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8 Reasons to Let Your Kid's Room Stay Messy
By Linda A. Boulter

8 Reasons to Let Your Kid's Room Stay Messy
Photo V Ponomarenko/Shutterstock

Here are some positive reasons to let your kids’ rooms stay messy until they decide to clean them!

  1. First, it enhances their coordination. The children get to practice their balance, a sort of tight rope walking, dance-like movement through and around mounds of toys and clothes without breaking or slipping on anything.
  2. It contributes to developed memory skills, better than “The Memory Game” (and definitely more real). Now where is that purple sock? It could be under the bed, stuffed in that dollhouse.
  3. They learn practical, handyperson skills. They can develop the fine art of unsticking drawers that are jammed full of clothes stuffed in every possible space.
  4. They learn the clever art of positive thinking. “The room is fine; I like it the way it is.” They learn the power of persuasion. If they share a room with a sibling, they learn how to persuade the other to help clean. Parents learn how to mediate a non-violent, cooperative effort.
  5. They learn that they too have rights, that they can have their own space, their own privacy, a place that parents won't violate with their values and standards of cleanliness.
  6. When and if they finally make the decision to clean up, they learn the art of discrimination, sorting dirty clothes from clean ones, useful junque from junk junk. They may learn creative thinking. They may organize a system of orderliness that is uniquely their own, not imposed from without.
  7. And – this is a biggie – they also learn one of the easiest ways to punch their parent's buttons. This was one of my biggest emotional buttons until I readjusted my thinking. I gave them power by showing them that a messy room can inflame to high levels of passion and anxiety.
  8. But, in the end, the key is that they do learn. And we learn that learning cannot be imposed from without because it only has true value when it comes from within.

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