Do you ever glimpse over at your child’s play area and think “Do we house the Tasmanian Devil?” It can be one of the single most frustrating parts of my day. Why can’t my kids keep their play things picked up!?!
And then I remember, I made a parenting choice that includes a messy play area every now and then.
I want my kids to have some freedom in their play. I want my son to take out all the trains, line them up and tell me story after story. I want my daughter to be able to pull out the play dishes and make a very elaborate meal of pb&j with a side of water.
Our kids also enjoy independent play. This is where the mess comes in. If I leave my son with the trains and cars for 30 minutes by himself I might come back to a HUGE mess. If I leave my daughter in her room the kitchen things, baby dolls and some blocks will undoubtedly get mingled together in some form.
Granting my kids the freedom to play in their own way does cause disarray and occasional destruction (a few books have had to find rest in the recycle!) But it also creates opportunity.
Opportunity to obey when I ask them to pick up the toys at the end of the day.
Opportunity to enjoy the blessing of toys that most children around the world don’t have and be thankful for them.
Opportunity to just be. No pressure, no forced learning, just living in the moment.
Today ponder freedom. What do you do with the freedoms you have and what is the outcome? Do you seize the opportunities that your freedom presents?