Yes and no. This isn’t even half of the toys that he has and it’s still an overload.
My husband and my mother spoil Nathan to the core and sometimes that’s okay, but there are limits.
I can understand that many say that the more toys, the more variety they can choose from to keep busy…
Hmmmm… Well… In my experience God has taught me 4 key lessons about children and toys.
When we buy our children toys, we expect them to know how to play with them. We hand a toddler a car toy for the first time and we assume that he knows what to do with it. We hand our little girl a baby doll and we assume she knows how to play with it.
WE ARE WRONG. As parents we are teachers and we must teach our children how to play with their toys.
We assume that our children know the meaning of toys simply because it’s obvious to us. We are wrong again for assuming. We forget that a child’s first encounter with a toy is that, a first encounter. It is up to us to take the time, known as “floor time” or whatever you want to call it, to teach, interact and enjoy quality time with our little ones.
Let’s remember that a child’s world is a world of play and discovery. Let’s embrace this period of our children’s childhood by having fun, tapping into to our inner child, and teaching them how to use the toys that they have.
God has shown me that my husband and I would find ourselves buying toys simply because we felt that by buying a variety our son would be so busy that I would be able to do house chores with little interruptions.
Wow was I wrong. My hubby and I came across lesson #2. Our son looked for us to play. Well, duh you may say, but as first time parents we were oblivious to the fact that the more toys he had the more he wanted us to play with him. Then we realized something even worse, we would buy him toys to replace our presence.
As soon as God showed me this, I engaged in his world even more. My husband did the same after he understood that one of our son’s love languages was quality, floor time surrounded by a sea of toys. We used play time to teach him about many different topics and fun ways to play with his figures.
Our son was the happiest when we were involved and fully engaged in his world of play whether it was pretend play, painting, finger painting, building blocks etc. You name it.
Once I noticed that I could no longer keep all his toys in his room and had to find storage units to allocate them in the living room, enough was enough. So many toys and he only played with a quarter of the toys that he had. What’s even funnier is that his favorite toys were and continue to be these little tiny figures yet we were buying him huge active toys.
We learned that children are simple and we are the ones that exaggerate or assume that the bigger the toy, the better.
God showed me that the reason why we saw it this way was because as children, deep inside, we wished we would’ve had more. God made me accept that, that’s not always the case for our children. As parents we want to give our children what we did not have and although it’s okay to spoil our children there are limits. We should buy our children educational toys, books and the toys that we see are the most attractive to them with limitations of course.
Children do not need quantity. What they do need is tons of quality time with their parents while playing with their toys.
Children will be happy playing with boxes, empty water bottles, toilet rolls, and disposable cups, AS LONG as their playing with mommy and daddy.
Eye contact. The reason why toddlers repeat things a hundred times is because they feel invisible and as if their voice isn’t being heard. They’re right we often ignore our children or we speak to them while giving them our backs. To children communication is translated as face to face interaction, which is how it should be, otherwise they will say mom a hundred times until they get you to look at them. Really look at them.
Making eye contact with our little ones assures them that we are fully engaged in their needs.
Making eye contact reassure them that they are important.
Making eye contact makes them feel loved.
What’s funny about this is that it should be obvious, but it’s not. It took me a lot of practice and living intentionally in order to look at my son in the eyes every time he speaks to me.
What’s even more humorous is that we get angry when our spouse doesn’t make eye contact during a conversation. But, why do we do it to our little ones?
Is it because we believe or assume that they don’t notice?
As parents lets encourage each other and live conscious lives. If we can grow as individuals and see our own flaws we can help positively influence everyone around us especially our little ones, our legacy.