“Just let the kids get dirty”: How I’m Learning to Practice What I Preach

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Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Having been a mom for over fifteen years and a childcare teacher for over sixteen, you would think I wouldn’t be so picky about my kids getting dirty. Having spent years letting kids get dirty as they learn, I’m sure you would be shocked when I say I have major anxiety about messes when it comes to my kids.

I’m sure those who know me will agree that I have gotten better at accepting that my kids are going to get dirty over the years. Going back to my first two kids, I was a complete freak about their clothes and shoes getting dirty. Why was I this way? I don’t completely know, but I feel like it stemmed from being a younger mom and worrying about getting judged if my kids looked dirty.

Now, I’m not saying kids should skip basic hygiene.

I’m talking about letting your kids run in the mud. Letting them explore the puddles. Letting them roll in the grass and dig in the sand. Letting kids finger paint and make slime. I didn’t let my kids do that at home. And I regret it.

All those things are great learning activities and great ways to explore. Studies show that they let your kids get used to different germs to help build their immunity. Letting your kids get dirty is also a great sensory activity, and it helps build creativity. It keeps them healthy and active.

I should have asked myself, “What is it really hurting if I let my kids get dirty?”

I hope you let your kids get dirty. That your children splash in the puddles, run in the mud, roll in the grass and dig in the sand. Let them explore the beautiful world we are living in. I’m learning to practice what I preach. I will make sure my youngest gets to enjoy the world outside. She won’t have to worry if her clothes get dirty from playing in the mud or exploring her creativity. I won’t be “that mom” that I used to be. Scared of staining clothes that will be outgrown in a month. I will let her get dirty.

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