Today’s post is a guest blog from a good friend and fellow blogger. Go check out her blog, Life’s a Butterbean, to get a heapin’ helpin’ of snark about parenthood, homeschooling, and kids that know that adults aren’t always right (they’ve ruined the whole damn plan for us..)
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People are so quick to buy my children random things and toys. They have make up sets, Legos, action figures, dolls, toy animals, puzzles, and just about every toy you can name strewn about the house. My living room looks like a tour of the Dollar Tree. It stresses them out to be surrounded by stuff and it stresses me out to not be able to get rid of it. No matter how much I de-clutter, we’re still overrun by toys. More of them keep marching their way into the front door and setting up station under the couch, behind the bed, and on every shelf in our home.
I homeschool my three children, the oldest child’s birthday is coming up, and I’m trying to buy schoolbooks for her next school year. Why do friends and family members prefer to buy meaningless cheaply made, yet high priced toys instead of helping with that? How about zoo or museum memberships or tickets? Why not help pay for their gymnastics, swim lessons, art lessons, a trip to the circus, theme park, a play, or a movie theater? These experiences stay with them much longer than any toy would last. If you feed their minds instead of their toy boxes, it will work out much better in the long run.
I’m not asking for something huge and expensive. A $10 bookstore or movie theater gift card would thrill her just as much as another makeup kit. A day at the park would mean much more to her than yet another Barbie.
It’s not that I’m not thankful for all the people who love my children, I’m just exhausted. I can’t force them to get rid of these objects because by now they’ve formed some sort of an attachment to them, yet I can’t keep picking them up and stepping over them.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could all teach our children to value experiences over items? We shouldn’t be teaching our children to define themselves by their possessions. Chances are, those toys will eventually go from cluttering our homes to cluttering a landfill. The experiences you give them can improve their lives forever.
– Marilyn Wynne (lifesabutterbean.blogspot.com)
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And make sure to go support creative education and keep the Strange Tiny People project from closing down by getting yourself some cool stuff at www.indiegogo.com/projects/strange-tiny-people-a-creative-portrait-story-book