It’s been almost here since I first read online this blog post titled Why I took my kids toys away and why they won’t get them back.
I am a minimalist. (Aside from books. I tend to like to have just enough of everything sometimes maybe even a little less than that even. And it has been my goal to minimize our home. Clean and organize and brighten it up. No more piles strewn about; no more stuff everywhere. My God is organized; I need to be too! 🙂
We live in a small house, four kids and two dogs and two lizards. So it can be a bit cramped. And if you have boys I am sure you can imagine how crazy and messy it can be.
My sweet friend sent me a message the other day, excited that she was listening to the nutcracker at home. How did I respond to that? Grumbling and irritable because I can’t hear anything in our house today. If that is a big red flag. Things need to change.
So we haven’t been doing as much work lately. Mostly just because we are enjoying the strangely warm weather we have here in Wisconsin right now. I like my kids to take advantage of time outdoors. Writing their bikes or skateboard or jumping rope. But this week I determined we were going to get back into a routine of some kind. Nothing super intense but we were going to begin working again.
My kids had a different plan. After repeatedly taking their dart guns and bows and arrows, after confiscating all the bullets and swords, I had it. My mind flashback to that blog entry I read so long ago. And I did it.
I brought up a couple boxes from my garage and advised the children to begin putting the toys into the boxes. We packed up everything. All of the toys that were littered across the house. All the little action figures and their weapons and armor, they all went into those boxes.
I admit I was unsure even as I watched impact that this was the right thing to do. I’m in I don’t want to give my kids a reason for anger and hostility towards anyone in our family. I don’t want to cause them to feel discouraged or think that their mom doesn’t love them. But as I watched them packing up their things (please know this was something they had been warned of frequently, but I would take away all their stuff) I admit I still had my doubts.
When they went to bed last night they were still mad. I reminded them that there is a lack of contentment we see within them, their constant desire for more without truly caring for those things that they have been so blessed with already. I praying that they heard the love in my voice. I pray the deep down they understood in their own way the value and quality of relationships but I hope to strengthen.
As we move forward of course I am creating opportunities for them. I am surrounding them with things to inspire them. They are toys they will continue to be allowed to play with like Legos or pretend play items but the majority of it will go to Goodwill.
As I proceed in this new thing I am praying that this will encourage all of us. But we will appreciate more the blessings which we have and truly take the time to enjoy the moment we are in. I just know that this will help them in so many ways. Creativity and patience, stronger bonds between brothers and sisters, empathy and in time a desire to get more than to receive. I am sure this will decrease the fighting too.
I want happy children but more importantly I want children who can think. I want children who can imagine and create. Because more isn’t always better and quality is so much more important than quantity. Of course stuff isn’t bad but there is so much of it if we do not teach our children how to practice contentment, how will they ever truly find keys? I want my children to know that there is so much more in life than the constant need to pursue bigger and better and nicer…. In fact often we spend more time pursuing those things and less time pursuing the One Who matters most of all.
I count my blessings but I came across this beautiful post so long ago. I count my blessings but today, day one of no more toys, so far my children are happy and enjoying time together. I even caught my oldest son reading a book to his brother and sister. This is the stuff that matters.