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Is anybody else NOT buying toys this Christmas?Sorry Long! - Page 3

post #41 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
TulsiLeaf, are you reading the 'My First Little House Books' with your little one or the original stories?

We are reading the 'My First Little House Books' which my five yearl old will love for at least another year. I was wondering when to introduce the original books...she will be so excited when she realises there is so much we haven't read together yet!

By the way, I owe you an e.mail about toys, which I will catch up with, things are so busy here!



We are reading the real books. The wonderful thing about the books is that they are so simply written that M has enjoyed them for a long time(since she was about 3). But even though they are simply written, I throughly enjoy them. I distinctly remember crying my eyes out at one point in the books (you will to once you get there. I don't want to ruin it for you all. It's so poignant) and as I was in the library reading through some of them I was reduced to tears again reading it.
post #42 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
Oh, and I forgot to say, me and my husband actually sat down with some family members and said we need to talk about presents (which was really akward at the time ) and said the sort of thing we would like for our girls, and how generous they were but also that we felt we had to talk about the present situation because we didn't want them to waste their money and things that weren't welcome in our home. That seemed to really, really help. We also showed them the Myriad catalogue (where i do most of the girls shopping!) and this really helped too because we have many a time browsed it with family members and they can see the beautiful quality of the toys.
See, your lucky.

My family just do not listen to me. They figured out if they give it to Madeleine first and then show me with a huge big smirk on their faces that I won't do anything about it. I mean, how can I take something away from my kid? It devastates her.

Like last night, Mum came over with a toy for Madeleine. Her birthday was last week! Granted it was this beautiful little porcelain china tea set with dogs on it. M loved it. But she has a tea set( a little china one from ikea she bought her last year!). I told her she already had one! Thank god it wasn't plastic, but ugh.
post #43 of 117
i would call it what it is. it is manipulation. it is inappropriate and if it continues, then you'll cut back on time that they get to be together (or some other threat that might have meaning).

because, honestly, that ain't right.
post #44 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i would call it what it is. it is manipulation. it is inappropriate and if it continues, then you'll cut back on time that they get to be together (or some other threat that might have meaning).

because, honestly, that ain't right.


of course it is total manipulation, but cutting back on time spent.....

Hehehe, well you don't know my family.

See, we live within 15 minutes of ALL of our family(except for my dad, brother and grandmother). Generally speaking, my immediate extended family rocks. They really adore my daughter and give her the grandparent relationship that every child should have, material things aside. Sure, we have a few issues with each one, but they are small and can be over looked in favor of the relationship they have with their grandbaby.

I figure this, is a plastic toy really worth the ruin of a child/grandparent relationship?

I think once they see the overhaul we are doing with our lives and our things maybe they will take what we say into accordance. We have already had a no toy policy for about 6 months. Compared to what they used to do, they are doing well. But last night my in laws brought her home from their "date night" with Dora the Explorer Trix Yogurt. The MIL proudly proclaimed, "see, it doesn't have any artificial colours or preservatives!" To her credit it didn't, and I was quite shocked to find that out. We got the crap out of the yogurt (at least most of it), I gotta hand that to her. I guess in about 5 more years the Dora the Explorer will go away to.
post #45 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
I figure this, is a plastic toy really worth the ruin of a child/grandparent relationship?
I feel this way too. For DS's 2nd Christmas---the first one after we switched to more natural stuff...most family tried - or got books which is great! A couple saw it a passing phase and got what made them happy. I let DS play with those toys until they naturally fell out of favor then they made their way into the consignment sale or goodwill boxes and he never asked for them again. Anything he persisted in loving, remained in the house unless it was SO obnoxious I couldn't live with it. (Did I ever mention that I ok-ed his dad to get him a plastic CHAINSAW when he was about 15 months old?!?!?!!?)

We never have gotten rid of any of the Little People stuff. He just adores them and integrates them into all of his other games! I like the natural toys for the aesthetics and calmness...but I am willing to see the open-endedness in some of the plastic stuff too.

I did notice that last year - his 3rd holiday season - everyone realized it wasn't a passing phase and they really kept it in mind. Even the people that thought it was a silly phase the first time around. I was extremely grateful to see how thoughtful everyone was to step outside of their comfort zone and seek out something that fit with the lifestyle we were aiming for! (The same can't be said for the out of state inlaws, but they don't know us as well, so no biggie.)
post #46 of 117
I just started reading the little house books again, and they are so good! I can't wait til my son is old enough to read them to. The books really make it stand out how much we consume, to the point that nothing is even special anymore.

