Folks, I am what they rightfully call an
Although I have only had the privilege of bringing two new
people into this world, non-the-less, I have had eight young minds full of mush in my care
for extended periods of time. They were his, mine, ours and other peoples. There is
nothing that can express how happy I have been at this situation. Children and young
people may be a trial at times, but boy do they keep life fun and interesting.
One of the greater challenges I have faced with all the kids, was figuring out how to
teach them to take care of the toys and other possessions that we all had to sacrifice to
provide for them. I never knew the answer until my last child came along. Its so
simple. Appeal to their natural instinct of greed! One year, my youngest was suffering
from the "Is this all there is?" syndrome. (As was probably every other child on
the planet.) Of course, it was accusingly pointed out that the child down the street with
the crazy parents had received at least a zillion and a half more toys than did my own
bereft offspring. Instead of using the "You should be grateful..." speech that I
have on tape for such occasions, I counseled him as follows. Its not the child who
has the most toys in December who wins. Its the child who has the most left in May
who wins. I asked him how much he would have if he not only had the toys from this year
but also had those from last year and the year before. He had to admit that it would be
quite a haul. We made a plan to put everything back in the original box when putting the
toy away. That way, the toys would always look almost new when they were taken out to play
with and missing pieces would be noticed and looked for right away.
With my help, he kept this system up for about three months.
Guess what happened. He soon noticed when playing with other children that his toys kept
looking better and better by
comparison. By the time his birthday rolled around, his toy stock started looking pretty
good to him. Then, he got greedy wanting to add to his collection. Allowance and earned
money went to add to the collection. I sold my stock in the candy store which now
started showing a loss. The down side was that he became a lot less sharing with his toys.
Woe betide the child who mistreated one in any way what-so-ever. They definitely fell from
This approach may not work with every child but I think most
children have instincts to hoard and collect. I know if I had it to
do over, I would try this approach about two decades sooner.
this page to someone you care about!
Return to the beginning of the "MOM Loves You" site!