I'm "that" mom. You know the one with the riffraff running around barefoot outside, hair a mess, peanut butter dried around their mouths and holes in the knees of their pants. I should also say this is intentional after twenty-plus years working with children I've learned a thing or two about them and love when my kids are dirty and bruised!
#1 Let kids get dirty!
Numerous studies show that immune systems are significantly stronger in kids that play in dirt, eat off the floor, have pets, and grow up in homes with a healthy amount of microbes around. Yes, you heard me right. Stop cleaning your house! It's making your kids sick. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but a bleach clean, squeaky home could be the reason kids are sick all the time. They're more susceptible when they haven't been exposed to healthy household germs. A hot rag with lemon to wipe off counters and sweeping up dirt may be better than mopping with lysol every week. Here's a microbiologist spitting truth if you doubt me, yo.
Oh, and please stop using hand sanitizer. Soap and water gets the job done without creating mutant strains of viruses!
Let kids get hurt
There's a difference between getting hurt and getting injured. Your kid got kicked in the face when they ran in front of the swings. Hallelujah for a bloody nose! Now they know to look out for swingers or walk behind the swings instead. This saves the adult in their life YEARS of, "Look out" and "watch for swingers" nonsense when they won't listen anyway. Kids don't listen to adults- they learn from experience. A kid runs in front of a car because they weren't looking? Unacceptable. NOT a teachable moment, lol. That will result in an injury and potentially fatal obviously.
But, modern parents have morphed into hypochondriacs, germaphobes and a new and improved version of a helicopter parent so scared of their children getting a skinned knee, a fever, or experiencing embarrassment, fear, guilt, sadness, disappointment. Guess what? These are some of life's greatest teachers! It's okay to let them feel these things and, dare I say it, set them up for it! Far better to let kids suffer consequences when they're small when the consequence is minor than spend their early years protecting them from any, and all, hardships and finding an unruly teenager on your hand who rebels out of a need to feel something that's their's to feel. Or, having a young adult that doesn't know their ass from their elbow unless mom or dad is there to help them figure it out.
At Epoch, students will be encouraged to dress for mess. They'll come home dirty, tired, sore, and I can't guarantee there won't be skinned knees, splinters, rug burn, and chapped skin. Kids who have ample opportunity to run free, explore the world they're a part of and all it's elements, and act without inhibition are happier, healthier, and more capable of taking on the world with confidence. Join us this FALL and get dirty and hurt with others.