Should I let my children draw all over the walls?

Posted Monday 22nd July 2013   By Ericka Waller

Ok, so out of my three children, only one of them is really ready to be given crayons, pencils or pens. I don’t mean because she is the only one who has gone past the stage of illegible scribbles that I am poor at pretending to be impressed with, and even poorer at keeping.

I mean that she is the only of the three who can hold a pencil for more than three seconds without needing to deface the nearest wall in a Jackson Pollock style frenzy.

It annoys me when my children draw on the walls.  I know that it’s hideously bad form to be houseproud when you have children. I know that caring about mess means my priorities are all wrong, but I love my house. My shelter from the storm.

By the same token though, I don’t want to be a mean and cruel mother who does not let her kids do anything. God forbid I stem their creativity, especially down here in Brighton (man).

It’s not just that they draw on the walls, it’s that they think it’s funny. When they see/hear me coming, rather than hide the pen, or look contrite, they do an extra fast and hard final daubing while they still can… then they run off, laughing.

Is it a rite of passage, or am I just hopeless at discipline?

When I mentioned it this morning on the school run, lots of mums told me “My kids have never drawn on the walls. They would never even dream of drawing on the walls.”

This is what I love about talking to other mums. They are so real and down-to-earth. They are never defensive, or biased. They never use any given opportunity to brag about their parenting capabilities or perfect offspring.  A problem shared really is a problem halved.

I came home and channeled my fury into a small wire wool ball. So the playroom is more or less back to how it was before.

Now what do I do?

Do I take the pens and away and only let the children use them under supervision? Then I will have to sit and supervise though. I don’t want to have to sit and supervise colouring time. It’s boring. There, I said it. GASP!

Do I remove the pens and pencils from the house completely? That is what they go to school and Pre-school for isn’t it? To do all that sort of stuff.

That feels very mean though. That is probably what the mums I was speaking to on the school run did. In fact, that is probably why their kids never drew on their walls. They were not given any crayons to do it with…