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Too Many Toys 8 Terrific Tips for Taming the Toys in Your House

Too Many ToysTip 1. Help your kids identify their value behind why a particular toy is important to them. Then help them prioritize their values.

By prioritizing what is important to your kids and having them articulate that to you, it will help you decide how much space to devote to a particular kind of toy. Let’s say, for example, that your child is nuts about dinosaurs. It just makes sense that he’d want a wide variety of dinosaurs represented, doesn’t it? On the other hand, a kid who loves dolls might be convinced that it is more important to lavish love and care on a limited number of dolls-and that the rest could find good homes elsewhere. That child might need more space for doll accessories, like a crib, but can make do with 2 or 3 especially beloved dolls.

Tip 2. Have as much shelve/bin/drawer space for your child as you can spare, so that they can stay organized.

Help kids learn to categorize toys into shelves or bins. This will allow your child to see visually how much she has of one kind of thing-and in turn help her decide how much she needs of one thing. Often it is not until all of one kind of toy has been gathered into one place, for example, that a child realizes she has as much as she does. Seeing it all together helps her realize one good set of colored pencils and/or crayons, for example, makes boxes and boxes of duplicate colors superfluous and therefore a waste of space.

Tip 3. Be creative about ways to store toys when you have limited space.

It can be really worth it to find storage or display cases for the size toy you have. My sister, for example, was a big collector of porcelain animal figurines. No one was bigger than around 4″ by 4″ so my dad built her a grid of shallow shelves that was about a foot wide and went all the way to the ceiling. With less than a foot of floor space, she was able to safely display more than 100 figurines. Deep but narrowly spaced shelves for things like boardgames and puzzles allow kids to store long flat things on shelves that resemble big CD holders. This kind of shelving can often be found in teachers’ supply catalogues. Rather than duplicating that kind of storage for each child, have a central location for similarly shaped toys. Soft things-like stuffed animals and costumes, can be hung from a series of hooks suspended from the ceiling (provide a foot stool, so children can reach up). Shelves that slide out on rollers allow you to place toys 2-3 deep, and kids can still be able to find them (especially if you think in categories, like dump trucks one behind the other, etc).

The best way to organize kids’ toys is to limit the number of toys they have to the toys they actually play with and use. Tips 4-8 address how to do that!

Tip 4. As toys and arts and craft projects and science kits and the like come into the house, write a date on them with permanent marker.

Has your child given a birthday party where all 20 of his classmates bring him a gift? She opens them all, but in reality only four or five things actually get used? By putting a date on presents as they come in, you can show a child concretely how long it has been that he has not touched the toy. That can make it easier for a child to let a toy go out the door. If a child is still reluctant to let go of a toy, give a date a month out by which the child needs to use the toy. Tell him that if he doesn’t use the toy in that time that, you will be donating the toy to a local charity. The key to this tip? Do NOT remind him that the month is close to being up and do not rub it in his face that you will be giving the toy away. Simply get rid of the toy, and if your child remembers about the toy AFTER the give-away date, comfort him and assure him that next time you are sure he will not let the give-away date come and go.

Tip 5. Help kids let go of toys by identifying the “best of” in the category.

Let’s say that your child loves doing arts and crafts, and your shelves are filled with the remnants of half used kits. Have your child identify which of the projects provided the most fun and satisfaction and offer to get refills for that project. Let’s say, for example, that your kid really loved the weaving kit she got for her birthday and she did all the projects listed in the manual, but then she ran out of supplies. The tissue paper and pipe cleaner flower kit, on the other hand, engaged her for an hour or so and hasn’t been touched since. Knowing that you are going to buy more weaving supplies, might make it easy for her to say good-bye to the flower making kit (and if not, go back to the Tip #3 plan and put it in place for the flowers).

Tip 6. Put away toys that your child is not ready for or isn’t likely to ever play with.

