As parents we want our children to get the best of everything and fulfill their each wish. But in doing so do we cross the limit and fill their little world with plenty of everything. After all, everything in excess is BAD!!!
The whole room was cluttered with my daughter’s toys. Usually she puts them back before going to bed, but that day was different she did not. While I was clearing the mess something strange hit my thoughts. My daughter has so many TOYS!!! You won’t believe it, if I open her cupboard a toy will come rolling down. Some toys are permanently placed on the dining table, coffee table; and kitchen, bathrooms and car have also not been spared with her toys. She has at least 3 dozen of stuff toys, dolls, balls, board games and small toys which come with the kid’s meal at some restaurant, or bought at the traffic signal. And to add to her collection she has some musical toys, toys that dance, technical toys and toys reserved only for bathing sessions. And it’s not just toys; she has plenty of books, clothes and shoes as well.
In some way or the other we are responsible for this. The minute she says she wants something, we (as mum and dad) leave no stone unturned to fulfill her wish. Some months back, she wanted a purple haired doll, and we went to all the toy shops to get her one. And once she got the doll, we could not miss the sparkle in her eyes and a gleaming smile. But she only played with it for a few days. In fact it was her favourite toy for a week and accompanied her in all the activities she performed. Now she doesn’t even remember it and it has got lost somewhere under the huge toy mountain.
Every time I see the toy mess I promise to myself no more toys and I make my daughter also pledge the same. But all this goes in vain when we visit a Shopping Mall or a toy shop. And when she says with her innocent eyes,”Mumma I want something”, then I just give in and land up buying what she wants. A very small example is that of a balloon man who stands in front of her school daily when the school gets over. So she has made it a point to ask for a balloon every day. You won’t believe it; she does not even play with it once she gets back home. And after 2-3 days of being untouched I have to throw it, and she does not even notice its absence.
Some months ago, I put some of her unused toys in the storage boxes, she did not miss them. Then I re-introduced them to her after 10 days and hid the one’s with which she was playing. She was happy to see her hidden toys. Also, I have discarded the toys with broken parts and given away a few good ones.
Research says that lesser toys make the children more creative by indulging in imagination. It helps to increase the attention span, as they learn to appreciate the limited available toys. Children with few toys learn determination and perseverance. Also, they learn to take care of their things, share their toys and live in a clutter free space.
Kim Payne, writer of Simplicity Parenting clearly states in his book that “Too much stuff leads to too many choices. Children need time to become themselves – through play and social interaction. If you overwhelm a child with stuff – with choices and pseudo choices – before they are ready, they will only know one emotional gesture: More!”
Let me know if you also have a mountain of toys at your home and the methods by which you get rid of it?