Want to raise tolerant, caring kids? The kind of sensitive human beings who look past others’ faults to see the inner light shining from each person they meet? Of course we all want our kids to be saints.
The trick to success on this is simple: stop washing them.
OK, so I just made that up. But there is real live science from Northwestern University demonstrating that people become more judgmental when their hands are clean. That’s literally clean, not figuratively. That’s right. They could be guilty as sin, but give your darlings a moist handwipe and they’ll become abruptly more puritanical about the foibles and failings of others.
Just one more reason to let your kids eat a little dirt now and then.
It’s beyond time we stopped judging every little thing parents do. On an almost serious note here, maybe lightening up a little on the meticulous cleaning would help us be a little kinder to ourselves and our neighbors.
After all, if we stop holding ourselves to the impossible standard set by cheerful ads for cleaning products, we might also give the frazzled mom in the grocery store some slack when her snot-nosed brat wanders barefoot down the cereal aisle.