I have no problem with toys (I do sell them after all), but how many do we need? I love the book Simplicity Parenting. He talks about having an anti-Christmas (purging toys), and how kids always love it. I would rather people gave him the gift of themselves, like a day out with Nana or playing baseball with David (his uncle). That wouldn't work as well with out of state relatives though.
post #47 of 117
We've got it easy this year! We're moving across the Atlantic next year and as we're starting a business we don't have a corporate moving account; we'll have to take very little with us.

FINALLY, something both our families can understand! We've asked for experience-only gifts until our move, and I think this will be our best Chrsitmas ever!

We only do little gifts in stockings on Christmas. We do gifts from one another on Epiphany, and by then the whole Christmas-furor has died down and the kids are happy with books, clothes, and a couple of small toys (yo-yos, jump-ropes, a doll, etc.).

I love pp's idea of having the fairies leave out the makings of an activity each day...maybe we'll do that for the 12 Days of Christmas until Epiphany. We sort of wanted to mark those days traditionally by gift-giving, but we didn't want so much STUFF, so this is a great idea! Thanks!

ETA, We also like things like a book of paper-airplanes becuase the planes are fun to build and fly, but they have a shelf-life...once they get crumpled up, they get recycled.
post #48 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
of course it is total manipulation, but cutting back on time spent.....

Hehehe, well you don't know my family.

See, we live within 15 minutes of ALL of our family(except for my dad, brother and grandmother). Generally speaking, my immediate extended family rocks. They really adore my daughter and give her the grandparent relationship that every child should have, material things aside. Sure, we have a few issues with each one, but they are small and can be over looked in favor of the relationship they have with their grandbaby.

I figure this, is a plastic toy really worth the ruin of a child/grandparent relationship?

I think once they see the overhaul we are doing with our lives and our things maybe they will take what we say into accordance. We have already had a no toy policy for about 6 months. Compared to what they used to do, they are doing well. But last night my in laws brought her home from their "date night" with Dora the Explorer Trix Yogurt. The MIL proudly proclaimed, "see, it doesn't have any artificial colours or preservatives!" To her credit it didn't, and I was quite shocked to find that out. We got the crap out of the yogurt (at least most of it), I gotta hand that to her. I guess in about 5 more years the Dora the Explorer will go away to.
Do you know what is screaming in my head when i am reading this :

RESPECT

They should respect your wishes as a mama. It is manipulation on their part. Yes, the grandparent/grandchild relationship is so special, but, really, it is a privalige that they have this, not a right. They should and need to repsect your parenting wishes. Even if it gets akward for a while (and believe you me, I have been there. It was hard and we had to, akwardly, talk things through for want we wanted, but now, it is sorted)

Please, please, please, they should respect your wishes.
post #49 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaG View Post
We've got it easy this year! We're moving across the Atlantic next year and as we're starting a business we don't have a corporate moving account; we'll have to take very little with us.

FINALLY, something both our families can understand! We've asked for experience-only gifts until our move, and I think this will be our best Chrsitmas ever!

We only do little gifts in stockings on Christmas. We do gifts from one another on Epiphany, and by then the whole Christmas-furor has died down and the kids are happy with books, clothes, and a couple of small toys (yo-yos, jump-ropes, a doll, etc.).

I love pp's idea of having the fairies leave out the makings of an activity each day...maybe we'll do that for the 12 Days of Christmas until Epiphany. We sort of wanted to mark those days traditionally by gift-giving, but we didn't want so much STUFF, so this is a great idea! Thanks!

ETA, We also like things like a book of paper-airplanes becuase the planes are fun to build and fly, but they have a shelf-life...once they get crumpled up, they get recycled.
I love the phrase 'experience only gifts.' That is so great.

