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#1 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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I understand your point, but I think it's not as straight forward as junk food. Many kids form attachments to their toys, so while it may well have been a junk toy to you (or me), the child probably saw it more like a friend, yk?

So, personally I can't see getting bent our of shape about it, I guess I could see how it could happen.

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#3 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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I don't understand why you felt the need to label/pass judgment on her toy at all. Maybe I am missing something? I just don't understand how labeling something as "junk" could be taken as anything but an insult.

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#4 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Honestly, I think it's a bit rude. It might be junk to you, but maybe to others it isn't? How would you feel if someone saw a shirt you were wearing and said something like that? Would you talk to another adult like that? I don't know. I try to treat kids with respect and I can't imagine calling a childs toy junk. It is obviously a negative term. If the toy is important to someone , it's not junk.

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#5 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Want to start by saying that I totally share your views on toys- we have mostly natural toys and the ones that are super offensive are often given to Goodwill, but a few junky ones slip in here and there : P Maybe the child's mother felt like she was being judged in a negative way? We have play dates with similarly aged children and I've seen living room and play rooms filled with junk toys- but I know if I came out and called them 'junk' to the mothers (who no doubt purchased some of the toys), they would be offended and might even view me as being snobby and preachy, KWIM?


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#6 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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"Junk toys" isn't a commonly used phrase like "junk food", plus there isn't general agreement on good and bad toys in the way that there's pretty general agreement on many forms of junk food. 
 
You might quite comfortably refer to chips as "junk food", but would you be comfortable referring to another mother's specialty of homemade fried chicken as junk food, even if you personally found it very unhealthy? Or, would you refer to her beloved Nancy Drew books, or some other book that you might not happen to admire, as "junk reading"?
 
So, yeah, I think that it's not surprising that the other mother was offended and, well, I think that an apology is called for.
 
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#7 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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Yeah, that was rather rude.  It isn't polite to label either the food people are eating or the toys that they are playing with as low quality.  Then to imply that they aren't acceptable in your house?  That would have hurt my child's feelings and I'd be thinking twice about letting my child come over again.


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#8 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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I really have to agree with the others, that yes it was rude and thoughtless, something that it seems you said without really giving much thought, but which would be very hurtful.

 

I think that you are entitled to your thoughts, but it should have stayed as that...thoughts, not expressed out loud. 


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#9 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#10 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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Honestly, if you feel that strongly about another child bringing their own toy into your home maybe you should rethink having playdates because I cannot imagine how a child, especially a young one, to not be hurt by being told that their toy was "junk" and not being allowed to play with it while visiting their friend. I have found that toys that come along on playdates are generally favorites & what you said was judgmental and hurtful regardless of how you meant it to sound.
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#11 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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Junk toys is a rude phrase about someone's toy (she could love that particular item, sheesh), and calling it one of those kinds of toys is not nice, either.  Really, you shouldn't be labeling other people's items, especially in a negative way.  I could see commenting on how bright or colorful something is (or even noisy, if you must), but insinuating that what you own is better than the 'junk' another kid or family happens to enjoy really comes across as snobby. 

 

The thing is, even though you feel like you are protecting your children from non-wooden toys (or whatever kind you deem unworthy), what you are really doing is setting a bad example by treating others that way -- even if your intentions were not to offend.  Plus, there has got to be less harm in letting your child play with "junk toys" than there is in the harm of alienating them and making another family feel like crap. 

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#12 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post

 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,



This is one area you should possibly not try to handle or control too much....I agree with Drummer's wife that you may be going to do much more harm to your child potentially, by making your child very unpopular. 

 

A little less control of every aspect of how our children play, is something that kids need these days, in my opinion.


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#13 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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????? 

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#14 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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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????? 


