Not really sure where to post this... but my DD is 23 months... we have been living with my in-laws since she was born, but will be moving out shortly. While I had a lot of intentions about "how I wanted to do things," some battles I just gave up on and some things changed my mind at the time and place.
...but, right now, DD watches way too much tv. There are way too many toys in this house (lots of handmedowns, but still...)
When we move to our own place, I am really interested in changing our daily life... right now I find it difficult to "play with/entertain" DD... I feel pretty bad about the tv time. She has a ton of toys and is not interested in any. I want to engage meaningfully with her more, I am SAHM for the moment.
So I recently read parts of "You are Your Child's First Teacher," and it really addressed a lot of the issues I am having. I have started taking DD outdoors more and having her "help" me with household tasks, and she loves it and I like this approach too.
My question is... has anyone here been more mainstream with tv/toys, etc. and transitioned ok to a more waldorfy household after your children were toddler/kids? Maybe at 2 and with the physical move DD will not notice too much? She is already obsessed with some characters, not sure how to handle that... I plan on really selecting toys/books for new house, and leaving a lot at grandmas and giving away a lot... would the toys at grandma's be terribly detirmental? I know we will be spending time at their house since we are moving closeby, probably like 6+ hours a week.
There is one waldorf school in our area, but I have not checked it out yet, I'm totally new to the idea, but interested.
We did with our oldest.
For the TV - I just unplugged it and said it was broken. If they can't turn it on they eventually lose interest. There may be some upset for a while, but it will pass.
My son played with various toys at other people's houses. We just didn't have the toys at our house. He had battery toys there too, but eventually the batteries would run out and they are so annoying to me and the other parents.
I think an important thing to remember is that the relationship with a Grandparent has its own value that, most likely, offsets the toy situation.
We are working on this too. Some of the things I have done recently are decluttering and organizing the toys we have (still too many). The toys are stored in bins or baskets and are stored in a closet and rotated. When one basket comes out the other gets put away. I also don't buy clothing, shoes, etc with cartoon characters on them and now even avoid clothing with labels or sayings across the front. Lately, I've focused on having art supplies, games, puzzles, and other toys that we can use for waldorf-style homeschooling. We've moved most of the remaining plastic toys to the garage until we can decide to completely part with them. They will probably be donated soon. So far the kids have not missed them at all which has made things much easier than I anticipated (my boys are almost 2 and almost 4).
My husband loves TV so that will not be going but I have asked that they only watch DVDs and PBS or non-commercial TV. After a few slips we're on track (my husband realized that they were begging for the toys and food on the commercials).
I try to get them classic storybooks and read those instead of ones that have TV characters. One of the hardest challenges is the toys and gifts friends and family get them and what they are exposed to when they visit them. I've told everyone we are working at simplifying...
One book that has helped a lot is "Simplicity Parenting:Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids" by Kim John Payne
I think your move is a great opportunity for change and that you should embrace it. If you can leave some toys behind at Grandma's house all the better. I would take the opportunity to "break" the tv or create a new rhythm that involves much less tv. Go through all the toys and select the 1/3 best and keep those maybe adding a few goodies as suprises. Leave a 1/3 at Grandmas (less than ideal but that she likes) and get rid of a 1/3. Try to purchase natural, open-ended alternatives. This is a GREAT age to make the transition because language and skills are exploding. Also, get some good open ended art supplies like chubby pencils and watercolors. Also, get some good open ended art supplies like chubby pencils and watercolors.
I'd make a point to stop buying character, well, anything if you can. There is usually a better alternative that is well made, more attractice, and probably safer. Why let your kid be an advertisement?
Reserve your tv time for after your child goes to bed. The radio is your friend.
Thanks for the replies!
Have been trying to already cut down on tv and she doesn't seem to miss it too much... I think also a move is ideal because everything will be new, new routines.
DD LOVES the backyardigans. she doesnt have too much character stuff except for 2 stuffed animals. We see it out all the time though. She always asks to watch backyardigans, but hopefully when we move I can decrease/end. Some disney stuff too, although she hasn't really been exposed to much of that tv/movie wise. We do have quite a few natural/simple toys, I'm really going to strategize which ones to pick out and how to try to display them...
I would really like to get a little table and chairs to put in our kitchen for her to have a space in there.
Do you guys find that your kids do prefer to play where the adults are, kitchen, living room? We are co-sleeping so I was going to turn her bedroom into a playroom of sorts, but it is a bit out of the way. I guess I can set up mutilpe play spots.
I think with your Dd's age and the physical move, she won't have any troubles. It would just be on you not to fall into habits you wish to shed. She likely won't even miss most of her toys if they don't get to the new home. Even if she was older lots of times things get 'lost' in moves. ;)
I found helpful when we were transitioning away from TV (though it was minimal) I'd just say "Oh we don't have time, we're going to xyz now." Of course, be ready with ideas of things you are going to do (even if it's household chores, a walk, picking flowers, etc.). I also think that moving well help with this b/c you will be busy for a while with things like that (and how awesome all the boxes will be for playing!). It didn't take too long and my son was 3 or 4 years old. I think the key is just that we never ever do it. There's no begging for it, because it's not going to happen. Even better if you can do a little 'out of sight out of mind' for a while. Either moving it to a room that isn't your main gathering space, or just covering it up. All these years later my home has the monster flat screen Dh wanted right in the middle of our famliy room, like everyone else's home, but the kids don't pay any attention to it's existance. On rare occasions we may put on family home videos, but that's it. We watch it at night sometimes or during the day if they're not home. But it's really been a great habit for me to get out of as well. Just being in silence, is such a gift.
My children definitely prefer to play where adults will be. We used to have their little play kitchen in a corner of our kitchen/eating area. Having said that, it's really nice to have a room to dedicate to a 'toy repository' LOL. We didn't so a lot of them were in our living room. It still worked, but it'd be nice to have an 'adult' space for when the children are sleeping or for entertaining.
ETA: We definitely had certain toys which lived at Grandma's house. They aren't things that I'd want in our home, but they also weren't anything I found horribly offensive for my child to be exposed to. You may also want to talk to Grandma about how 'less is more,' too, though.
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