Today was the day. Remember when I told you that for the month of November I’d be taking away my kids’ toys? Well, I did.
Yes, four huge tubs and two trash bags are stuffed full of dolls, games and toys.
Okay, so I have to admit that I didn’t take away every single toy, but hear me out. As I contemplated this attempt on teaching my kids to play together better, I had to ask myself what was my goal. It wasn’t to punish them, it was to teach them to share.
If they are going to learn to share and play nicely together, then they have to have something to share with each other, right? So, I let each of them pick out two toys of their own. I explained to them that these are their toys. They are not to play with each others toys unless they have gotten permission first.
As I was packing the toys up, I found that it seemed to be harder for me than the kids! I kept thinking stuff like, Well, this is a craft… should I let them keep craft stuff. Does playdough count as a craft? And, But this is an educational toy. I might need this for lessons…
So I settled on keeping the beads, for crafts, and just a couple of crayons, but no coloring books and no playdough. I packed up most of the educational toys, but did keep out just a few for Titus’ lessons. After all, the poor boy does still need his education! I will put the Lesson Time toys up though, so he will only have access to them during lessons.
I didn’t want the kids to think that I was doing this to be mean, or to punish them, so I explained that Mommy is doing an experiment. Jada quickly decided she didn’t like experiments. Anyways, I went on to tell them that I wanted to see if they would play together better without so many toys. I let them know that after a month, if they are playing nicer together, then I will start bringing the toys back.
I’m hoping that my kids will be so bored that they will turn to each other for entertainment. I’m hoping that they will start to use their imaginations and make up games to play. I’m hoping that they find every day things around the house to play with. I’m hoping that we will get to play outside more to release some pent up energy. I’m hoping that I find them kindly sharing with each other. And I’m hoping that they realize their toys aren’t as necessary as they thought they were.
I could be totally wrong. This could backfire and make things worse! I could be forced to constantly entertain them, go nuts, give in and return all of the toys!
But I don’t think so. I think it will help at least a little.
I’ll be keeping a journal of what I observe, and after the month (or sooner if I can’t stand it that long!) I will share my observations with you. Can’t wait!