If you have children, you will know that all kids go through a "gross is cool" stage. Boys seem to go through stronger gross phases than girls, although there are plenty of girls who veer towards the gross side at one point or another as well. It generally starts with an increased interest in bodily functions. Kids will suddenly start doing fake burps and they will find little as hilarious as a very stinky fart. As hard as it may be as a parent, who finds this all highly juvenile, it is something that every parent will have to go through. After all, aren't kids by definition juvenile?
Why Kids Like Gross Things
So why do kids actually like gross things? Evidently, defining what gross is depends entirely on cultural factors, which condition our behaviour. Just because we find worms and farts gross in the West, that doesn't mean it is the same elsewhere. For instance, in China, burping after a meal is considered polite. Interestingly, kids there don't seem to add burps to their list of gross things to do before they outgrow them. So basically, kids like gross things because they are taboo. They illicit a reaction from parents and that is what it is all about. Pick a worm up yourself and discuss how fascinating it is, and kids will quickly lose interest basically.
What Can Be Done?
Besides conditioning them to be less interested in gross things by showing a disinterest, it is equally important to allow our kids to play with gross things, but in a safe manner. Horrible science sets, for instance, are a great way to achieve this. Here, they will learn how to make slimy, stinky stuff and many other gross things. Not only does it allow them to engage in their favourite activity - cool gross stuff - they will actually also learn a whole lot by conducting what are in essence scientific experiments.
Why not embrace your inner “gross is cool” person and take part in some of the horrible science
experiments? You’re sure to have at least a giggle.
Article By: Adam Nicolson