My children are always dirty, and I brag about this constantly.
“Parents are given this erroneous message
that they are not good parents unless they are being obsessive
about how clean their children look”.
But our message is different:
Dirt is good.
Dirt is healthy.
Dirt is fun.
And if your children look dirty… we don’t judge, we praise!
Keep in mind that:
Yes! We encourage children (and all humans) to practice basic hygiene. Example: if you poop in your hands. This happens on rare occasions around my house, a little more frequently during the holidays…
No! It is not a universal catastrophe if your children go to bed without their baths and with dirty feet. Your child will still be okay in the morning. We promise. Their feet a little cleaner. The sheets a little dirtier.
No! Purell, Clorox or anti-bacterial soaps will NOT prevent disease. On the contrary. You will end up with a weak child who has a weak immune system, not equipped to fight anything.
No! Happiness cannot be bought (with toys or electronics). Want to see your child happy? Let them get messy. End of story.
Yes! Dirt alone has huge impact on the immunological and neurological development of your children. Pair it up with quality chiropractic care and you will end up with a healthy, happy child. Guaranteed.
3 Reasons why dirt is good.
1. It is fun.
Babies and toddlers are attracted to dirt. It is in their DNA. Have you ever wonder WHY your little munchkins can’t help it but get dirty? Do you wonder if Kenmore offered kickback commissions? Even if your infant was already a financial genius striking deals with a washing machine, the answer is no. There is a joy and a piece found while children play in dirt that can’t be replicated. There is endless imagination while they make pies out of mud, or when they dig a hole. Children get lost in time, and if you sit and watch, you will see true happiness. We all want to see our children happy and many parents work very hard at it. But when something that is guaranteed to give your child true joy, so many parents freak out! Is it a lot of work to clean a messy child? Yes! Are parents fearful of dirt? Well…get over it! Because a clean child, in my eyes, is a bored out of their mind child.
2. It improves mood.
Studies have shown that children (and adults) that spend time outside in nature and in contact with dirt, have less anxiety and stress. Soil microbes have similar effects on the brain as Prozac…with no side effects or potential for chemical dependency…! (although my own children are dirt addicts, so beware…). I will not bore you with science, but there is a microbe “mycobacterium vaccae” responsible for regulating human behavior, and it can be found in soil. Do you have a child that was diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or behavior problems? Get them to play outside. You will see an immediate change, I guarantee it. Over the last 15 years in practice, I have cared for thousands of children that are commonly “labeled” as being “on the spectrum”, or children with asthma and allergies. I have started incorporating diet and play recommendations and the results have been nothing short of miraculous. I am sure I make Peppa Pig proud, and have contemplated incorporating a muddy puddle in the back of my clinic!
3. Strengthens Immune Function
Do you know why children that play in dirt rarely get sick? Because their immune systems have practice! And they practice on the microbes that they encounter in the soil, or in nature. It is no coincidence that children that are raised in spotless homes, or homes in which parents disinfect everything, are the children that have had several rounds of antibiotics by the time they start kindergarten. And when they start encountering other bugs in other children in daycare, school or playdates, they get sick, because their immune systems are toooo weak and lack training. Just like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you loose it! Bugs, bacteria, viruses, fungi, have NO prayer with kids in which their immunity has been practicing.
We have become a nation of germophobes, scrubbing this and disinfecting that. We have ended up being one of the sickest nations, plagued with sick children, most of them bored out of their minds. If you thought that parenting was a “dirty” job…you were right. But good parenting…is the dirtiest of them all…Bring on the filthy children back…and just like Peppa and George would say…magnifique! We love muddy puddles…!