Author Topic: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas  (Read 3050 times)

Chesleygirl

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Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« on: October 08, 2017, 11:22:02 AM »
I'm going to stop buying toys, not that I bought many to begin with.

People give our kids stuff. Too much. There are toys with broken parts, puzzles with missing pieces, books they have ripped apart and lots of little game pieces from board games, all over the house. I've spent hours and days trying to sort it all out. What i can put together, i'm selling in consignment sales. What can't be put together or repaired is for the trash. The books are being collected and sold in consignment sales.

The fact is, my kids don't play with toys or read books. They do other things.  They have activities outside of the home or they play video games. The two younger ones can't  read yet and the older one plays video games. She doesn't read for leisure and I'm not going to force her to anymore.

They play with toys one time and then it gets tossed aside.  My kids have zero interest in toys, board games, dolls, etc. I don't know about other kids, but mine just don't use this stuff or they decide to destroy it. They have sadly destroyed many things that can not even be donated now.

So I'm thinking of an alternative for Christmas gifts, such as McDonald's gift cards or consumable items, like food, candy, etc. I want them to have something under the tree, but not stuff that will add to waste and clutter in our home.

GizmoTX

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 12:06:45 PM »
I agree about getting rid of the damaged things. Your kids may appreciate the little that’s left if the clutter is gone. OTOH, junk is junk. Toys that don’t challenge the imagination deserve to be cast aside.

I grew up with few toys, & cherished what I asked for & received. I went to the library & bookmobile for books. My sibs & I did a wish list (aka the Sears catalog) every year — we knew we wouldn’t get much, so we needed to communicate what we were dreaming about. It mostly didn’t happen but our parents & grandparents tried to come close.

We could have given DS (now grown) everything but were careful to dole out toys over time & that allowed creativity. He especially enjoyed Legos & Playmobile (play people), science equipment, elementary circuit design, & crafts. Very little was ever broken, since he knew nothing would be automatically replaced. We read to him every night, even after he learned to read, until he could manage chapter books on his own — he still loves a good story. (Growing up, I read to my younger sibs.) Other gifts to him included various experiences over the years: rocket building & launching, chess camp, horsemanship camp, sailing camp, video game programming camp, film making camp, violin/fiddle camp, cooking camp, & scouting. Later on, family trips were also considered part of what was under the tree.

He & we would be bored with fast food or other consumables, & they’re not very healthy. Think about challenging your kids with creative materials & experiences; since they’re still too young to know yet what interests them, you should help them find out.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 03:50:24 PM »
I agree about getting rid of the damaged things. Your kids may appreciate the little that’s left if the clutter is gone.

that's just it. I think they would appreciate a few things if they didn't have so much. With too many things, they lose interest.

calimom

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 06:43:25 PM »
My kids are past the toy stage but when they were very little I'd spirit away a lot of the smaller stuff after the unwrapping orgy (lots of gifts from loving grandparents/relatives/friends) and put it away, leaving the Thomas set or the dollhouse. Then, on maybe a rainy Sunday afternoon in February bring out some fresh markers, a cool little toy or read a fresh story some night when the old favorites weren't holding interest.  It can be overwhelming for children to have too many options in the playroom.

Before Christmas we'd go through old stuff together and anything in good shape that was outgrown, donate to a hospital waiting room I knew about that always needed something fresh and intact for those kids to play with or read.

MayDay

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 08:52:08 AM »
My kids are 7 and 10, so starting to outgrow toys.

They each have a few things in their room. We have Legos and magnatiles in the basement. We have some board games. That is about it.

I can't wait for them to stop believing in santa because that is the only toy we buy them.
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BAM

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 07:08:53 AM »
We've minimize our belongings considerably, esp toys. We now have 1 dresser of legos (everyone's preferred toy), a cedar chest with some little kid toys like a doll house that get rotated every Monday, a small box of car tracks, some games, puzzles and art supplies. They do play better now that they have limited things.
A great book that talks about this is Simplicity Parenting.

