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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

Wow!  I can see that people are really sensitive about this!  It honestly didn't seem like that big of deal to me.  Here's a link to a Mothering article btw, I didn't make this term up!  It's been around for awhile now.  http://www.mothering.com/green-living/no-more-junk-toys-rethinking-childrens-gifts 

I can tell that to some people I'm coming across as some sanctamonious ass.  We do have plastic toys in the house, I'm just battle weary from all the clutter toys (I'll start using another term to as not offend!)  from birthday parties, this and that, school...  every where it seems.  I'm tired of having it in my home, cluttering up my life.  I'm tired of having to spirit it away in boxes or when I'm really tired simply throw it in the garbage.  It seems like it's every where and endless!  They don't need all this weird, little plastic stuff.  They are perfectly happy without it.  I have made exceptions for certain things believe me.  Our toys are not wooden, handmade, cooperative.... etc, etc....   Calling cetain toys junk toys and explaining it to my kids in that way... it's like junk food, some food isn't good for your body or the earth, some toys aren't good for your brain or the earth.  I just don't want them around me or my kids.  I guess it's unavoidable though, is that what every one is saying, I should just give up?  Take them to Toys R Us and load up?  Hahahaha, I'm being sarcastic but shouldn't I at least try????? 

 

I don't think you have to give up.  You have certain rules for your house and that is completely understandable.  I do think in some situations rules are meant to be bent or modified though.  If you're worried about they toys that are coming into the house all you have to do is respectfully ask other parents to not allow their children to bring toys over when having play dates.  You can assure the parents you have plenty of things to do to keep the kids busy, and sending toys with the child is unnecessary.  To make it easier you can say that you've had situations in the past where toys have gotten left behind and it's created a problem and you're trying to avoid that situation again.  If a toy gets brought to your house in a back pack or something from another child, you could allow them to show your child, and then ask them to please put it back in their bag so it doesn't get lost.  If they push the topic and really really want to play with it, then you can just say "We have rules in our house and this is one of them".  I think that's a lot easier for them to understand that than telling them their toy is "junk" and you don't allow it.  I think kids can understand the value of not losing something they care about, rather than telling them something they care about is unworthy of your child playing with it.

 

I do think you should apologize to the mom, she was clearly offended if she made a comment to you about it.  If the children are good friends and play well together it may not be a friend that your child wants to lose because of a toy.  Maybe you could try to explain the situation to the mom a little more.  Explain to her that you've had a lot of things coming into the house after the holidays and it's created so much clutter.   Tell her that you're trying to rid the house of it, and having things like that around makes it hard for your child to be understanding of you removing the items from the home.

post #22 of 41

I agree with you about "junk toys -- privately, though. I think it may be be best that the play dates are best left to between kiddos with similar family values. I don't mean about toys, btw -- I mean that I would have grave reservations about letting my kids play at the house of someone that doesn't see anything wrong with shaming or demeaning a small child. I believe you didn't mean it that way, of course mama -- but despite having it explained to you by many posters here that no, no one here is "sensitive" about the "junk toy" issue,  you keep framing it as though that is what we're saying, you see? That would lead me to fear similar incidents would happen again should my child play at your house (or with your children, maybe, if they were absorbing your values like we all hope our children do).

 

If you really didn't mean to hurt the child's feelings or shame the child and her family and still want to maintain friendly contact with the family, I'd apologize and explain, just like a PP said. Good luck, I hope it works out.

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

Thanks for the feedback.  Yes I agree.  I honestly didn't exactly mean for it come out the way it did.   We've been using the term so much lately after dealing with visiting family for the holidays and all the stuff that entails.  I didn't really see that labeling a toy as junk meant anything bad towards her, I wasn't calling her junk.  Stuff is just stuff... but I do see how it's rude. It's an easy term to use to sum it all up and it popped out.  I'm not sure what the better way to handle that situation would have been though.  Saying something like, "those types of toys" is that really less rude?  I do feel it's my right to have a say about what is brought into my own home.  Especially when I'm trying to keep my children's exposure to stuff like that as low as possible.   But I'm not sure of the best way to handle it, it's late, I'll have to think about it.  It's been a long, hard, junk toy/ decluttering battle here since the holidays! 


