From the perspective of a child...
What is that? What happens if I...? The child's mind continues to race as it absorbs all of the things around it. The pantry has been left open and there is much to do. Little fingers wrap themselves around a large box of cereal. It makes a sound when I shake it, I wonder what is inside... Chubby fingers cannot open the smooth bag... but teeth can. The only four teeth available tear into the soft plastic and rip. Cereal is now everywhere. The child's face
lights up. They have conquered the box. They have won the prize. The little body wiggles and wriggles as it swims through the ocean of victory and crunched up pieces of cornflakes.
How would you react if this was your child? How would you react if this child were 1? If they were 2? If they were 5?
If you have or have had a young child, you know that there are endless ways that they can undo whatever plans you had of a clean house or any plans you had at all for that matter. When things go amiss, though, it is important to be intentional with how we as parents react to our children's actions. Being intentional with our reactions means that we understand the development of the child and think through how we want to react to each situation before our emotions and lack of sleep make us unintentionally explode.
It's actually quite simple. You just need to ask yourself this question. What developmental stage is your child in right now?