Avoiding lead is punishment to my child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All these recalls are really upsetting. There are now more Thomas the Train recalls (here's the link in case you haven't heard) :

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07308.html

And the cool frankenstein cup we bought our halloween loving son, recalled. Take that away. :

So, now I am taking away his toys and scared to buy toys from China, but you know all the really cool toys that he wants are from China. This seems like I am punishing my ds because his Christmas wish list is going to have to be edited to omit the china made toys. Santa doesn't shop from China anymore.

It just seems so unfair. How is everyone else dealing with this. Its so much easier with DS2 who is less than a year so he will happily play with anything I offer, DS1 is 4 and he's not liking it (neither am I )
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#2 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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Children don't *need* anywhere near the quantity of toys that some adults think they need. What's more, they don't need the type of toys many adults want to buy. And there is a wide, wide, wide variety of safe, developmentally-appropriate, fun toys out there. So I hardly think cutting certain toys off the list of possibilities is unfair to your son. Making conscious shopping decisions is a great gift.

I'm sure your son is frustrated, although at 4, he might be able to understand a little bit of the recall information. 4 is, IMO, old enough to start learning about health and purchasing decisions. You might invite him to help you select a new toy to replace the trains that have been removed. For Christmas lists, is he making his list based on inspiration from catalogues, advertisements, and things he sees on store shelves? Editing what he sees to begin with might help somewhat with that, if you think it's possible. Building appetites for "healthy" toys that you don't have to say no to can help avoid disappointment.

If you discovered that a product you were using were dangerous to your health, you would probably stop purchasing it, even though you had previously really enjoyed it. This would be frustrating and inconvenient to you, but you'd still make the change if you thought your health depended on it. That wouldn't be unfair to you or punishment, and I don't think it's unfair or punitive to your son to discuss the recalls with him and change your toy stash and purchasing habits.

Have you seen this blog? Journey to Crunchville

She has lists of brands not made in China, lots of recall information. I think perhaps putting different choices (a catalogue filled with yesses versus a catalog filled with probably-nots) in front of yourselves could help with the frustration you feel.

(((hugs)))

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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#3 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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We avoid it by never buying those kinds of things and we never have. There wasn't a single thing in our house that had to go as a result.

I can understand a small child not getting why certain things they enjoy have to go away but it's true that at the age of 4 kids are old enough to be talked to and have the truth explained. I personally would rather have a disappointed child who will soon move on than one who gets sick because I couldn't bear to disappoint them. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that yeah, this stuff is pretty cool and we are all disappointed but...

As for Christmas lists, in my mind, that is a list of desires and not a list of items that one is guranteed to receive. I actually discourage Christmas lists anyways soley because I don't think holidays should be about how much stuff we can amass. I try to encourage my daughter to think about one very special things she'd like and make lists of things she wants to give/make for other people and to help with planning the holiday stuff beyond the gifts. I really like to think of gifts that are treasures, things that a child (and adults!) will revere and hopefully love for a long long time.

I am sure that your son will be picking up on the fact that you are unhappy with the recalls and the fact that you are feeling like he is missing out on something. It's clear from your post that you really enjoy the toys that are going as well. I think focusing him on the positives of different/new things will go a long way.
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#4 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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The recalls upset me too - although nothing we have has been effected. Thomas toys always seemed like "good" wood toys to me - so it is sad to see so many of them effected by the recall. DS1 is 4 and is old enough to understand.

You know,a X-mas list is a "wish" list and at least here we are pretty clear that Santa can't/won't bring everything on the list (he brings 3 toys per kid in our house). Now, I let DS1 list as much as he wants. Your DS could list everything under the sky and then you can choose which toys are safe and make your purchasing decisions. I don't see the need to make him edit his list otherwise.... KWIM?

"NO, you can't list that....." does seem a bit harsh. It may be helpful to get some catalogs from crunchier toy suppliers and let him look through them. I know if I don't provide a catalog or shop the local crunchy-toy store then the only toys DS is exposed to are 1) on TV ads (lousy stuff, overall), in Toys-R-Us flyers (ditto), or at friends houses (ditto, again). So getting some "good catalogs" may broaden the toys he has a chance to lust after.
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#5 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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My ds was quite unhappy when I took the recalled trains away (even though I tried to be sneaky about it, he was well aware that James was missing).
It took some explaining, and he got over it. And I know he'll be REALLY excited when we get the replacement trains in the mail (and yeah, I trust that the replacement trains are safety tested).

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#6 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hannahsmummy View Post
We avoid it by never buying those kinds of things and we never have. There wasn't a single thing in our house that had to go as a result.
OK, I get that you may not have Mattel/Fisher-Price/Cheap dollar store plastic toys, but how do you justify calling wooden Thomas trains "those kinds of things"?

