When your children are left alone, a lot of parents become anxious and over-excited at the thought of a mess. They become over-protective of their kids. This is not uncommon. In fact, many of us have been there in the middle of a messy playtime meltdown. We’ve stood there with our kids, fighting with our children to get things done before they start to melt down and throw a tantrum. Before you get too worried about your kids’ playtime, try these tips for handling playtime messes.

Teach your kids to share. You may think this is kind of old-fashioned or mean, but it is a very important parenting tip. Children are naturally sociable and thrive on the idea of getting help from their peers. When they see others playing nicely together, they feel that they can learn from them and do the same. By allowing your children to help play, you give them a sense of value and an opportunity to feel connected to the group.

Resist the urge to clean everything up. Kids may seem like they want to clean everything up after play, but in reality, the messiest kids tend to clean up last. If you clean everything up, you may distract from the important things like the story that just happened or the next activity. Instead, just focus on creating new stories and games.

Avoid having dramatic conversations when you are both upset. This could only serve to make the situation worse. Instead, talk calmly so that your words don’t hurt each other’s feelings. You may even want to apologize for your words and express your regret.

Plan activities around a theme or game. This can help both of you to think clearly. You may both agree to have a movie night, and then you can pick a movie or board game to play instead of waiting for the movie to be released in theaters. You may even decide to watch the movie together afterwards.

Try not to argue with your partner while playing. It may seem like a good idea at the time but arguing while playing will only make you resent your partner more. When you argue, you tend to play with your anger rather than solve the problem. So instead, keep playing.

Avoid taking yourself too seriously. Sometimes it is better to laugh than to cry. Playing will release your anger and you can bond with your partner. Plus, you will feel better for doing so.

Remember to be a team player and try not to be selfish. Don’t put yourself last. The game is supposed to be fun. If it is not fun, then your time on the computer will just be a waste of time.

Keep an eye out for cheaters. If you are having an online match, make sure you are fair to the other players. Be careful if you are playing against someone who is hacking. Hackers are constantly trying to find ways to beat you. If they succeed, you lose. Do your best to avoid cheaters.

Always have an exit strategy. It is easy for anyone to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and get distracted from their goals. It is never good to stay in an argument. If you are caught in a fight, at least pretend to go down fight. Once the fight winds down, calmly walk away.

Plan ahead when you play. Have a plan of action before you start playing. If you are playing on a website, check that there is a help center or a chat room where you can get answers to your questions. If you are playing a game on your mobile phone, read the instructions carefully. Have a spare tire in case you lose your cell phone.

When you are finished playing, rinse off your hair with water. Shave your legs and wipe them with a towel. You may have to do this a few times throughout the day. There are chemicals in most shampoos and soaps that will irritate your skin and hair. Washing your hair removes the chemicals and helps to prevent hair loss.

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