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Toy Care

by

MOM

Folks, I am what they rightfully call an "experienced mother".
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. It’s 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. It’s not the child who has the most toys in December who wins. It’s 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 grace.

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.

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