Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Toy Tales

When I had my first baby, my house was *relatively* safe for children, but a visiting 3 year old alerted me to a problem: I had no toys. She came to see the baby, but after a few minutes of smiles & interested stares at the baby, she walked confidently over to the basement door, ready for alternative entertainment. I informed her that there is only laundry downstairs, so she'd better stay upstairs with me & baby. Concerned, she looked me in the eye and announced that I need to buy toys for when she visits.

In the subsequent years, I have received toys as hand-me-downs, birthday gifts, and I've sometimes purchased a choice trinket myself. Of late, my husband and I have noticed a problem: too many toys.

In efforts to downsize, we purged bags of toys that we seldom use. What a great feeling! The house still seems over-run with toys, but it felt good to let go of some excess and let someone else enjoy what we no longer need or want.

My kids ask constantly for new toys: for birthdays, special events, or as rewards for good behavior. While I want to encourage their enjoyment, I also need to remind myself that less-is-more and they need to learn, sooner or later, to appreciate what they have in life. It's a fine balance, since children are more attuned to physical play than we adults and cannot grasp the "need versus want" philosophical discussion. It's much more difficult for them to pass by a toy and say "well, maybe next time" without deep remorse and bitterness. So, sometimes I give-in and buy the things they desire. And sometimes I do my best to explain how or why we won't be purchasing right now.

I want my children to grow up with a sense of abundance in their life - that later, they should look back at their childhood and not feel they were lacking. But showering them with whatever toys they desire may lead to superficial materialism and they may not really appreciate what they have, as they grow up.

For now, my solution is to involve as much build-up as possible to their receiving new (or even used) toys. They don't just receive spontaneously and for no reason. Some toys involve a prerequisite of multiple acts of responsibility and maturity. Others are reserved for special events and are eagerly anticipated but must be waited for, patiently. While I love my children unconditionally, I don't give them toys or other rewards unconditionally. I pray that over time they will learn and understand the difference.

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