Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For Luke

A friend wanted to know exactly why we started the whole toy thing with our girls. If you scroll back and read "Terrible 5's?????" THAT was why we started thinking about it. We felt concerned because of our daughter's horrible tantrum and initially (talking in private NOT in front of her) we thought that we should just take all their toys away. Then we thought well... maybe everything but this and oh yeah, that and.... Maybe that was not such a great idea. So, I googled something to the effect of "Is it criminal to deprive your kids of man made toys?" Basically nothing awful came up so we started talking about what alternative we had to simply taking all their toys away. See, we have always had the rule 1 toy at a TIME, but basically they were constantly asking to clean up and get something else out. The clean up is where the fights were taking place. "But I am not done playing with this so I don't want to clean up!" etc. You can imagine the things they would say/fight over. I felt I was spending half my time supervising them cleaning up and constantly saying, "This toy is being donated because you did not clean it up" or "This toy is in our room for 7 days because it did not get put up". Not to mention constantly finding little peices of toys hidden in places (being somewhat type A.. this does NOT bode well with me). My husband and I were discussing this after they were in bed and we decided rather than make it a punishment... lets make it an adventure! And we did! We told them our new and EXCITING plan and how it would make our play time easier and more fun! Then we threw a cleaning party! They were very excited to see the process and help organize and we even filleda bag of toys for Goodwill that THEY voluntarily chose! The toy room was sparkling and everyone was happy. My hubby picked up pizza and we all snuggled and watched "Little House". Now our days are (generally) much smoother and happier. Day 1...oldest chooses. Day 2... youngest chooses. Day 3... they choose together. Do you know what is happening on day 3? They ask each other what would make them feel happy and decide in true togetherness. At night, there is just 1 toy to put away, no fuss and I do not think they have complained once about cleaning their toy. It really has brought more peace and togetherness and more imagination into our household. (Note: Not PERFECT... just more peaceful). We still have tears and sibling rivalry but I am so pleased we have done this with them.

Luke... Did that cover it all for you? I am thankful for your comments and everyone elses as well!

Also thanks to my TN friend for trying this too!!! Love ya!


Kristan said...

I love you too! I am amazed at how this is teaching my girls to act like sisters. I am less grumpy about a house that is unmanagable and girls fighting that that was the toy "I was playing with"! I had a whole meltdown because I felt like I would always wake up to a mess and never catch up with the house work for cleaning and managing their cleaning and fighting and getting out new toys and... I was over it. Now for the last 2 days I've actually gotten up, dressed and bed made before the girls even get up. This hasn't happened in over a year. My house was clean when I got up and is clean now. All of my laundry is done and all I have to do tomorrow is vacuum! I am a different person because of this change!!!!!!!!

Kristan said...

Oh, this morning (the day after my first comment) we had our first meltdown since the toy thing was started. Ironically it was over a toy that I forgot about in the put away process. It was under the table in the living room. The girls pulled out the grill and fought over the ketchup. Now the grill and ketchup are in the front yard where I chucked them out the door awaiting a new home with the community help center. Now as we speak the girls are nicely coloring together...(kind of) Olivia is very bossy. But we had a rational discussion on how Sarah can color whatever she wants just like Olivia can. No screaming or tears involved in any of us. What makes the put away toys magic? I am beginning to feel like they are.

Luke said...


Thanks for giving me more detail so I can use this with my own kids when they come [smile].

I think it's a great idea (and I only remember playing with a few select toys myself, so it makes perfect sense).

May it continue to be a blessing in your home!