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  1. #21

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    I think how much this gets to you is to some extent a function of the size and configuration of your house. We're lucky enough to have a playroom. If we didn't, I'd be much stricter about it. But as it is, I don't have to go down there very much.

    Around age 4 was kind of the height of toy around here. There were just SOOOO many of them at that point. Four years later, it has really tapered off. There are still a lot of toys, but the number of types is pared down greatly, which helps with organization. I feel like age 3 to age 7 I was just constantly being asked to come up with new systems for organizing the toys - and it was in large part because things were just changing all the time. Now, I feel like they've calmed down and about six months ago, we divested ourselves of a huge number of toys. I think around age 5 was when we kicked all the toys off the main floor of the house. They all went to the basement and the rooms. The only thing on the main floor is the board games and card games because I didn't like the idea of them being ripped apart in the basement. Also, until literally the last few months, they really didn't play them without the grown ups. Anyway, it's a stage. Try to flow with it or something.
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  3. #22

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    The other thing that occurred to me is that mostly, our kids have too much stuff.

    If it's really a huge problem, getting rid of half - or more! - of the 'stuff' will help.

  4. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriciaJ View Post
    I wasn't sure if bribing them was good or bad either....she'd have chocolate or some type of sugar every time if she could pick a reward. Are you supposed to reward something they should be doing to contribute to the household? I wasn't sure. I try to save bribes for the rare occasion when I'm just being selfish and want something my way. I will try making it into a game or being more creative that way. (Although I'm usually too damn tired by the end of the day). Thanks again guys....I'll be reading and re-reading this thread for the next week.
    I don't think it would be a good idea to structure is as: "if you clean, you get candy" type of reward system because, as you said, she'll pick chocolate every time!

    But I think it's helpful to teach them how to negotiate with themselves to get tasks done, even if it's just a simple "music makes me clean faster" or "it's fun to clean when Mommy makes it a fun race" or "when I clean we have more time and space to play [something]."
    Paula

    Disneyland-obsessed homeschooling mama to adventurous Aidyn (9yo) and our new, huggable, lovable baby Jack.

    Writing Tutor/Workshop facilitator/Instructor Aide at a community college.

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  5. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriciaJ View Post
    ...This kid is easily distracted...she'll go to pick one thing up and start playing with it. She's also so damn attached to every tiny little toy/rock/piece of paper that I can't help but wonder "Is this normal??".

    She's had the flu this past week and I broke down and picked everything up today. (Vacuum day) I'm thinking we'll leave projects out and pick up the cluttery type things each night. I wasn't sure if bribing them was good or bad either....she'd have chocolate or some type of sugar every time if she could pick a reward. Are you supposed to reward something they should be doing to contribute to the household? I wasn't sure. I try to save bribes for the rare occasion when I'm just being selfish and want something my way. I will try making it into a game or being more creative that way. (Although I'm usually too damn tired by the end of the day). Thanks again guys....I'll be reading and re-reading this thread for the next week.

    Easily distracted is normal for four. So is being attached to things. My youngest is a little packrat. I have learned to discard papers just prior to taking out the trash. Otherwise, he sees them in the trash and wants them back.

    I don't bribe my children, but I do offer incentives. When all the toys are picked up, there is room to ride hippity-hop. When they find the remote, they may watch a DVD.

    I agree with Stella that our children have too much stuff. If you are in a small space, the amount of clutter can be overwhelming. This post put it into perspective for me - Your Child’s Messy Room is Your Fault - Minimalist at Home
    Our family room is messy because I allow it to be. I would rather my children be creative with Legos and Snap Circuits than that they spend hours in front of a screen. But that does not mean we have to keep every toy that comes through our door. The toys do get smaller as the children get older. The children do become more willing to let go of most of the "baby" toys.

  6. #25
    Senior Member Enlightened TriciaJ's Avatar
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    I think kids have too much too. I dread birthdays and holidays because people start buying up a storm without any regard to my requests. I have asked politely about buying less and not buying certain toys....and they do it anyway! Since its just after Christmas I have gotten rid of 2 bagfuls but now we have more 'pieces'. We do have a small space so it gets to be unbearable sometimes. I wasn't sure if the attachment to 'things' was because of the overwhelming amount of 'things' she has...good article too Sherry. I agree. It is my fault! She should enjoy it while it lasts because someday I plan on homesteading hardcore and there isn't going to be room or time for all this junk....

  7. #26
    Senior Member Enlightened TriciaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farrarwilliams View Post
    Around age 4 was kind of the height of toy around here. There were just SOOOO many of them at that point. Four years later, it has really tapered off. There are still a lot of toys, but the number of types is pared down greatly, which helps with organization. I feel like age 3 to age 7 I was just constantly being asked to come up with new systems for organizing the toys - and it was in large part because things were just changing all the time. Now, I feel like they've calmed down and about six months ago, we divested ourselves of a huge number of toys. I think around age 5 was when we kicked all the toys off the main floor of the house. They all went to the basement and the rooms. The only thing on the main floor is the board games and card games because I didn't like the idea of them being ripped apart in the basement. Also, until literally the last few months, they really didn't play them without the grown ups. Anyway, it's a stage. Try to flow with it or something.
    Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for age 3-6....I find myself dreaming of older ages when there's less tantrums and understanding LOGIC? Please tell me they do that......:}

  8. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriciaJ View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for age 3-6....I find myself dreaming of older ages when there's less tantrums and understanding LOGIC? Please tell me they do that......:}
    I think you're doing fine, Tricia, because you're reaching out and asking! So many parents would just storm over their children and demand them to do things they are incapable of figuring out.

    As far as understanding logic, I think we don't give kids the credit they deserve with reasoning ability, but it is a process. Little ones can understand reasoning and learn to develop more advanced reasoning through practice. Talking with them (not yelling or using vague terms) and helping them negotiate thoughts in their heads helps (I don't mean influencing them to believe what WE believe but helping them identify their own belief system). And it sounds like you're doing that, so keep up the good work!
    Paula

    Disneyland-obsessed homeschooling mama to adventurous Aidyn (9yo) and our new, huggable, lovable baby Jack.

    Writing Tutor/Workshop facilitator/Instructor Aide at a community college.

    To hear about our adventures/destination unit studies:

    Choosing Our Own Adventures

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