Go back to the 20 presents from a birthday party. It is very likely that you are a good judge of what your child is actually going to play with. In the chaos of the party, it is easy to “put things away” for safe keeping. If you put a bunch of the toys away, likely the out-of-sight-out-of-mind principle will apply and your child will completely forget they even got that toy. If a couple of months go by, and the child doesn’t ask about it, quietly send that toy away with the next Good Will bag. Along the same lines, if your child gets a toy which looks like it will someday interest your child but is too sophisticated for him or her at the moment, put it away in a closet-and assuming that your child doesn’t ask you for it in the meantime-YOU can gift it to your child when your child is old enough for it. OR you can later make it available for your child to give to one of his friends!

Tip 7. Use natural transitions, like the start of a new school year, to mark a Big Clean Out.

If tips 1-4 have not helped clear out the accumulation of clutter, apply a 10% tithe. Let your kids know that they are going to have to donate 10% of their toys to charity. They might balk at first, but this is another excellent way to get kids to prioritize and decide which, for example, of their books they absolutely must have. It will help them recognize that they still have books on their shelves that they read 2-3 years ago when they were much younger. Similarly, unless you have massive amounts of free space for enormous Lego projects, my guess is most kids will not register a 10% reduction of their Lego blocks (They simply don’t have the space to build something that would actually use all their blocks). If your kids greatly resist the idea of donating some of their toys, I highly recommend checking out the laugh-out-loud-funny Too Many Toys, a delightful picture book by David Shannon.

Tip 8. Help keep toys organized by making some clear guidelines about how many gifts can come into the house.

Share your value with your kids that they not equate stuff with happiness or security. Help them see the value of fewer treasured objects by encouraging more thoughtful gift giving. Let relatives know that less is more-or perhaps ask relatives if they would like to go in on a gift together. Some toys, like a fancy model kit, for example a) can be quite pricey and b) actually requires extra supplies-like glue, additional paint, a big board the project can be done on so that as it is being worked on it can be slid in and out from under a bed. Relatives who think of the big picture could go in on all the pieces together. That way one gift comes into the house instead of 6-7.

You can also enlist help from close family friends and relatives by asking that they provide your child experiences rather than toys that will add to the clutter. Perhaps your daughter’s best friend’s family will invite her to go to the zoo with them the next time they go. Perhaps your son’s uncle will take him to a hockey game. These gifts work on so many levels: They say to your child I am valued, People like having me around. They give your child time with another caring adult, so you are creating that larger safety net. The activity itself is often memorable–especially if it is in the child’s honor. Again, these are great opportunities for families to go in together on an outing that might be more expensive: Grandpa can pay for the ticket, Uncle can actually get the child to the game, Aunt-who-lives-far-away can provide a gift certificate for cotton candy or a souvenir.

How To Raise Your Kids The Right Way

Raise Your KidsThe goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose. There are many ways to raise happy, well-adjusted kids, but science has a few tips for making sure they turn out okay. From keeping it fun to letting them leave the nest.

No one would argue that raising children of character demands time and effort. While having children may be doing what comes naturally, being a good parent is much more complicated. Here are some steps to follow.

1 – Put parenting first:

Once you’re a parent, you have to learn to put your priorities below your children’s, and to make the sacrifice to spending more of your day caring for them than you do caring for yourself.

2 – Don’t aim for perfection:

According to a study, new parents who believe society expects perfection from them are more stressed and less confident in their parenting skills.

3 – Be good to your sons, Mamas:

A warm, attached relationship with mom seems important in preventing behavior problems in sons, even more so than in girls, the research found.

A close relationship with their mothers can help keep boys from acting out.

4 – Eat dinner as a family:

The dinner table is not only a place of sustenance and family business but also a place for the teaching and passing on of our values.

5 – Tend to your mental health:

Research suggests that depressed moms struggle with parenting and even show muted responses to their babies’ cries compared with healthy moms.

According to researches, kids raised by these mothers are more easily stressed out by the preschool years.

6 – Give your child enough play time every day:

“Play time” does not mean having your child sit in front of the TV while you do the dishes.

It means letting your child sit in his room or play area and to actively engage with stimulating toys while you help him explore their possibilities

7 – Be positive:

Parents who express negative emotions toward their infants or handle them roughly are likely to find themselves with aggressive kindergartners.