But why mention it at all? That's where I'm confused. I mean, we have rules about "junk toys" as well, although that's not the phrase we use. But unless you were telling her she couldn't bring her own toy into your home, which honestly, I think is rude too, I just don't understand your point. As for your kids being exposed to "stuff like that" I get you, I honestly do-- but it's going to happen. I would much rather my children learn to be kind.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

Wow!  I can see that people are really sensitive about this!  It honestly didn't seem like that big of deal to me.  Here's a link to a Mothering article btw, I didn't make this term up!  It's been around for awhile now.  http://www.mothering.com/green-living/no-more-junk-toys-rethinking-childrens-gifts 

I can tell that to some people I'm coming across as some sanctamonious ass.  We do have plastic toys in the house, I'm just battle weary from all the clutter toys (I'll start using another term to as not offend!)  from birthday parties, this and that, school...  every where it seems.  I'm tired of having it in my home, cluttering up my life.  I'm tired of having to spirit it away in boxes or when I'm really tired simply throw it in the garbage.  It seems like it's every where and endless!  They don't need all this weird, little plastic stuff.  They are perfectly happy without it.  I have made exceptions for certain things believe me.  Our toys are not wooden, handmade, cooperative.... etc, etc....   Calling cetain toys junk toys and explaining it to my kids in that way... it's like junk food, some food isn't good for your body or the earth, some toys aren't good for your brain or the earth.  I just don't want them around me or my kids.  I guess it's unavoidable though, is that what every one is saying, I should just give up?  Take them to Toys R Us and load up?  Hahahaha, I'm being sarcastic but shouldn't I at least try????? 


Was she giving you the toy? Your OP said she was simply showing it to you. I feel like I must be missing something.
post #25 of 41

I don't get it either.  If the toy belongs to the other kid, why is it even an issue?  If you want to make sure the kid took it with them, you could have asked them to put it away for safekeeping.

 

I also think it was very rude to talk to a child like that.

post #26 of 41

When I talk about toys with my ds, I talk about whether something is well made, whether it looks like it might break easily and if it is made of a material we can fix.  I talk about the play value and whether it can be played with in multiple ways.  We also talk about the environmental impact and buy second hand when we can.  We take good care of toys, even cheap ones, so they can be passed along for someone else to appreciate.  We look at toys individually and don't put them in a category.  We don't insult an entire country and it's people by complaining about things made in China.  

 

My ds is attracted to things that transforms so he loves those Transformer toys.  He loves gadgets and role playing espionage so he also loves Spy Gear.  They aren't "junk" toys because they enrich his life and engage his brain despite the fact that they are plastic and versions come in Happy Meals.  You can talk about toys and share your values in ways that are not black and white and without role modeling a judgmental attitude.  

post #27 of 41
Thread Starter 

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Edited by mom2sol - 3/11/11 at 3:08pm
post #28 of 41

why not just say "that's very nice, do you like that toy? Is it ok that we put it here on the counter so it doesn't get broken or lost?"

post #29 of 41

I would be so upset if that happened to my child.  We tend to buy MDC approved toys, but our daughter gets lots of gifts and chooses what she likes to play with.  One of her most loved dolls is a talking Dora that she received from her grandmother.  It is certainly a "junk toy" in the eyes of many here, but it is a loved friend to my daughter.  I think that it's crucial to remember to honor children's feelings and tastes rather than just our asthetic preferences when it comes to toys. 

 

ETA: I still think the clutter toy thing is hurtful to children.  IMO, you can decide what your children own if you need to do that, but you should just hold off any judgment or comments about what toys other children have and love.  I would just let it go but I tend to be pretty democratic regarding toys.

post #30 of 41
I would just say, "Hey, I don't want any pieces to get lost or left behind so please leave the small toys at home." Or if they want to show your kid, they could, but then put it up and out of the way for the remainder of the time. I don't think "clutter toys" is really much better. It's still a bit judgmental. However, "small" is just descriptive.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

I would just say, "Hey, I don't want any pieces to get lost or left behind so please leave the small toys at home." Or if they want to show your kid, they could, but then put it up and out of the way for the remainder of the time. I don't think "clutter toys" is really much better. It's still a bit judgmental. However, "small" is just descriptive.


 

yeahthat.gif  I would also just say "I would hate for anything to get lost, please leave small toys at home"

 

I also think that there is judgement to the term "clutter toys".  Which is just fine when you are talking to your own children.  However, you are talking about an item that belongs to someone else that just happens to be in your house.  I don't really care for some of my friend's jewelry, but just because she wears it in my house, I would never consider telling her that in our home we have a rule about gaudy jewelry

post #32 of 41

What would you like another parent to call your child's felted gnome or whatever you consider a great toy, if it is unwelcome in their home for even a playdate? (And there are definitely people who would find such a toy a dust magnet, clutter, choking hazard, unsanitary, junk, or other words that are rude). 

