We often talk about organization and planning here in the Single Parent’s blog. After all, for many of us our lives are so busy and hectic that organization is the main way that we keep things under control. Organization and consistency can work well for our children too–giving them somewhere to hang their hats and letting them know that things are stable. There is such a thing as too much organization, however, and we can let things get to a place where they are too rigid and we forget to encourage creativity, play and imagination in our children.
Our children need to know that there is room for experimentation and pretend and being creative in a stress-free environment. This means that we need to step away from our plans and schedules long enough to allow for a little mess, a little free play, some down time and a chance to act silly. There is still a place for organization and cleanliness and order–but there has to be room and encouragement for the other as well.
As single parents, we might feel so strapped for time or feel as though if we let go of the reigns, chaos would ensue–but our children need that freedom and playful environment in order to let their imaginations expand and in order to figure out what they enjoy. They also need plenty of opportunities for creativity and imagination in order to build strong problem-solving skills and a hearty self-image. Remember to allow for individualized and group play and encourage some games and open-ended creative imaginative play–even it means taking a break from the organization and letting the house get a little messy. After all, we can always put the house back together and I am not advocating for chaos–just a healthy learning and growing environment for our children.