This topic has been stirring in my head for days. It has to do with the "whys" of parenting. I don't know how to properly write about this topic, because I have so many ideas and I'm not quite settled on my approach to tackling them all.
I want to give you some insight into what has been streaming on the channels of my mind....Beginning with their amount of choices.
They have quite a bit of stuff. More than I do. More than my husband. How do a four and two year old have so many belongings? Some I have bought, some were presents. Why? I bought them toys, because I wanted to be a good mom. Says who? People around me and the tv image, says that if I love my kids I will buy them things to illustrate that physically. Do they play with them all? No, they certainly do not play with them all. Not even half. Do they take care of them? No, I do. I tell them to pick them up and I have to constantly monitor their clean up. Do I like having extra work? Ummm, not a chance.
In summary I now know that I have things in my house that I don't love, things that aren't being taken care of, and that are causing me extra work. Now that I have come to the conclusion that I do not need/want/love these things in my house what to do?
Get rid of them. This thought absolutely blew me away. I argued with myself. You spent money on these toys, what will the kids say, and what will they do all day?
I laugh now at these statements, because they are born out of ignorance. Just because I once spent money on something doesn't mean it will always align with my views in the future. The kids don't really care (older kids might have), because anything he/she truly loves will be kept. Plus, they have the best toy with them always, their imagination. What will they do all day? Well, since they didn't really "play" with their toys to begin with this is a non-issue. But for the sake of argument (with myself) I have a completely different strategy to help them through their days. Things that will help them grow, not only as a person, but create character.... or maybe just let them be bored and see what happens.
I have been reading the blog, The Lazy Organizer, and she has pointed to some fantastic resources and ideas that she is implementing with her own children. One of the resources is a speech given on the topic of raising children for their heavenly home. I LOVE this speech. It is wonderful and gives me such motivation. No matter what is said around me I know that this is the right path for our family. Why? Because I feel at peace with simplicity, education, religion, and true culture. I want to learn how to be different. The world has forgotten about classical music, art, nature, and reading. The few things that have had an impact on countless men and women over the ages (and are mostly free). I want to rediscover the magic of those things in our home.
As I take my son to preschool, all I see in every hallway are licenced characters smiling or glaring (if you are a super hero) from backpacks. I would say that 90% of the children there are endorsing some kind of character from their book bags, which do not even hold books yet!! Children, as a consumer, are a huge market now. This website shines the light on the subject. They report that children are easy to target because they are a captive audience most of the time, by watching an average of 25,000 to 40,000 commercials a year. Which then in turn equals about $130- 670 billion dollars in parental purchases which the children (12 and under) influence directly!
I, of which have been one of those parents influenced. Let me say that I don't think all Disney movies are bad, they just have their place and time. Just like all junk food isn't evil. It just needn't be around everyday. I want our home to be one of limited choices/moderation, with a focus on the "real". Real entertainment, cooking, chores/work, and relationships. I have a lot more research to do on this subject, and hope to learn as much as possible through books, blogs, but mostly by just experiencing it with them. :)