Recently I have added a super "fun" addition to the playroom; a towel rod and roll of paper along with another rod with buckets of crayons, markers, and scissors. The hope was to spark their "creativity".
This decision, I have grown to regret.
During quite time
I kept finding broken toys, crayons, and books.
Then…one night…I lost it.
I went mommy crazy. Granted, it was past 7pm (that's my limit FYI) and I was exhausted! But still…enough was enough.
I told them I was taking away their toys. I called James up into the playroom and told him something had to change. We decided that they have been disrespectful and disobedient. The punishment was to take away the toys; nearly all of them.
We left the boys with 6 "guys" and the batman fortress.
We called the boys into the playroom (they had been banished to their room until mommy regained her cool) and told them what was about to happen; no more costumes, no more crayons, no more legos, and no more superhero gear.
That did it. Tears. Lots of tears; mostly from Micah (which is rare).
In that moment they knew we meant business.
It wasn't that we were tired (even though we were); it was that we felt disrespected. We, as their parents, felt as though they didn't care as to what we thought. I asked them to clean and nothing happened. Ok…maybe a couple spiderman costumes were put into the toy box…but not the "guys", and legos, and other junk.
that was it
and nothing else.
You know what….
We set up rules.
#1- Do not ask for your toys back; we will say "no"
#2- We will decide the behavior that earns the toys back
#3- Good behavior gets rewarded; bad behavior loses toys.
#4- Clean up your junk
They cleaned it up better. Probably because it was easier without all of the excess.
They didn't ask for their toys back.
In fact….it's been a month and they have earned all of their guys back; along with the coloring and paper.
But nearly everything else is still packed away in my closet. Just sitting there. This really makes me notice for the first time about how much excess my children have.
I'm talking about bins, and bins still just sitting in my closet that my kids have forgot about. They are happy with what they have, and have learned to treat what they do have better. If something breaks, it won't be replaced with something else. That is all they have.
I am so glad about our decision. Taking away their toys has taught our entire family about what excess can do. Having too many "things" doesn't just clutter your home; it clutters your mind as well.
Now it is time to pack up those toys in my closet and get them out of the house.
At this point they will be none-the-wiser.