My girl’s are 2 and 5 years old. They make messes, they destroy any chance of my house staying clean, they’re always into something or up to something. They need parenting and guidance, I’m not arguing that, but they also need their freedom and space to learn and grow without me hovering.
I noticed that most of my day was spent lecturing, scolding, redirecting, and preventing behavior. My stress level was high, and my girls were only learning that mommy doesn’t want them moving or touching anything.
My husband was out of town, and I decided to just let go. I would leave the room more often, let them work out their own issues more often, and try to react to most situations calmly (or like I don’t really give a shit). You might think this takes developing a drinking habit, but it doesn’t. I had just had enough.
I’m not sure if it’s helping my girls much, but it’s helping me a ton. I can fix whatever they’ve done later. As long as they’re not going to hurt themselves, I back off. I’ve also cut their TV time down, because I don’t feel the need to constantly keep them occupied. They need to learn to occupy themselves.
I still spend time playing with them, reading to them, and taking care of them, but I also have time to get the laundry done, cook dinner, and relax a little. I still keep a routine, but I’m learning that they’re response to things like bedtime is better when I’m not rushing around trying to do everything for them. They know what needs to be done. They know where they’re suppose to be and as long as I stay chill about it, so do they.
Fighting still happens, but unless someone is getting hurt, I generally stay out of it. When they misuse things, like their art supplies, we clean up the mess later and they loose those privileges for a while. It’s really much simpler than trying to prevent everything, plus I feel like they’re learning more about consequence.