Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Are children BORN naturally destructive ?

Or is it a "learned behavior" ?!

I walk through my house and see messes and destruction everywhere.  Here is a cartoon that reminds me of it and my explanation of the mess in just one tiny room of the house!

The bathroom looks like a tornado hit it, with toilet paper pieces strewn about the floor.  There is a puddle of soap leaking from the spout of a tipped-over hand soap dispenser.  The hand towel itself can only be found with a thorough search, eventually turning up on the floor behind the toilet.  The toilet has a certain odor to it, which, upon further inspection, reveals an attempted, yet unsuccessful flushing of someone's monstrous #2 donation.  The mirror is covered, up to about three feet high, with soapy fingerprints and toothpaste kisses.  Shower towels are hung, mostly, on the barely-hanging-to-the-wall towel rack.  Tattered Archie comic books and assorted school papers, mostly arts and crafts, lay in pretty much every non-toilet-paper-accosted sections.  And don't even get me started on the variety of things not normally found in the shower that are cluttering the tub area, lurking behind the shower curtain that is miraculously still held up by more than half of the curtain rings.

And it continues in other rooms ... Pick a bedroom, any bedroom and you will find a relatively normal assortment of kid's stuff.  But in this house, you'll find 50% more "junk" and it will be instantly evident to you exactly what toys my children own ... because they are ALL sprawled across the floor with reckless abandon!

Furthermore, and this is on the "destructive" side of my inquiry, if there is any flaw in my home or with a piece of furniture within the home ... my kids WILL find it and WILL make it worse!  A few recent examples:
 - Peeling paint / texture from a poor mud-and-tape job in our office turned into a HUGE patch of torn / peeled wall and 3 inches of "sheetrock snow" on the floor.
 - A slightly loose chair became a BROKEN chair.
 - A folding table with a few nicks in the tabletop covering quickly expanded into strips of plastic-mesh and pieces of padding seemingly everywhere in the house.
 - A handful of caveman-like pencil drawings on the wall morphed into a history-of-the-world's worth of inscriptions.

So I have to wonder if it is nature or nurture.  If left alone, would a child naturally make a horrific mess of anything within reach?  Or is it the influence of  siblings?  Perhaps television or movies?  Misconstrued
"destruction" by parents (like tearing up junk mail)?  Weigh in with your thoughts because I'd really like to know.



  1. Hmmm...this is a fascinating topic! I lean towards nature on this one - kids are instinctively curious and will get into anything, without the influence of media or parents. That's my theory!

  2. I agree with Jeremy. They are like animals. :)