The paper airplanes is great too. It reminds me of my nephew. He is 8 (I think, or 9? I forget! ) and he loves Origami (OMG i don't know if that is spelt correctly!) He spends alot of time doing that and I hope my girls get into paper folding when they are a bit older!
post #50 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
Do you know what is screaming in my head when i am reading this :

RESPECT

They should respect your wishes as a mama. It is manipulation on their part. Yes, the grandparent/grandchild relationship is so special, but, really, it is a privalige that they have this, not a right. They should and need to repsect your parenting wishes. Even if it gets akward for a while (and believe you me, I have been there. It was hard and we had to, akwardly, talk things through for want we wanted, but now, it is sorted)

Please, please, please, they should respect your wishes.
TusilLeaf, I hope i didn't/haven't upset you writing this. You're my friend, and the last thing I want to do is upset you
post #51 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
Do you know what is screaming in my head when i am reading this :

RESPECT

They should respect your wishes as a mama. It is manipulation on their part. Yes, the grandparent/grandchild relationship is so special, but, really, it is a privalige that they have this, not a right. They should and need to repsect your parenting wishes. Even if it gets akward for a while (and believe you me, I have been there. It was hard and we had to, akwardly, talk things through for want we wanted, but now, it is sorted)

Please, please, please, they should respect your wishes.
Everyone has different values and they'll tip the scales in one direction or another. Whether you choose to make the relationship uncomfortable to get the life choices enforced, or sacrifice the life choices a bit to preserve the relationship...that is up to the person and their own family. Neither answer is wrong. I think that's important to realize.

Changes take time. Every family has different dynamics. And forcing other people to act completely outside of their life-experience because of your own choices as a person/parent takes time, compromise and respect on both sides.
post #52 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RollerCoasterMama View Post
Everyone has different values and they'll tip the scales in one direction or another. Whether you choose to make the relationship uncomfortable to get the life choices enforced, or sacrifice the life choices a bit to preserve the relationship...that is up to the person and their own family. Neither answer is wrong. I think that's important to realize.

Changes take time. Every family has different dynamics. And forcing other people to act completely outside of their life-experience because of your own choices as a person/parent takes time, compromise and respect on both sides.
I see what you are saying completely, but I just struggle to see why someone would go out of their way to choose a gift for a child, when they know full well that it is not in keeping with the values of the family they are gift buying for. And the fact that TulsiLeaf said they were smirking about it too suggests that they know full well they are going against her wishes but doing it anyway. To me, that is disrespectful and they are not thinking about preserving relationships, they are just buying what they want to buy, because it is what they think is right.

But, you're right, there isn't a right or wrong here but I hate seeing people's values being walked over. I think sometimes it can be to do with issues of control in relationships and not wanting to give up that control. But that is just my opinion.
post #53 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
TusilLeaf, I hope i didn't/haven't upset you writing this. You're my friend, and the last thing I want to do is upset you


Ohh, no no no no no! you'd have to do a lot to upset me, ha.


It is about respect for me, and I totally agree with you. Completely.


See, things are changing slowly, reaaaaaaaaaaally slowly. I remember my daughters 2nd christmas (she was around 16 months old) when I remember asking my mother for one of those lovely little wooden pianos for my daughter. It was 40 bucks and it was so lovely. She goes grinning around, ear to ear for weeks about this "piano" she got for her. She wouldn't show it to me, wouldn't let me see it, but said I would " LOVE it".

Christmas rolls around and there is is MASSIVE box sitting under her tree. I asked her "wheres the little piano?"
"Oh, just you wait till you see it, Krissy. You'll love it"

So M unwraps this box and lo and behold there is her piano!

Except for that it is a MASSIVE plastic desk with a musical clock and I was flabbergasted. Where was the piano Mum? So she flips up the desk and there are 4 plastic keys. 4 PLASTIC KEYS!!! She spent near $100 on this big piece of crap. You should have seen her face when she saw my face! When she asked me what I thought of it and I politely told her that it wasn't what I had asked for or what we wanted for M she told me "well it's not for you, so don't be rude about it". Now, you have to understand my mother to get what she said. She was embarrassed and upset that I didn't think what she thought was the bees knees was great. When she gets embarrassed she gets snarky and laughs.

What it all boils down to is that they honestly see what my husband and I do as a phase or something we do just to be different. My mother knows that I am a good parent and so is my husband. She knows it. But she just seriously doesn't understand my reasoning behind it. She thinks it's crazy to not want plastic. Why not? It's so sanitary!!! You can bleach it! I am the only one in the bunch that breastfed, cloth diapered, co slept, doesn't spank, homeschools. I am so far from the norm in this family that I had to step back and realize where they were coming from. With my family, when you do something so totally out of the norm, they think it is because you think what they did as parents was wrong. Well, in some things I do think it is wrong. It has taken me 5 years to explain that I just have a different philosophy of parenting! I would get from my mother, "but I never did anything wrong to you. You came out great". Well how do you explain to your mother, who did the best job she knew how to, that well I didn't agree with a lot of your techniques? It's hard to do that and not just absolutely make her think she is a crap mother. You know?

