Anyway, sorry to ramble on about "HER" !! I'm also interested in everyone's decisions...do you let your kids play with whatever, hoping your opinions influence them, let them have a little of the undesired toys to keep a balance, throw the junk out immediately, allow them to play with it once in awhile, or play with it for a certain time and then get rid of it? Just wondering... thanks everyone!
So far we haven't gotten objectionable toys. But I will tell my family not to get her Barbies and such. It's tough. I need to think about what I want her to play with. It's important to me, but on the other hand, I don't want to make it a big deal. We are already dealing with so many "big deals" that occasionally I'll let something slide.
That said, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised this year, because she got two really offensive toys (to me, anyway), and after playing with them nonstop for a day or two, she simply lost interest. One of them was the world's most hideous doll, which came with a pacifier and a bottle which the doll could hold herself and suck on, and it also burped, giggled, and said some words. Ugh. The other was a Fisher-Price guitar/violin toy that had no real strings, just plastic things that you touched to make "music." I think we'll just donate these!
I get rid of anything that is broken and can't be fixed, missing parts, etc.
I also get rid of toys that they don't play with anymore and won't notice. I sneak these out and don't discuss them with the kids. I usually put them in a box in the garage for a while just to make sure that they are really done with them. It is amazing to me what I have "disappeared" and the kids have never mentioned again -- even a ball pit!
My kids help me give toys that they have outgrown but are still in good shape to younger kids we know. They are fine with giving their baby toys to babies.
Part of my issue is that I don't want the toys to become a power issue between me and my kids. I don't want them to grow up feeling like I was always taking their toys away. I'm trying to find a way to keep the toys at a resonable level and yet treat my kids' feelings with respect.
As far as the extended family, I finally explained to my mom that we are really maxed out and that every toy that enters our house means that a toy has to leave. I asked her to really consider this when buying new things for my kids. May be if you can nicely explain about dropping the Barbies off at the local battered women's shelter (or wherever) it would make it a lot less funny. It is really too bad that your family isn't willing to treat your feelings with respect
BTW, I think asking a 5 year what kind of music they like is a little odd. What sort of answer were they expecting?
For christmas dd received this doll that as soon as I went to take it out of its box, the head popped off, and wires came out of the styrofoam stuffed body! It also came with a stroller that fell apart after 20 min or so of use. I threw that away, but didn't mention anything to dd abt it. She never rea;;y asked for it, to me that was just pure junk!
We have a VERY small house, so I do feel the need to weed stuff out of here occassionally. Luckily my mother has a huge home, and invites me to bring some of dd's stuff there, either to store in the attic, or to keep in the playroom, so dd has things to play with there. DD is ok with this too. She doesn't mind things going to gmoms.
The things I find offensive I would not donate to a shelter. I volunteer at one, and the last thing they need is cheap electronic, noisy, battery operated toys! It is a large room filled with beds, so there is no privacy, and if the children have noisy toys with flashing lights, ect, it just disturbs everyone. Also when the batteries die, the toy is no good anymore, bc the shelter doesn't have a supply of batteries for this purpose. I only try to donate things I would want my own child to have, which means we generally just pick things up I see on sale ect.
It doesn't suprise me to see that some of you have families that don't respect your wishes. Mine don't either really. It seems to me that toy buying for people is fun, and they are going to get the child what looks fun to them, regardless of the parents wishes. DD got so many toys for christmas, I told mil that she reallly doesn't need anymore for her bday which is this month. A membership somewhere, clothing, anything like that would be great. Her response, "oh no, she has to have toys, more toys!"
Oh well. Sorry this was so long winded
This year, 9 y.o. ds got a violent computer game for Christmas from his uncle. It's rated M for mature. I took it away immediately, and we ended up buying him an acceptable game. I'm not sure if buying him something else was the right thing to do but I felt bad about taking away a brand new gift. I'm really mad at my BIL for this. He's a pediatrician and should know better. And I bet he would never have bought this game for his own kids. I wanted to say something, but dh said no, we don't want to hurt his feelings.
MIL has better taste and a real desire to get people what they want. SIL runs things by me for approval (although she has fabulous taste and always gets them wonderful things) which is very thoughtful.
When we do get something inappropriate we either just let it go because we know she won't play with it or it will break soon, we put it on the rummage, or take it back if we made it home without opening it. The video game would have definitly gone back. It is not something he could play anyway. You did him a favor by taking it back and getting him one he could enjoy.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I guess I'm just bummed that we get the crap in the first place. It seems like such a waste spending money on junky toys that we could really use. But then I feel guilty cuz it's really my opinion that they're junk. I mean, I had some crappy toys as a kid, and I'm sure I loved them for awhile and then got over them (or they broke, got lost, etc) sometimes I think it's just another control issue I have...sigh...
I think next year I'm going to send catalogs of cool, natural toys to my in-laws, and maybe they'll get the picture. I don't want to offend them, but maybe they'll appreciate it.
anyway, thanks for the words and encouragement! peace, Megan
Oh, and I also quietly disappear things, too! She hasn't noticed!
SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!
My brother also understands our feelings, but his wife got her something objectionable once. He asked me about it before he gave it to her, and I told the truth. I felt badly afterward (I sensed his wife was hurt), so we compromised and asked them if we could leave it there for her to play with when she comes to visit. It was then given to her as if that’s the way they wanted it, and dd was content with that. I think that because we don’t have junk, she is not attracted to it much!