 

What would you want them to say about it? If you wouldn't want it said by another parent about your child's most treasured possession that she is sharing with her friend and intends to bring home, don't say it to another person's child. It's pretty basic "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." here.

 

The only thing you can possibly say is "Oh, I see you brought your toy to share, but I don't want it to get lost or any of the parts to go missing, so we don't allow outside toys in our house." 

 

Generally, people who don't "allow junk toys" or "allow clutter toys" means that we/they don't KEEP toys that are junky or clutter as part of their regular playthings in their own house. It says nothing about what toys their friends may play with or bring into the house for a few hours a month! I'm really baffled as to how you can possibly think that either term would be appropriate to say to a child about his/her toy.

post #33 of 41
Thread Starter 

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Edited by mom2sol - 3/11/11 at 3:09pm
post #34 of 41

I don't buy my little girl high-heeled shoes or impractical slide sandals.

 

that doesn't mean I tell her little friend "Oh, we don't buy slut shoes" when she wears her sequin-covered high-heeled peep-toe mules over on a playdate.

 

I  might observe "I"m not sure you'll be able to play in the treehouse wearing those.' 

If one of the girls asked why my DD did not have a similar pair of shoes, I might say "Well, I prefer to buy shoes that little girls can run and play in."

 

If I was *pressed* on that last statement, I might add that "Wearing shoes like that keep little girls from being active, and its easier to get hurt when you wear them, so I won't buy them."

 

If the guest came to me to show off her new shoes I would probably say "Those are very sparkly!  Do you like them?"

 

Again:  In my mind -- those are the stupidest, most impractical shoes for little girls, and I cringe when I see kids on the playground trying to run and climb in them.  But I'm not going to call them names.  I'm not going to needlessly hurt a little kid or cut her off as a possible friend to my DD just because her parents make different choices in clothing.

 

Heck, the time may come when it's my child being mocked or put down for her practical, comfortable clothing, because it's not as hip/cool/fashionable.  

 

Do I want my kid coming home and telling me that someone called her pink athletic sandals "Dorky?"   No.

 

Would you want your kid coming home and confiding her friend's parents called her special toys "Elitist, unrealistic, expensive, and boring?" (all real-life things I've heard said above Waldorfy toys from non-Waldorfy parents)

post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

Okay, I see what you're saying.   I guess I'm not making myself clear enough.  It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults  because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance.  And it seems like my kids are also running the risk of offending by thinking of certain toys as junk toys by saying it out loud but if they said something like, oh my family calls that a clutter toy- it may be less offensive. 


That's a problem though. Neither you slipping up nor your children commenting on friend's toys should say anything involving junk, clutter, wasteful, wrong, or anything of the kind. I would certainly be offended if my child's friend said "at my house, we call that a clutter toy." There is nothing your child can say in terms of "oh my family calls that a [   ] toy" that won't be rude.

 

You can say that you don't allow outside toys in your home because of the potential for pieces to get lost. Your children can say "My mom doesn't want outside toys in the house, but come with me, I have a [super awesome whatever] that I have to show you!" If you have very young children or a dog, older children can say that small parts aren't allowed in the house bc baby sister/brother/dog puts everything in their mouth and might choke. There's just nothing that you can say that judges other children's toys without being rude and offensive. 

post #36 of 41


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

 I mean honestly are you supposed to say, food of low nutritional quality?  Should I have really been so cautious with my words and said something like.. well, see I can't even think of an easy term to use besides junk toy.  Sigh.  Any way, just wanted to get some outside perspective about this.  What do you think? 



You're supposed to say "what a nice toy" and leave it at that.  You are not supposed to insult other children's toys.

 

Also, should another child bring food that you don't think is healthy enough, you shouldn't insult that either.

 

Being a host means putting your guests at ease and being polite.  Even if those guests are just children.  Being a parent also means modeling gracious behavior.  I'm sorry, but you did not do that when you insulted the toy and said that you have rules against it.  While you and I share similar toy ideals, how another parent treats my child is far more important to me than what their playroom consists of, and I would be "bent out of shape" if you insulted anything whatsoever about my child or my child's interests or likes while s/he was at your house.


Word. That was downright rude, and especially mean since you directed it at a little kid.

 

I don't like mass-produced clothing. It doesn't mean I'm going to start referring to other people's clothes as sweatshop crap, especially to their faces. I'm also not going to teach my children to do that, because whether it's a fact or not doesn't negate the fact it's judgmental and unnecessary.

 

I don't really understand why it's hard for some people to hold their views without simultaneously making others feel crappy - whether crunchy or mainstream.

