Taking All Toys Away: The Mom Who Actually Did
Take a look at a child’s nursery these days. You will find an array of plastic toys, robots and cars that make loud, alarming noises, a doll head, random small plastic accessories you’re sure to step on, masks, dirty old stuffed toys and at the bottom of the toy box will be a bed of things that you’re child HAD to have at the toy store but forgot about it after a day. Whether or not they are played with, they all find a way to scatter themselves around the house every day. You didn’t even buy half of it, grandparents and guests showered the kids with toys and birthdays accumulated even more things until the box became a pile. Sounds familiar?
It happens to everyone with kids until one mother made a surprising parental decision by taking all her children’s toys away. Everything was boxed and put away, save for 2 or 3 special toys. She documented it in a, now controversial, blog post on her website.
She wanted to see how much more productive or inventive her children could be, now that they were not distracted by all these toys. It invited censure from some parents and applause from others. She had her reasons. She realized her house was cluttered with unnecessary things which her daughters did not care for and also because they had a lack of contentment. No number of toys was ever enough. And all these toys did not help their short attention spans.
Apparently her kids not only did not mind, they even became more imaginative in their play and even had an increased attention span. All the toys were not gone however. She rotated them such that at any given time only 2 or 3 will be outside and can be played with for a couple of days.
This brings up the question, are we actually burdening our children with too much of stuff? Do kids see toys as a privilege or a right? Is this an answer to make kids content with what they have and does it teach them to be more creative with existing resources?
The mom who took all the toys away did so because she thought it was best for her family. The step might seem like a drastic measure. Perhaps it is. Certain toys do provide stimulation to brain development and encourages curiosity and innovation. However if the toy box became a heap which turned into a pile then take a good hard look at whether or not there is an excess and where you should draw the line. Because a line needs to be drawn.
Your children, their friends or family might each have their own beliefs on what are ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ when it comes to possessions. However it is the decisions you make that affects your child’s behaviour and shapes their outlook. There’s no one road to ‘fun’ so whatever your ‘toy path’ is make sure it’s one defined by you as a parent and by no one else.
The blog post: