how acrobatic he is and that I should be impressed and applaud him instead of reprimand.
Kids not going to bed on time? Well, you got me there. Like I said, I’m no expert. If you can think of some way that is showing creativity, I’d love to know!
So, here’s some food for thought … next time your kid is “out to get you” maybe put yourself in their shoes and see if they are just trying to showcase their creativity.
And that would be easier said than done, I know. Definitely preaching to myself here!
Thoughts? Do you ever get after your kid when he/she is just trying to be creative?
Read more from Mandy at mush.
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