Behavioral aggression at age 5 is linked to aggression later in life, even toward future romantic partners.

8 – Joking helps:

When parents joke and pretend, it gives young kids the tools to think creatively, make friends and manage stress.

9 – Encourage independence:

You can still be there for your child while encouraging him to explore his own interests. Don’t tell your child which lessons to take; let him pick from a variety of options.

Don’t be ashamed if you feel things are getting too much for you. Ask for help. Tell your partner when you’re having a hard time, find a babysitter or parenting counselor, seek support from other parents, learn new ways of parenting that will make it more easy and enjoyable for you.

Teach a Child Well and He Will Be an Exemplary Citizen

Teach a Child WellChildren are the instrument to the future progress and function of our society in every key, color and nation; Children will fix the future of our current mistakes in society for all nations around the world to live and see!

If we allow ourselves to engage in learning along with a child, we can form a bond with peace and happiness for many generations to follow. As we progress in society, it is with reflection that we seek to understand the ideology that best describes how to measure what makes child rearing unique to every nation and culture around the globe. Although we may be separated by religion, culture or tradition, we are all more universally the same, in the way that we love our children, and choose to help grow and nurture their minds to prepare them for a better life, than we ourselves live.

Child-rearing is more about commonality than morality or geography. Raising a child is a joy, a delight, a mission or an accomplishment. Once you decide to be a great mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin or godmother,godfather, or even stepmother, or stepfather, you have made a contract to show your very best personality, attitude and input that is required to be a positive influence in the young impressionable life of a young soul that is making his way in life and deciding what example he/she would care to emulate or follow.

While raising children can be all- encompassing, it can also be a unique experience, or a great mission to fulfill! You can be fulfilled by adding your own expertise when teaching or mentoring a child;teaching with clarity and empathy, you can achieve great feats of teaching advancement while mentoring. While mentoring you are also sharing your life-learned knowledge by teaching a child the ability to learn from the mistakes that you made. You can teach them how to avoid, by not repeating the same mistakes that you made in your youth. Teaching can be as simple as making different choices that are more factually based than emotionally driven or the benefit preparation. Preparing for the trials of life can help a child recover more quickly than if they were uninformed about cause and effect and consequences. Consequences for our actions are part of life for everyone, at any age, and understanding how it plays into everyday life is helpful for developing a child’s understanding of self-responsibility.

We all remember being teased at school, at one time or another; we can all relate to being shy and not wanting to read aloud, in front of the whole class. We got past it and learned to master our insecurities. Mastering our insecurities goes on throughout the rest of our lives. That is something that children need from us, to learn the ability to nurture themselves when feelings of vulnerability creep into their self-esteem.

Raising a child is more about giving children the skill-set and the tools that they can use when we are not around to guide them. Children, that are well-rounded, usually had great influences and people who emulated strong self-control and self-sufficient traits that the child, in their periphery, chose to emulate.

Ask any child whom he would consider to be a great influence in his life and most children will choose people who have either overcome obstacles, by setting goals and displaying good self-esteem, or by a caring and compassionate person who offered them a lesson, in the process, of an interaction that they remember. If you think about child rearing you may agree that although life is a lot less social that it used to be, it is a lot better to socialize more with great family members and friends than to live alone. In the process, of raising a child, comes a young,impressionable soul looking to feel comfortable in your village of people.

Although people may look different and process their ideas of truth and justice differently, or have a different constitution than you, or me, people are still seeking to be more alike that different.

If you look at children, that are in your care, on school grounds, or, if like me, are, or have been their teacher, or, in your home, or, at your job, you can take a reflective guess and notice that children are all born with a desire to have friends and desire to belong to a collective group of members that are blend well with each other and enjoy doing the same types of social or intellectual things.

Sports can unite children. as can attending class, or engaging in music or watching a great film. Teaching children to relate better, to one another, to their environment, and to be socially engaging with new people, can help create better self-esteem and a better world view with acceptance that has a domino-effect on the planet. All in all, we all want to have and to raise exemplary citizens that will be well equipped to fix and solve the problems that we leave behind.

