Ignore the mess the children are making memories?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Ugh – that would drive me wild. I am a teacher and regardless the mess will need to be cleaned up sooner or later and why leave it and procrastinate. She is teaching her children to procrastinate. Eeeeeek….. oh well her mistake.

Post # 4
7055 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  her house, her decision.

But it depends on their ages. Pre-schoolers don’t have much concept of how much mess they leave, older kids do.

Though personally I always found paint kind of poor “value” – too much mess and the kids used it up too quickly. I much preferred to have them draw with crayons, markers or pencils, because it was less messy. (We still got some on the walls, but it wasn’t as bad as paint). And yes I have a huge box of those memores!

Post # 5
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  that would drive me crazy.  heck, i probably would have told the kids myself to clean up their mess before we left.

Post # 7
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t know…if it’s her house and they’re not painting you, I would try to just go along and get along. The phrase “Ignore the mess the children are making memories” is a bit pretentious though – they’re just finger painting, let’s calm down. 


Post # 8
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  her house her rules. There is no right way to parent. Plenty of people I know we’re brought up in pristine houses and are total slobs now so clearly that doesn’t necessarily always translate.

Post # 9
1766 posts
Buzzing bee

That’s a little too liberal for me. when my 4yr old makes a mess…i expect her to clean it up with verbal guidance from me. i would be pissed if my kids painted or colored on the walls…and i have made my daughter clean the wall and various furniture that she has colored on. sorry…our house…that my husband build with his hands…will not look like crap…cuz of my kid’s art. that’s what paper is for and her art easel. paints r not even allowed in our house..until my child can understand that you’re not supposed to paint the baby.

Post # 10
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve always liked the saying “ignore the mess, we’re making memories”, but for me its never meant we had carte blanche to make a huge mess.  When I hear it, I think of something like letting kids splash in mud puddles after the rain.  Its messy, but they love it and think its exciting to have permission to get dirty/messy.  When they are done splashing though, dirty clothes get washed, little people head to the bath tub, and any mess tracked inside is cleaned up before we move onto a new activity.  

I taught preschool for a while, and there were some parents who worried about letting their children participate in activties like the water table, craft projects and playing outside because it was too messy.  I had parents try to “help” their child paint and wipe their hand off 15-20 times in the course of one painting because there was a little spot of paint on their finger. (We used smocks to protect clothes so there wasn’t much real damage that little paint could do.)  I’ve definitely seen parents who took staying clean and tidy so far their children were missing out on  activities.  That’s what I think of when I hear that saying, a light hearted reminder to let them be kids within reason, and that waiting 15 minutes for them to finish making the mess before you start cleaning it is ok.

Post # 12
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  Sounds to me like she is lazy and making excuses.  Kids from the age of 2 are capable of assisting with cleaning up their own messes.  They definitely need help and you can’t expect them to do a perfect job of cleaning up but they can help.  In fact, many young children want to help clean up and you can make a game out of it.  Learning to clean up your own messes is an important life lesson growing up.  Hopefully your friend will figure that out or the mess you saw is only temporary (even though the sign suggests otherwise.)

Post # 13
1372 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Just a thought. Maybe she made a conscious decision to have her kids clean after the BBQ? Maybe she didn’t want to make you stand around and wait while her kiss cleaned up? If there’s no pets around and it’s cheap kid paint, there’s a good chance that the mess is going to be the same when they come home..I think it’s really impressive how judgey everyone is being because a paint cup spilled and a busy mom left a couple of murky paint brush rinse cups sitting on a coffee table. 

Post # 15
3268 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@the_newlymintedmrs-s17:  BLARGH I also cannot stand that quote. My SO’s mother, who cares for her grandchildren every day (SO’s brother’s kids), has that sign in their mudroom. I hate it!

The situation you described would really bug me. Make the kids clean up their mess, or at least help if they are old enough to even do a little bit (3 yrs is about when kids can learn to help with stuff like that!). Plus, won’t a lot of things in the house be ruined with all that paint everywhere?

Post # 16
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Short of causing damage to the house/items in the house, our parents had this approach. They didn’t mind if we made a mess, even a large one – BUT – there is no way we’d do ANYTHING else until we cleaned up first. Paint spilled on the rug? That would have been a HUGE problem, because paint is difficult (if not impossible) to get out the rug. Plus, creating memories or not, children need to have respect for their environment and their home/family belongings. Even small children can help clean up. I used to work in a childcare centre, and even in the infant room, the babies “helped” clean up – put books on the shelve, toys in the bucket, etc. Let them be creative, but let them be responsible too.

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