When I was a little girl my sister and I were fortunate enough to grow up with toys and books. We each had our own rooms with a bookshelf and a toy box where all our toys were kept. Our favourite toys were our ‘My Little Ponies’ and I remember looking at the back of the packaging and agreeing with my sister which ones I would ask for at Christmas and which she would ask for. We brushed their hair and kept them clean and remembered all their names.
I remember my parents getting divorced and my Mum struggling to support us on her own. I remember that we started going to a flea market and my sister and I sold all but a few of our ‘My Little Ponies’ to help us get by.
I do not remember feeling resentful and I still have the few ponies that I kept.
Now that my girls are older, I decided to give my ponies to them to play with.
To my horror, they do not have the same value for the toys as I did. In fact, they do not seem to value any of their toys the way my sister and I did!
I kept more than the ponies for my children, including a lot of books. They just see it as another toy and not the treasure I hung onto. How could they know or even conceive how much that toy meant to me? It is unrealistic of me to expect it!
I hear a lot of my friends complaining that their kids have too many toys.
And then I think to myself, well whose fault is it? Our kids didn’t buy all those toys, we do and our family do. WE are spoiling our children so much that they place no value on their belongings.
And I do not mean that they should live for things or money but that they should know the value of things and appreciate what they have.
Regularly I go through my daughters’ toys with them and we select some to give away to charity. Suddenly they do not want to give up anything, especially our littlest one. We call her ‘The Hoarder’!
So we end up with a small box of toys for the less privileged children which our Hoarder sneaks into and takes back some things and sneaks them into her room, and the amount of toys does not seem to go down.
Christmas is a favourite holiday for my family and we celebrate it with gusto. But we can barely load the boot of the car to get home because it is so full. I watch my girls opening their gifts and I cannot help thinking, ‘Where are we going to put that?’ or “Oh boy, another teddy, they already have like 50 teddy’s each…’
I feel like this is an easy problem to solve but find myself blocked at every avenue when trying to solve it. It bothers me greatly. I want my kids to appreciate what they have and to love and treasure their toys like we did.
Things are so different now to when we were kids and I guess I am still living in the past or hanging onto a pipe dream.
Whilst looking for pictures for this blog I stumbled onto a lot of other blogs and sites dealing with this problem.
New age problem, new age solution! I am turning to Google now to get some ideas. I will blog about it if I find something that actually works…
A Shout out to http://picklebums.com/2013/06/20/too-many-toys-2/ for the Main Picture