If you’re a parent, you’ll be all too familiar with the feeling of waking up, walking down the stairs, and being greeted by a sight that is more in line with a bomb site than a family home. You might have put years of effort and hard work into getting your home just right, but sadly, your children didn’t get the memo. They’re wild animals, yet to be tamed, and they don’t care for order and tidiness quite as much as you do.
There might be a benefit to pushing through your desire for an orderly home. Studies have shown that there’s a link between a messy house and childhood behavioral issues. Children who grow up in untidy homes can lack structure (which becomes a bigger problem later in life) and have trouble concentrating, which can stunt their educational growth.
Striking a Balance
There are problems connected with a home that is too messy, but that doesn’t mean you should completely sanitize your house. That’ll present a whole host of other issues. The key thing is to strike a balance between order and chaos; your children should feel comfortable playing with their favorite toys, not living in fear you’ll tell them off if they make a slight mess.
Taking Care of the Essentials
There are two kinds of mess in the home: surface untidiness, and deep mess. The first one is little to be concerned about, and is indeed inevitable; it’s difficult to have a home that’s spotless at the best of times – it’s nigh on impossible when you have small children. The one to keep an eye on is the deep mess. If there’s a build up dirt in the home, your home will be unsanitary and pose a health risk to the children. Pay particular attention to the fabrics in your house, which can be a magnet for germs and other bacteria. Regular carpet cleaning will keep your floors clean and hygienic, and disinfecting and vacuuming your furniture will remove the buildup of bacteria they attract. If the deep mess is taken care of, you can afford a little leeway with the surface untidiness.
Encouraging Good Practices
There’s been a trend in recent years of parents not giving their children chores, or indeed even asking them to take control of even the most basic tasks, such as putting away their toys when they’ve finished. This might make the child happy at the time, but it’s preventing them from learning some valuable life-lessons. Studies have shown that children who are given chores at an early age are more responsible, grounded, and show a greater connection to their wider community. Make your children part of both processes – the mess-making and tidying up – and you will be giving them the best of both worlds.
Many parents feel ashamed at the state of their homes, but it’s important not to get carried away with its importance. In future years, you’ll be more happy that your children had fun, playful lives as kids than always having a tidy home!