40+FAB Blog

Learning is messy

When my daughter turned 11 months, meal times became really messy because she insisted on feeding herself with the spoon and would refuse to eat if she wasn’t allowed to try.

For us as parents, it was an extra hassle to allow her to mess up the table, her clothes, and the floor. We would try all we could to stop her from doing this so that we could keep the place clean. Then it struck me that for the desire to keep everything clean, I was depriving my daughter of learning. She is a baby and can’t be expected to handle her spoon perfectly, yet if she doesn’t keep trying she will never learn. It also reminded me that learning is messy, mistakes will be made, more effort will be required to accommodate the mess, but its all part of the price for greater knowledge leading to independence which is of greater value to the whole family.

Have you found yourself trying to avoid the mess when you are learning something new? Give yourself the permission to test things out and to get better at what you desire to learn. You may look ridiculous, others may laugh at you, you may fall flat on your face, but that is how it is meant to be. No one ever tried anything for the first time and was absolutely perfect at it. Embrace the mess that comes with learning and become the best you can be in your new skill.