Child – Home – Mess

< All Topics

When a newborn baby arrives in a family, her arrival is celebrated with great fanfare. All is well till she stays in her cradle. However, slowly she starts venturing out, exploring her surroundings, her new living space. She starts picking up random objects lying around the house and uses them how she pleases, then places them wherever she wants.
This is when the matter of ‘mess created by children’ starts becoming a matter of concern for adults.
We adults spend a lot of time, energy and money in trying to make our homes a presentable place. We have a carefully planned, designated location for almost every object in our homes.
When children begin their own explorations in this adult designed space it starts becoming a hindrance
We start obsessing over how to discipline children, how to prevent them from disturbing the space. We want our homes to be clean, spick and span, always presentable.
As adults we feel it is our responsibility to bring children under control. We presume that we know more than them, we know what’s good for them and we need to teach them certain important lessons.

We feel a certain sense of superiority over children.
How does this way of thinking affect our children’s actions and behaviour? And what kind of messages are we giving to them because of such behaviour? What are children learning out of this?
Children by nature are curious. They want to explore their surroundings. They want to observe and understand the events happening around them. They then try to recreate these events according to their perception with whatever thing available around. This is how they attempt to understand the world around them.

We adults call this act ‘play’ and the things children use we take them as toys. To
avoid children using ‘our stuff’ we get readymade toys for children. But we are not aware that the
introduction of readymade toys stops children’s explorations.
Is it possible for children to freely carry out their explorations in the ‘homes of adults’?
If no, then, where is the children’s home?
Let us, adults, observe children. This is the best way to understand them and their various explorations.
The ‘mess’ that they make can also be their attempt at understanding the world. Once we realise this it
will become easier to manage it. We can also figure out a way, make a plan to involve children in
cleaning up the mess. Let us include our children in the ‘mess’ created during whatever we do, too.
The entire issue of ‘mess-management’ can become a joyous act for all of us.
The home can then become a place for everyone.

Next Embodied Cognition
Table of Contents