Last Christmas, we gave mostly experience gifts. Youngers (under 15) got a trip to a pizza place with a game room and a movie theater trip. Our two oldest who are in college got a membership to a rock climbing gym near their college. In the past we've also done memberships to the zoo, museum, aquarium. A swimming pool membership or YMCA membership or something would be great too. We've occasionally been able to convince grandparents to give these too as a whole family gift instead of individual gifts. For many years, my mom would give the kids a magazine subscription for Christmas. They loved that. My kids enjoyed their gifts more last year than they do when there are lots of toys, etc.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 08:48:25 AM »
The legos drive me crazy. We kept a box of them and they get scattered everywhere.

I like the idea of experience gifts, like gift cards for movie theaters.

Cwadda

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 09:06:07 AM »
My nieces and nephews are in a household with extreme consumerism.  They receive garbage bags filled with gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  Yes, 40-gallon garbage bags full. It is a pissing match between grandparents who can get them more.

Nowadays I just stretch my imagination to think of gifts that are truly meaningful. Taking them to the movies, hanging out for a sleepover, making brownies and watching a movie with a warm blanket.  They won't care about all the toys when they get older. 

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 09:28:21 PM »
My nieces and nephews are in a household with extreme consumerism.  They receive garbage bags filled with gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  Yes, 40-gallon garbage bags full. It is a pissing match between grandparents who can get them more.

Nowadays I just stretch my imagination to think of gifts that are truly meaningful. Taking them to the movies, hanging out for a sleepover, making brownies and watching a movie with a warm blanket.  They won't care about all the toys when they get older.

Sometimes I wonder if people who are older, didn't get a lot of toys when they were kids, so they think it is a big deal for kids nowadays to get them. 

Polaria

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 12:35:46 AM »
No kids in close family, but two of my best friends have 2 and soon 5 kids (ages from -5 months to 7 years). Stuff everywhere though they are careful.

I am really keeping in mind that the last thing they want is more stuff added to an already gigantic pile. In the past I have given some items when I was sure my friends would appreciate them (once it was two foldable boxes in space and dinosaur themes to store toys, my friend was elated).

My plan from now on is not to give them anything at Xmas etc (except consumables) but to give each kid a small sum of money at the start of the summer holidays (I am giving the money to the parents; I let them sort the spending/saving discussion with their kids).

Logistically it is easier for me and I remember cracking the piggy bank for the summer holidays as a kid, so I feel it is the right time to give the kids a little windfall.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:39:30 AM by Polaria »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 12:53:12 AM »
The legos drive me crazy. We kept a box of them and they get scattered everywhere.

I like the idea of experience gifts, like gift cards for movie theaters.

Lego, at least the original with blocks in all sizes, is a toy that stimulates the building genes in a child. Nowadays Lego often comes in complete cars or other stuff and that is not as good as the old simple blocks. My brother and I loves playing with Lego together. We kept it up in our rooms, so it was not all over the living room.

I also notice that children get a lot of stupid gifts. When I buy Christmas presents I try to buy gifts that are going to be used and not just a small car to add to the other 100 that my nephew already has. I also ask the parents if there is anything their child needs, like a bicycle or a winter play suit. My brothers sons are getting very greedy around Christmas and that is not nice to watch from the sideline.

Cwadda

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 07:24:50 AM »
My nieces and nephews are in a household with extreme consumerism.  They receive garbage bags filled with gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  Yes, 40-gallon garbage bags full. It is a pissing match between grandparents who can get them more.

Nowadays I just stretch my imagination to think of gifts that are truly meaningful. Taking them to the movies, hanging out for a sleepover, making brownies and watching a movie with a warm blanket.  They won't care about all the toys when they get older.

Sometimes I wonder if people who are older, didn't get a lot of toys when they were kids, so they think it is a big deal for kids nowadays to get them.