Can you imagine how proud you’ll be when your son or daughter becomes the next big-named lawyer, news anchor, sports reporter, UNICEF Ambassador or the favorite teacher of the year? I believe that if we invest in our children that we are investing in our society and making our world, as a whole, a much better place to live with diversified, informed, prepared young exemplary citizens!

One day our children/posterity will congregate with one another and hopefully,speak more about the good things that they learned,with one another, than speaking to one another about the shortcoming’s of the people, in the cities, towns and villages, where they were raised! That’s my hope for the future!

I enjoy learning from you and from others offering me knowledge continuously!

Raising Our Children With Love and Respect

Raising Our Children With Love and Respect“Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhoods.” Pam Leo

That quote really got my mind working this morning. I took a moment and reflected on my own childhood and it really is true. I was raised by my grandparents and I understand that their ways were the “old school” ways but to this day I still have a lot of emotional issues based on the methods of discipline and lack of approval I received as a child. I still have a lot of baggage that I have carried since childhood but over the years I’ve been getting a lot better about letting it go and not allowing my past to dictate what happens in my future. A couple of things DO still bother me to this day and as nervous as I am about it for the sake of knowledge and information that may help other children I wanted to share them with you:

– My grandfather always commented on my weight and put me down because I wasn’t a thin girl and I have always been self-conscious about my weight and my looks, no matter how many times my husband tells me I’m beautiful I’m always secretly rolling my eyes, wishing I could believe it for myself.

– I was punished as a child by spanking. There was a leather strap that laid on a table in the dining room and my brothers and I always had to walk by it. Every time we got in trouble the strap was picked up and we went to our rooms, crying and sore. That made me grow up with quite a temper and lifelong resentment to authority that I always have to work hard to control. I thank my daughter every day for being here because she helps me to see the world so differently.

I grew up constantly questioning myself and my abilities and I never feel I have the confidence to do everything I have dreamed of doing, mainly because growing up I was never told that I had the ability to do anything I wanted if I wanted it bad enough. It took me years of self-discovery, books and the support of my amazing and caring husband to convince myself that I AM worth the risk because I want my life to be full of wonderful moments, memories and I don’t want to leave this earth with a laundry list of regrets.

Because I was raised that way I swore to myself that I would never treat my child like that and I would raise her the opposite way. I will not use fear to get her obedience and I will not put my child down because I don’t see perfection. My daughter just turned three and I love that when she is having a tantrum and pushing my buttons the situation always ends with a hug and a moment of peace than a scared confused child who doesn’t understand why mommy was so cruel to her.

It breaks my heart that every day there are so many children who are growing up with families that will set these kids up for a future of uncertainty and self-esteem issues, mainly due to the fact that parents aren’t armed with the proper information that could help them to guide children through their youth, instead of controlling their decisions, using unnecessary punishments to get their points across, yelling more than talking and not providing the protection from certain situations that could make or break a child’s self-esteem. So many young spirits are broken and that pain will haunt them and affect the decisions they make for the rest of their lives. The worst part is that all of this can be prevented with a little knowledge, support and a better understanding from the child’s perspective.

I know there are a lot of parents who say that they were spanked as children and they grew up better because of that form of discipline. Everyone is different and everyone raises their children differently. I’m not trying to start a debate about spanking, I just wanted to write about my view on the subject because I went through it and that was how spanking affected me. In the end I just want every parent to know that their children are beautiful, special and full of so much potential. Love them with all your hearts and do everything in your power to give them the best start in their lives. Every parent has their own ways of doing this and in the end if you know in your hearts that you’re doing everything you can possibly do to ensure the best future for your children, then that is MORE than enough.

We are all born with a blank canvas and it’s up to the parents to paint the proper background so that the children can then complete the picture and grow up to become confident, empathic, responsible and grateful adults who will make a difference in this world. If we fail to put maximum effort into our children and to go the extra mile to do the right things for them instead of the more convenient “this will put an end to this for now” mindset, everyone wins and the family is much more secure and trustworthy of one another and that, in my opinion makes for the perfect future for everyone.

Do you have baggage from your childhood and has that affected your parenting for the better? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Your input may help other parents looking for advice or information.

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