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Parenting is Messy: Grab Detergent

Published:Sunday | March 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Sometimes being a parent means allowing your child to get messy.

"A little dirt does a whole lot of good," says Child Psychologist Gemma Gibbon. "It helps to boost the child's immune system."

Gibbon explains that the more active children are, the better off they will be in the long run. She explains that children learn through their own experiments, experiences, and imitations.

Gibbon used the example of boys in the kitchen. Girls, she said, are drawn to the kitchen and pleasing their mothers. She said this is not the case for boys, and as such, parents might have to be creative and introduce the boys to more messy, hands-on recipes and cooking methods to get them interested.

She said parents should resist the urge to correct their children too often when they are making a mess, as this might stunt their creativity. Children yearn for their parents' approval, she said. If they are always worried about making a mess because it will make their parents unhappy, they might resist opportunities to show some initiative.

But, cautions Gibbon, too much of anything is bad, so parents should not constantly be pushing their children to be messy or have them playing in the mud. Gibbon advises everything in moderation.

For parents who hate a mess but allow their children to get dirty for the greater good, here are a few tips on stain removal:

"Blue soap works well. Rub the clothes in it and depending on the extent of the dirt, leave overnight. It works!"

- Georgia Lumley


"Ensure that the clothes do not get wet. Use a Q-Tip dipped in bleach and rub it on the stain until it goes away.

- Sharmaine Ricketts


"There are several things that you can use, but is it dependent on the fabric. Bleach can be used once the fabric is white. There is a product called 'Awesome' that makes things come back as good as new. There is also blue soap, for example 'Blue Magic' which is perfect on white, and Blue Bomber works with anything else."

- La Tania-Jonelle Hall


"If it's a stain on white, then bleach usually does the trick. Some people might opt for a degreaser when removing gravy, ketchup or oil-based foods, but for me, nothing works better than a good dishwashing liquid. Grass will wash out once you place detergent directly on the stain and wash by hand first. Dirt stains can be removed more easily the quicker you wash it. It might take a bit more soaking."

- Andrea Hoo Fong


"Good old blue soap. Just soak in the sun and then rub after with the blue soap."

- Kamille Adair-Morgan


"OxiClean, because it removes stains without bleaching the clothes. My son used permanent marker on his physical education shirt and after three washes, it was good as new."

- Tracey-Ann Lawrence