 

ETA: just read your last post - have you eliminated every plastic toy from your house? You said that you've become a bit more lenient in the past. What is the big deal if another kid brings a toy of THEIRS over? If it's not staying in your house, is it really worth demeaning another person over - including the friends of your kids, or your own friends? You don't want clutter. They won't be adding to the clutter. No matter how you decide to label it, the child will end up not understanding why they can't have a particular toy in your house, and it's likely it will lead the kid to wonder what's "wrong" with their toy. I dunno. It just doesn't seem like a reasonable hill to die on, IMO.

post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

Okay, I see what you're saying.   I guess I'm not making myself clear enough.  It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults  because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance. 

 


For when you're explaining the rule to others outside the family, I would say "no little toys" -  there's still a judgemental flavor about "clutter". I imagine:
 
"If you bring a big thing like a teddy bear or a biiig ole truck, it won't get lost, so that's OK to play with here. But little toys are so easy to lose and mix up with our toys, so I'm going to ask you to keep those in your backpack and not play with them here."
 
And if you decide that you really don't want your kids exposed to even big toys that don't fit your values, then "No outside toys" is nice and non-judgemental. You could go through several rounds of "why?" before you get to the potentially offensive core of the "why".
 
To solve the problem of a different word to use in the family and in your own mind, how about the approved toys being "FamilyName toys"? That is, if you're the Smiths, how about "Smith Toys"? That reflects the fact that you've set your own values and goals for toys, and set rules for how they work for _your_ family. It's fairly free of judgement, because your reasons can have all sorts of things to do with your children's play preferences, your household organization preferences, your actual house layout, and so on, all of which could be completely different for other people. I realize that deep, deep in the core of your mind you'll consider a lovely wooden truck to be inherently superior to a nasty sticker-covered plastic truck, but this drapes enough layers over that opinion to make it fairly unlikely that it will come out. :)
 
Crayfish
post #38 of 41

While I agree with you about having kids and all the clutter of the seemingly endless supply of toys, there seems to be two different issues.  The first issue if you don't want YOUR kids to have certain kinds of toys in your house and you use the "junk toys" phrase to explain it to your kids.  That's cool and I don't think anyone would be upset by you using that phrase to explain it to your kids.   What I think people are taking issue with is that  it sounds as if you are passing judgement on a kid's toy to the kid.  It would be as if you showed a friend your new car and the friend said, "You bought that piece a crap car?  It gets terrible gas mileage.  I would never drive that car, we don't drive cars like that in my family."

post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post


Okay, I see what you're saying.   I guess I'm not making myself clear enough.  It's not that I would call it the clutter toy rule to a kid but it seems like I need a different way to think about it and discuss it with other family members and adults  because calling it and thinking about it as the junk toy rule makes it more likely that I may slip up again in a similar circumstance.  And it seems like my kids are also running the risk of offending by thinking of certain toys as junk toys by saying it out loud but if they said something like, oh my family calls that a clutter toy- it may be less offensive.  I like the analogy of explaining to kids about toys,  junk toy = junk food but it seems like it's not a good way to explain it to young children and I'm just going to drop the term from my vocabulary from here on out.  Any way,  it's obviously not my time of month for clear communication!  Or adequately filtering the thoughts in my head and saying them out loud!  So I'm just going to stop here!  Talk amongst yourselves : )   




 



I think the best way to change the minds and hearts of those around us is to lead by example. I know in my case, I began making toys for my daughter when she started requesting specific toys. Crochet is very easy to pick up for some people with just a simple book, or you could even take a class if you find it difficult. YouTube has good tutorials as well.

The great thing about making your own toys is that you can use natural materials, soft fibers, etc. After making some toys for my daughter, I started gifting them and it rubbed off on others. They started making dolls and play food and character toys for their children. And knowing that I influenced others to try something they may not have otherwise done made me really happy!

I don't think it's unreasonable to try and get rid of toys that don't meet your standards. You might want to do something like have a "transformation ceremony" where your children bring you all the junk/clutter toys they are willing to part with, put them into an "alchemy pot" overnight, and the next day (or week or however long you think they should have to wait for something special) when they open it, you've replaced them with a new hand-made toy. And if it's a success, you may be able to talk up the success of it to your friends and encourage them to do something similar. But I would just suggest that you have the toy already planned out and probably made in advance so there really is something you care place the old toys with

I'm sure that once you have a success story to share, the people around you would be interested about hearing about how to improve their children's toys. My dh and I do this constantly (about toys and health as well), even when it really wasn't on topic, and there is always someone interested in the conversation.

 

post #40 of 41
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