So the process is slow. It's painful at times and yes there has been progress. My mother used to leave me in tears over breastfeeding my kid. Tears. Why aren't you giving her water, she eats to much, omg she isn't eating enough. I had you on a beautiful soy formula and you ate every 4 hours and that is what my most wonderful doctor told me. Why aren't you potty training at 10m? You were dry by the time you were a year(I really think that is an old school English thing because all the family was like that). You shouldn't hold her so much, here give me the baby. Don't let her manipulate you with her cries(a 4 week old), don't jump to her ever cry, as she runs over to my squeaking sleeping baby. But now? When I informed her I was homeschooling M, didn't get a peep. Nothing. She was concerned(and why wouldn't she be? She adores her grandbaby.) but asked me what I planned on doing and she said "well, you're a good mum. I trust you". That was BIG. So big I might even forget a few of the crappy things she has said. When I talked about making cloth diapers for whenever we have another baby she wanted to help. She helped make my daughters banner for her bithday and she went in with us on her wooden fairy castle.

I think, at the heart of it with my mother(the in laws are a whole nother ball game and my dad lives miles away) is that she grew up with nothing, and she had a rather unhappy marriage with my father who would berate her for spending. When this baby came along, she was so sad from divorce and stuff that she buried herself in this little life. And she now didn't have to answer to anyone, so she bought her whatever she wanted. My mother just adores M and no one is better than Nanny to M. While it does annoy me with the "stuff", I remember being my daughters age and how much my Nanny meant to me(I still have that relationship with my Nan. No one is as special as her. OK now I am getting teary eyed thinking about Nan being so far away in England).

Wow, that was long and probably boring. But I just wanted to explain why it is hard to not just put that foot down and severe a relationship based on a plastic toy. Plus, I think this is a huge big lesson for me in how I communicate with people and how I let my emotions take over and try to control things.
post #54 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
.

But, you're right, there isn't a right or wrong here but I hate seeing people's values being walked over. I think sometimes it can be to do with issues of control in relationships and not wanting to give up that control. But that is just my opinion.
You nailed it right there.

A lot of Mum's problem(Mum is the worst with buying things! The in laws just bring home tons of useless crap with M, but I don't get so upset because the relationship isn't as close) is that she isn't the Mummy anymore and that she has to step back and let someone else have control. I have said this to her, but she will deny it till her face is blue.

But you nailed it.
post #55 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
Ohh, no no no no no! you'd have to do a lot to upset me, ha.


It is about respect for me, and I totally agree with you. Completely.


See, things are changing slowly, reaaaaaaaaaaally slowly. I remember my daughters 2nd christmas (she was around 16 months old) when I remember asking my mother for one of those lovely little wooden pianos for my daughter. It was 40 bucks and it was so lovely. She goes grinning around, ear to ear for weeks about this "piano" she got for her. She wouldn't show it to me, wouldn't let me see it, but said I would " LOVE it".

Christmas rolls around and there is is MASSIVE box sitting under her tree. I asked her "wheres the little piano?"
"Oh, just you wait till you see it, Krissy. You'll love it"

So M unwraps this box and lo and behold there is her piano!

Except for that it is a MASSIVE plastic desk with a musical clock and I was flabbergasted. Where was the piano Mum? So she flips up the desk and there are 4 plastic keys. 4 PLASTIC KEYS!!! She spent near $100 on this big piece of crap. You should have seen her face when she saw my face! When she asked me what I thought of it and I politely told her that it wasn't what I had asked for or what we wanted for M she told me "well it's not for you, so don't be rude about it". Now, you have to understand my mother to get what she said. She was embarrassed and upset that I didn't think what she thought was the bees knees was great. When she gets embarrassed she gets snarky and laughs.

What it all boils down to is that they honestly see what my husband and I do as a phase or something we do just to be different. My mother knows that I am a good parent and so is my husband. She knows it. But she just seriously doesn't understand my reasoning behind it. She thinks it's crazy to not want plastic. Why not? It's so sanitary!!! You can bleach it! I am the only one in the bunch that breastfed, cloth diapered, co slept, doesn't spank, homeschools. I am so far from the norm in this family that I had to step back and realize where they were coming from. With my family, when you do something so totally out of the norm, they think it is because you think what they did as parents was wrong. Well, in some things I do think it is wrong. It has taken me 5 years to explain that I just have a different philosophy of parenting! I would get from my mother, "but I never did anything wrong to you. You came out great". Well how do you explain to your mother, who did the best job she knew how to, that well I didn't agree with a lot of your techniques? It's hard to do that and not just absolutely make her think she is a crap mother. You know?

