Monday, November 10, 2008

When kids don't take care of their stuff...

What if your children don't take good care of their stuff? Maybe they have too much stuff! So what's a parent to do? Here's what some parents have tried...
  • Rotating a smaller number of toys into the toy box so old toys that disappear for awhile seem new again later. This also limits what has to be picked up after play.
  • Letting children know that they get to keep toys and other items that are put away at the end of the day (or the end of playtime). Otherwise those toys go into the charity box for children who need them more. (Some parents do allow toys to be purchased back before donations are made.)
  • Providing an allowance for all future purchases. The concept here is that you value what you have earned or saved and waited for. Also, the allowance should be small enough that a child would have to save for bigger items (No loans or advances.)
  • Regularly making it a family project to each fill a bag or donations and taking a trip together to make the donation to a local women's crisis center or some other charity.
  • Limiting gift giving at Christmas and birthdays to fewer items. The expectation of "a pile" of presents can create entitled and greedy children who are not grateful for their abundance. This doesn't set children up well for a future in the real world.
  • Creating a budget limit for purchases. I will pay up to $40 for the new pair of pants you need. Feel free to use your allowance (or birthday money) if you want a more expensive pair.

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