Sure, but imposing restrictions/judgements on your own kids toys is very different than applying those standards to someone else's kid. Not your call...even if the kid is in your house.
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#15 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 11:27 PM
 
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I guess I'd apply it to something else.  How about fabric?  Some people will only use all natural fabrics.  polyesters such as fleece or spandex etc are fabrics they try to keep out of their home wherever possible.  When my daughter was a couple months old, a good friend of mine made her a blanket made of fleece covered in monkeys.  It also has ribbon tags some of which I doubt are natural fibers.  This blanket has become VERY special to her.  So special in fact that she now uses the same sign to ask to nurse as she does for her blankie.  I taught her separate signs... she chose to combine them because to her, they were equal.  her blankie and nursing are both comfort and safe.  She reaches for her blankie to nurse and she prefers to go nowhere without her blankie.  She sleeps with her blankie.  She has her favorite ribbon that she plays with to relax and calm down.  She involves her blankie in play (hide and seek behind it, swaddling her dolls, covering up and pretending to sleep, she even uses it to pick up and carry her toys to put them away)  This isn't to say she is constantly holding it as there are many times during the day where she leaves it in a completely different room, but she puts it right up there with nursing.  Her blankie is special and necessary to her current physical, mental, and emotional needs.

 

Someone telling her it was made of 'junk fabric' would definitely upset her.  She loves it SO much and it is a huge part of her life.  She can't remember a time without it so being told that it is beneath other things, that it is just 'junk' would confuse her and create an issue where she wants it but no longer thinks she should.  She would be torn.

 

I agree with you on 'junk toys' and I'm even the person who tries to buy only natural fibers whenever possible (organic even) but I do think there is a point where you can be TOO into it.  Just like food... sometimes its okay to have a little junk food, and certainly we can't tell other people how to eat or to make them feel bad for it.  So too can we have some junk toys and junk fabrics... junk books, junk movies... whatever category.  When you are TOO strict about what you allow for food or play etc you need to take a step back.. a little bit of something that is for pure pleasure and nothing else doesn't hurt and is sometimes equally as beneficial.  A scoop of ice cream at the end of a long stressful day can really help you feel better... a neat little mcdonalds toy that shoots a little guy out can really help transition from a tantrum (I speak from experience although I hate keeping the darn thing around.. she loves it though... laughter for miles when she has it)

 

You need to take a step back and consider whether it truly is important and necessary to go so far as to make even guests follow your strict rules on toys.  This child wasn't even bringing a gift that you perhaps didn't want around.. they were simply sharing something they enjoy with you.  You are no longer just looking out for the best interest of your children, you've crossed a line into an area where it is less about creating a healthy space for your children and being overbearing and controlling about anything not within your strict standards.

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#16 of 41 Old 02-10-2011, 11:47 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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I think the polite and respectful thing to do in this situation is to ask the child to tell you about his/her toy. This gives the child a chance to share something of importance with you. And you don't even have to say "it's very nice." You could just make an observation and comment on that in a neutral (or positive) manner. For instance, with a Barbie, you could comment on the doll's eyes such as "They are really blue!" or something. Or even just thank the child for sharing with you. I think the main thing is showing the child who is visiting that he/she is important and that you care about him/her and are interested his/her ideas and likes.

 

 

 

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#18 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 12:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mom2sol View Post
 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 really think you are missing the point that people are trying to make.  Nobody wants you to stop fighting against cheap toys or clutter, I think that is an admirable thing to do, to say no (metaphorically speaking) to cheap disposable toys.

 

The issue here is not clutter or junk or whatever you want to call it, it is thinking about the feelings of a child who was a guest in your home.

 

You asked us all "what do you think?"  We are only answering that question, so please do not take offense.
 


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#19 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 12:54 AM
 
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 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. 


I'm missing something here - was this visiting child trying to give this toy to your child as a gift? If not, then I'm not clear on what the problem is; surely the child would take the toy home when the play date was over?

 

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#20 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 01:20 AM
 
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To return to the fried chicken analogy, what if the child did bring her mother's special fried chicken with her, and offered it to you with a proud shining face? And that fried chicken violated all of your food philosophy rules?
 
Imagine two choices:
 
 
"We have rules against junk food in this house."
 
or
 
"Oh, that's so kind of you, but it's just not a food that we're allowed to eat right now. It looks delicious; please tell your mother thank you and that we really wish we could eat it. I'll put it in the fridge to keep it good until you go home."
 
Would you really say the first, not the second?
 
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#21 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 03:56 AM
 
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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.

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#22 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 04:46 AM
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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.

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#23 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 04:59 AM
 
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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.
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#24 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 05:01 AM
 
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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.

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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.

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#26 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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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.  


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#27 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#28 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 07:06 AM
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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?"

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#29 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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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.

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#30 of 41 Old 02-11-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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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.
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