So the process is slow. It's painful at times and yes there has been progress. My mother used to leave me in tears over breastfeeding my kid. Tears. Why aren't you giving her water, she eats to much, omg she isn't eating enough. I had you on a beautiful soy formula and you ate every 4 hours and that is what my most wonderful doctor told me. Why aren't you potty training at 10m? You were dry by the time you were a year(I really think that is an old school English thing because all the family was like that). You shouldn't hold her so much, here give me the baby. Don't let her manipulate you with her cries(a 4 week old), don't jump to her ever cry, as she runs over to my squeaking sleeping baby. But now? When I informed her I was homeschooling M, didn't get a peep. Nothing. She was concerned(and why wouldn't she be? She adores her grandbaby.) but asked me what I planned on doing and she said "well, you're a good mum. I trust you". That was BIG. So big I might even forget a few of the crappy things she has said. When I talked about making cloth diapers for whenever we have another baby she wanted to help. She helped make my daughters banner for her bithday and she went in with us on her wooden fairy castle.

I think, at the heart of it with my mother(the in laws are a whole nother ball game and my dad lives miles away) is that she grew up with nothing, and she had a rather unhappy marriage with my father who would berate her for spending. When this baby came along, she was so sad from divorce and stuff that she buried herself in this little life. And she now didn't have to answer to anyone, so she bought her whatever she wanted. My mother just adores M and no one is better than Nanny to M. While it does annoy me with the "stuff", I remember being my daughters age and how much my Nanny meant to me(I still have that relationship with my Nan. No one is as special as her. OK now I am getting teary eyed thinking about Nan being so far away in England).

Wow, that was long and probably boring. But I just wanted to explain why it is hard to not just put that foot down and severe a relationship based on a plastic toy. Plus, I think this is a huge big lesson for me in how I communicate with people and how I let my emotions take over and try to control things.
TulsiLeaf, thank you so much for explaining, I understand your situation now
I have sent you an e.mail!
And you response wasn't boring at all
post #56 of 117
i think that my assertion came out more staunch than the reality of my experience with it.

foremost, i believe that we should not be manipulated in our relationships--even with close family, and perhaps especially with them.

secondarily, when we make a change in our lives, everyone else is affected, and they are going to test the boundaries of that change. it is perfectly normal to do this. when you are different, or your rules change, they need to know how serious you are about it.

so, this is one of those areas where if you aren't demonstratively asserting your boundaries, then you are going to be living with behaviors (and characters) that you don't like for a lot longer than you might if you stand up for yourself.

in my family, we had to be very demonstrative. we couldn't just use words as in "don't do that" and "please don't do that." but we had to demonstrat ewe were serious by saying "we will leave if you continue." or "we will not invite you to join us with this, if you continue."

and, they did test those boundaries. they did push, and we did have to get up and leave, or ask them to leave, and so on.

and they learned. they apologized, followed the rules, and got to spend the amount of time that worked for all of us with him.

so, it's really about calling it what it is "please don't use my child to manipulate me" and then be demonstrative about how that behavior is not going to be allowed in any form, and then when that is respected, you bring them back in.

it does make for a better relationship, honestly. and, it isn't permanent.
post #57 of 117
also, i can understand that your mom might be functioning from the love language of "stuff"--that is, that she buys objects to show her love--as that is my family's primary love language too. to them, to say no to objects is to say no to their love. it is a huge rejection. it was very hard for them to come to understand that my needs (and my family's needs) and our love language is very different. not that we are rejecting their love, but rather we need to be shown love in a very different way, and that they also need to be shown love in a different way than i do.

the same comes across with the parenting. both of our sets of parents did not parent the way that we do. both of them asserted the same ideas that "but we didn't hurt you" and so on. I just told them that we are choosing something different, which is not a criticism of what they did in any way. it's just saying that we have information and options that they didn't have, and based on that, this is what we are choosing.

after that, they settled down too.

so, it was a combination of communication and demonstration.
post #58 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
also, i can understand that your mom might be functioning from the love language of "stuff"--that is, that she buys objects to show her love--as that is my family's primary love language too. to them, to say no to objects is to say no to their love. it is a huge rejection. it was very hard for them to come to understand that my needs (and my family's needs) and our love language is very different. not that we are rejecting their love, but rather we need to be shown love in a very different way, and that they also need to be shown love in a different way than i do.

the same comes across with the parenting. both of our sets of parents did not parent the way that we do. both of them asserted the same ideas that "but we didn't hurt you" and so on. I just told them that we are choosing something different, which is not a criticism of what they did in any way. it's just saying that we have information and options that they didn't have, and based on that, this is what we are choosing.

after that, they settled down too.

so, it was a combination of communication and demonstration.

