01 May 2015

I took my kids toys away {Week 18}

**First, I want to say I am not judging anyone for what they do or don't do for their kids. Just in case this strikes a nerve in the wrong way to someone.

I want to talk about STUFF! Specifically toys. We have been buying toys for over 10 years now and it's been an issue getting kids to pick up, keep tidy, care at all, for the last 7 years. At first I wouldn't say our kids were spoiled, I felt like spoiled can be taken as a mean label for a kid. I rationalized that they were privileged and lucky to have lots of folks in their lives that enjoy blessing them with a toy here and there. It rarely seemed like overdoing it, just something to make them smile. That's been going on for 10 years! It's about time I acknowledge our kids ARE SPOILED and it's all MY fault.
I should have done this a long time ago and it wouldn't have gotten out of hand or to this point.
old picture but we have the same issue, just didn't take another picture 
I think we have gone too far and it's overwhelming for them and insanely frustrating for me. I feel like everyday is a fight to get them to pick up after themselves. I got drastic this week and took 90% of the Lego's and put them in a bin for the garage. This was after I gave them 2 hours, plenty of direction, the ability to clean up, and they chose not to. I really think the mess was just too overwhelming. When I started putting the Lego's away there wasn't a single complaint, and I actually got some help.

Before the Lego's I had slowly been taking things away, just putting them in the garage, after I ask them to put them away and it's not done. Not a single thing has been missed! I haven't been loud about it, just picking it up and into a bin, not telling them. Barbies, clothes, random toys that all had a place they belong but weren't valued enough to be put away. They haven't asked about any of it!!

While we haven't been home as much because we have been at the ball fields every night, when we have been home the kids have been playing together better. Asking them to tidy isn't the instant meltdown it had become. I get a little nauseous thinking about the $$ that is sitting in the garage. I don't have plans to get rid of it right now. I just feel like we probably could have had some good family experiences rather than more stuff. Live and learn I guess. I really think we were doing a disservice to our kids. I am hoping that we can scale back and learn from it. I don't want them to expect toys and stuff, nor do I want them to feel like it's acceptable to not clean up after themselves.

Is this something that is a struggle at your house too? Finding a good balance with responsibility, appreciation and stuff? I feel like it will be a slow process to get there but we are on our way.