When I was 5, I begged my parents for a Go-go My Walking Pup. I only used the darn thing once, but was absolutely devastated when my mom sold it in a garage sale. It still hurts to talk about.
Kids love toys; and nowadays they have a lot of them. Kids also love candy, but nobody’s giving Junior a King Pack of Snickers Bars and telling him to go wild. Why does it seem like there are more toys than ever? I’m no scientist, but I can speculate.
- There are more toys than ever. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but a toy lives forever.
- Availability. Toys are now cheaper to make and thereby cheaper to buy.
- People have more disposable income.
- Toys are the new “it” for home decor. If you aren’t tripping over a naked barbie when you walk in the door, you aren’t doing it right.
- You and I are getting old. When we were kids, our toys were dirt and rocks.
- People love their kids more now than our parents loved us. Stop crying, you’re an adult now.
The Toy Invasion has affected my life directly; well, not directly exactly, but people I know have been affected directly. I will now share two bits of second-hand, likely exaggerated, purely anecdotal evidence that really drive my point home:
Sister #1 attended a birthay party for a 3-year-old. Now, I don’t know what clubs this kid frequented, but apparently he had quite a social network, as this party was packed with both kids and gifts. After opening a table’s worth, stacked to my sister’s height of 5’5″, of presents, 3-year-old Drama King proceeds to cry because there’s nothing more to open. Party pooper.
Sister #2 goes to the zoo with a playgroup. One of the playgroupees covertly slipped his $1 red truck into her diaper bag, only to be discovered one month later. After calling toy-hider’s mom to inform her of the truck’s reapperance, Sister #2’s own little toy-hider does what she’s been trained to do and re-conceals the mark (Tom Clancy should pick up this plot for his next book). Red truck mom proceeds to FLIP OUT, calling several times daily, begging to come over and look for herself, all because her son has been crying himself to sleep for a month over this thing.
You may believe this to be normal childish behavior, and that’s your perogative. I know many adults who still behave this way, albeit less overtly, and believe that this type of behavior is symptomatic of an adulthood filled with Stuff Worship.
Ideas for keeping your toy count down and your kid’s disposition sweet(ish):
1. Set up a 529 College Savings Plan for the kiddos. Anyone can contribute including friends and family (that would be anyone). You are well within your parental rights to encourage contributions rather than toys for Junior’s next birthday party (Grandparents are exempt from this rule).
2. Teach your kids about money at an early age. Better they be in debt to you now than some ex-boxer named Mo later.
3. Encourage, or force, your kids to give. Set a toy limit (we had a toy box that they all had to fit into), when the limit is reached, have the kids pick out which toys to give to charity.
Photo Credit: dlofink
What happened to the Lego’s up there? It looks epic.
Article publié pour la première fois le 08/07/2010