Yeah, we are slowly working toward that.

There has been a lot of therapy, on my part, in my dealings with my mother. I find, for me to preserve my relationship with her (which is on a whole, very good. I adore her and we are so close. I think that is why the clashes are that much harder to deal with) and my sanity, slowly working towards it is better.

But, I will say that the demonstration will be getting more forceful. Walking into your kids room and having the overwhelming urge to throw everything out and screaming can only go on for so long.

I really appreciate you ladies taking the time to write all these thoughtful and thought provoking messages though. It is nice to see others understanding what I am going through over here and agreeing with me. Maybe for some giggles(or to scare you all) I should post some pictures of her room at it's "best".
post #59 of 117
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=TulsiLeaf;15737686


Walking into your kids room and having the overwhelming urge to throw everything out and screaming can only go on for so long.

".[/QUOTE]

Have you thought about talking to your LO about going through her toys? Something along the lines of: 'Ummm, maybe we should sit down together and see if any of your toys are broken or damaged because I don't want you to hurt yourself on them?' or 'Lets see if there are any toys you don't really play with, then we can leave them in a special box for children who really need them who don't have very much. Then you can see all the toys you really love and they won't get lost in your room.

(Maybe you could take them together to a charity shop or hospital who needs toys)

Or if you have more than one of the same toy you could say, 'Look, they're the same, which one is your favourite?'

You could make all of this into an afternoon activity and make it a bit more fun by spreading out a blanket and having a picnic of milk and cookies in her room so she remembers it in a positive way and not negatively.

If this doesn't work, you could try taking a bag into her room when she is not there, pick out some bits that she really doesn't play with, pop them into the bag, hide them in the cupboard for six months and if they're not mentioned take them to goodwill.

That doesn't sound very honest I know, but I did a mixture of these things about 3 years ago and it worked. It helped that the 'toy fairy' came with some simple natural toys though They were put in baskets on her tidy shelf and she loved it.

I hear that the book 'Simplicity Parenting' has a fantasic chapter on this but I haven't read it yet.

Also, 'Our Day Our Journey' talks about simple toys on her beautiful blog.
post #60 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
Have you thought about talking to your LO about going through her toys? Something along the lines of: 'Ummm, maybe we should sit down together and see if any of your toys are broken or damaged because I don't want you to hurt yourself on them?' or 'Lets see if there are any toys you don't really play with, then we can leave them in a special box for children who really need them who don't have very much. Then you can see all the toys you really love and they won't get lost in your room.

(Maybe you could take them together to a charity shop or hospital who needs toys)

Or if you have more than one of the same toy you could say, 'Look, they're the same, which one is your favourite?'

You could make all of this into an afternoon activity and make it a bit more fun by spreading out a blanket and having a picnic of milk and cookies in her room so she remembers it in a positive way and not negatively.

If this doesn't work, you could try taking a bag into her room when she is not there, pick out some bits that she really doesn't play with, pop them into the bag, hide them in the cupboard for six months and if they're not mentioned take them to goodwill.

That doesn't sound very honest I know, but I did a mixture of these things about 3 years ago and it worked. It helped that the 'toy fairy' came with some simple natural toys though They were put in baskets on her tidy shelf and she loved it.

I hear that the book 'Simplicity Parenting' has a fantasic chapter on this but I haven't read it yet.

Also, 'Our Day Our Journey' talks about simple toys on her beautiful blog.

Ohh we go through her room regularly. That is the only way I can keep a handle on it. She understands about giving things to children who don't have anything. We donate a lot.

Yesterday I organized her toy shelf, the closet is next. She has so much storage room(I would die for her closet space!) that it just invites keeping so much. She has a wall length closet with shelving down both sides and up top.

I need to get that book and read that blog.

But sometimes I read those blogs and it just makes me so much more upset. I was trying to explain to my husband today and I was just in near tears.
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