Unschooling mama to DD1, 11/2001
and DD2, 11/2004
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#7 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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i would never sneek away toys they always know no matter how many they have they will aways know. i do trust the big brands they are hurting from the news that this happened and now they will be watching the toys and testing more and this is a good thing.
with my dd i just explained to her that toys were painted with lead and that is a posion. now we must check and see if we have the toys. we looked at the pics online together then took out the recalled toys and we went to the post office and she sent them back. i am just happy that this is coming to light: thanks to it happening to the big brands, hope this will make a change in all products i can hope right:
what i am trying to do is point my dd more towards beter choices in toys. with gift giving time she can make a wishlist this list dont mean that she will be getting everything on the list it is up to the person buying the gift to deside what she gets. she know we choose gifts for others and they choose for us.....but i will say:i try and do my best most times by saying what each person buys for them (not always works but i try)
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#8 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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"I found out this toy has something in it that could make you sick, and I can't let that happen, so we have to get rid of it. I know that's very disappointing."

dm
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#9 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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Could you let him look through a playmobil catalog? It's expensive, but high quality and made in Europe. You can look at the website for the manufacturing policy. They make all kinds of things that make my four year old drool.
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#10 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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Make playscarves. OMG these are total favorites for my boys. And, create a big dress up tub.


We got white silk scarves from Thai Silk and died them wild colors.
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#11 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmamma View Post
This seems like I am punishing my ds because his Christmas wish list is going to have to be edited to omit the china made toys.
I find the word "punishing" really odd in this context. "Punishing" means to do something to someone with less power in an attempt to manipulate their behavoir. That's not what's going on at all.

Quote:
It just seems so unfair.
Many things in life are unfair, and helping our kids develop a positive attitude about it is a good thing. My Dh isn't an American, and a phrase he grew up with when things were unfair was "It's character building." Helping our kids find their strength inside themselves rather than letting their emotions being totally driven by what is happening around them is part of our job as parents. So rather than seeing him as a victim, see it as an opportunity for him to learn and grow in important ways. He may not be able to control what is happening, but he can learn to control his *reaction* to what is happening.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 17 Old 10-07-2007, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think my original post was misunderstood. I am just upset that I am having to take toys away from my son. I am also annoyed that trusted toy companies like Mattel cannot actually be trusted. I don't even feel like I can switch to wooden toys because many of them are painted and how do we know that the paint is lead free? Plus, Thomas was wooden.

I don't know about anyone else but I noticed that my son does toy comparisons when he goes to friends houses' to play. We've been avoid toy guns and he notices and talks about it. I have held my ground on that one. Now do I cross off Mattel toys? All toys from China?

We do give him lots of options as far as "crunchy" toys. One of his favorites are his plain wooden blocks. But no matter how hard we try we can't (and IMO, shouldn't) shield him from mainstream life.

SO...really I am just commenting on how frustrating and disappointing these recalls are.

Sometime I feel like I should duck when I post, we can be a little harsh I do appreciate the nonjudgmental suggestions. To the pp who recommended play scarves...I hadn't thought about those, I think my DS would love them!
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#13 of 17 Old 10-08-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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We are getting rid of all of our China stuff too.. DS found the boxes of toys boxed up to go to Salvation Army.. none is recalled but Im just boycotting China made toys now.. regardless of lead or not lol. except for a few favorites that they have had forever which Im testing for lead before I give them back to them. Anyways, I just told him that he would be getting new toys for Christmas and we were going to donate these toys so kids who dont have toys can have something to play with. I figured that would go over better with my son than the whole not good for you can make you sick speach.. he would seriously fight me if I said it will make him sick. Hes the type of kid that you can tell him the sky is blue but he will insist it is brown lol..
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#14 of 17 Old 10-08-2007, 07:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Eris View Post
OK, I get that you may not have Mattel/Fisher-Price/Cheap dollar store plastic toys, but how do you justify calling wooden Thomas trains "those kinds of things"?
It's a shame that the internet doesn't allow for tone of voice because it wasn't said in the way it seems you are implying. It wasn't a look down my nose at you kind of way IYKWIM.

I am not judging what other people buy for their kids, whatever works for you is fine. In my house we don't do any character stuff so a wooden Thomas toys is equal to any other brand name that you've listed made of whatever materials, I haven't differentiated.
Since it was soley a statment as to what we have/do it's true, I haven't had to get rid of anything. I do have sympathy for those who have had to take beloved toys away from kids.
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#15 of 17 Old 10-08-2007, 07:56 AM
 
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I get what the OP is saying. It's more just why can't kids toys be fun any more. It's just kind of sad.

It doesn't have to be commercial, character, dollar store, plastic things either that are affected either.

The only recall that has been a problem to us so far is the Target gardening tools. Wood and metal, beautifully painted, about as crunchy as you can get. I mean, gardening tools! I ought to have just gotten the plastic Backyardigans tools they wanted at first.
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#16 of 17 Old 10-08-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get what the OP is saying. It's more just why can't kids toys be fun any more. It's just kind of sad.

YES, exactly!
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#17 of 17 Old 10-08-2007, 10:25 AM
 
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It is a pain in the behind!!! Fortunately for us we didn't have any of the recalled toys. Ds is turning 6 and loves building toys like magnetix, legos and kinex. All made in china. It is really hard to find things that are age appropriate for him that are not made in china with the exception of all of his Playmobil toys. He is going to be getting playmobil for his birthday, books and clothes for his birthday. Probably the same for Christmas. Does anybody know of any good crunchy toy catalogs for ages 6 and up?

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