TikTok shows why getting down on kids’ level can offer a new perspective on ‘mess’

When your kids are young, parenting can feel like an endless cycle of reminding them not to make messes and then cleaning it all up anyway, which is utterly exhausting no matter how you slice it. One mom is offering up a perspective shift about mess, and it’ll help remind you how beautiful it is that your kids see the world differently than you do, both literally and metaphorically. A child’s perspective is a game-changer, truly.

TikToker Bri Knavel recently shared a video of her daughter’s playroom, where she’d been playing with Barbies on the floor. Along with her Barbie Dreamhouse, Knavel’s daughter had set up an entire Barbieland in the space, with her dolls doing their thing in their respective play areas.

But instead of getting frustrated by the mess, Knavel instead embraced it, reminding her followers why her daughter’s playful imagination is one of the best parts about being a parent. “It looks like a big mess until you get down to their level,” she captioned the clip. “Then you see their childhood.”

In the post’s caption, she continued, “Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the ‘mess.’ When I slow down to really see what’s in front of me then I see it’s their childhood and it’s beautiful.”

Of course, it’s only human to feel stressed out about yet another messy room to tidy up. But simply sitting on the floor and appreciating the joyful little world they’ve created can help remind you that what might look like a “mess” in the moment is just an expression of their unique POV. How amazing is that?

Commenters agreed, appreciating the gentle reminder to cherish those little moments whenever possible. “Her world is actually quite tidy and organized,” wrote one person. Another added: “you have no idea how badly I needed to see this…. thank you!” Yet another noted that “it’s not a mess. It’s imagination. Once you lose those messes they will never come back.”

And while it might feel silly to get on the floor in your child’s play area merely to observe, getting down on their level is actually proven to help you connect with them and understand their perspective. That means you’ll see mess for what it is: an expression of their development and creativity, which you might not witness from your own adult perspective up above. Neat, huh?

A version of this article was published in February 2024. It has been updated.

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