Anxiety Around Letting Kids Paint

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of anxiety about my kids doing anything messy! I think about the mess, I think about the clean up, and I think about the destruction. Are you like me? Most likely you are like me and art, cooking, play dough, etc. can be hard to allow when you have kids. It can be very scary to let your kids have the freedom to paint and create. This is what I think of when we pull out a messy activity:

Here is what I need to think about instead: messes can be cleaned! The memories that are created by painting and creating are priceless and they stay with your kids for forever. I have some core memories of me creating and making a mess- I would do it again in a heartbeat even if it was messy. I remember my mom loved to make gingerbread houses with us- not the kind that you buy in the store, but the ones you made from scratch. She let us help with every step and you better believe that it was messy, but I don't remember the mess. I remember the joy, I remember the smells, I remember how sticky the icing was, I remember all the candy that we used to decorate, I remember fun, and I remember feeling accomplished with what I created. By the way, my mom was awesome!

I want to be an awesome mom. I want my kids to remember how much fun we had painting together even though it was messy. This is what I want for my kids. I know if is hard to let go and let your kids explore in the all the messy stuff, but in the end it is worth it.

This is an quote from the Artful Parent website, " Educators tell us that art encourages fine motor skills, neural development, and problem-solving abilities and that it can be used effectively to teach and understand other key subjects such as reading, writing, math, and science. Therapists tell us that art is valuable because it allows children to process their world, to deal with sometimes scary emotions in a safe way, and because it gives them critical sensory input. Artists tell us that art is important for its own sake—as a source of beauty and expression, as well as simply for the process of creating. Kids tell us that art is fun, an activity they enjoy. Parents tell us that art is vital to their families because it keeps everyone engaged and happy and helps with the sometimes difficult transitions of the day."

I couldn't have said it better myself. Now go get painting!

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