It very well could be.  For me, it's kinda the opposite.  I'm a younger person (23) and got few toys when I was a moppet. My sibling and I were taught the value of being able to do a lot with only a few toys, and to treat them special.

engineermom21

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 08:01:33 AM »
My husband and I may go the route of not buying any toys this year for our kids at Christmas.  At 1 and 4, they won't remember that we didn't get them anything, or even care, and I know both grandmas will get them more than they possibly need (we've tried asking them to do experience gifts, but it falls on deaf ears.  If it makes them happy to buy for their grandkids, it's not my place to stop them.)  I'll do stockings for them (which is my favorite part of Christmas morning anyway) and that's it.  I've gone through their toy room every few weeks over the past 6 months and removed things they no longer play with or thrown out things that have been broken.  We've gotten their toys down to a really reasonable amount, and I feel like they play a lot more with them now, versus before when it was just chaos all the time. 

I like the idea of sticking to 4 things as well: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  I'll probably go this route as they get older, then just do total experience gifts or one large gift as they get into late middle school/high school ages. 

LiveLean

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 11:32:39 AM »
Don't worry. Soon your kids will reach a point where they won't want or need any toys. Just a phone.
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Sibley

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 11:48:19 AM »
We always got practical things. Clothes, etc. Also, more general use/household stuff for us or the cat that had picked us - cat toys, catnip, cat beds, sheets, pillows, computer games, etc. I was a huge reader, so books were big for me. But a ton of stuff that got used.

Now, I get a mix of practical stuff and junk that I return or donate. Wish I could get my mom to cool it, but not much luck thus far.

elaine amj

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 12:27:40 PM »
Not sure what to do this year - my two are in their teens now but still like something to open for Christmas. As they have gotten older, they have received way less "things" so now I struggle to have a small handful of things for them to open on Christmas morning. I don't spend much on them myself - maybe $20-30 each and I also do the shopping for 3 grandparents. My SIL also stays with us for Christmas so they'll have a bunch of little gifts from her. So maybe 5 gifts each to open. REALLY not sure what to get for them this year. Neither needs anything much.

I usually try for practical gifts - last year, my DS14 got various things to redecorate his room with. So, one grandparent got him a comforter, another wall stickers, cushions, etc. Stuff like that. Maybe we'll do something similar as we have to redecorate his room yet again (my fault - I'm taking the daybed out of his room to use elsewhere) and he said he'd like a nice area rug.

Clueless for my DD16.

Other non-toy things we've gotten them in the past - experience gifts (zoo memberships, etc), winter coats, new running shoes, school backpacks, new water bottles, art supplies, etc etc.

This year, I would like to get them a few things they can actively enjoy on Christmas morning. We're keeping it very simple and low-budget this year.
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acroy

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 12:46:03 PM »
We have a decent but limited stock of inside toys. Toys stay in their rooms and are put away when not in use. If I have to clean them up -they go in the trash can. Treat it like trash, it's trash.
My 2 oldest have a ton of Legos but they are confined to their 'Lego Lab' - converted closet. Pretty cool actually. Legos outside the Lego Lab are trash.

We limit screen time to performance-based Minecraft time on the Kindle Fire.
90%+ grade that day = 30 min
80%+ grade = 15min
under 80 = no screen time.

They would play 12 hrs a day if we let them.

Good stock of outside toys: cars, nerf guns, tons of skates and bikes and scooters and such. It all gets put away when not in use.

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galliver

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 03:28:59 PM »
Maybe I shouldn't speak to these things as a non-parent, but...

When it comes to kids, "toys" doesn't mean optional or wasteful things. Toys are the tools kids use for learning before we're willing to trust them with real tools. Doing crafts or building freeform with legos or tinkertoys or anything teaches creativity and spatial awareness. Dolls and stuffed animals encourage nurturing behaviors. Dress up and action figures and dolls, through make-believe play, let kids explore and experiment with interpersonal interactions and roles in society, and engages their imagination. Models or complex lego/construction sets teach kids to follow directions...a critical skill for adults assembling Ikea furniture or fixing their washing machine or filling out paperwork or formatting reports for their professor/boss/client/etc. Matchbox cars, on a large, flat surface, lend themselves to early physics experiments (as well as make-believe).

Toys are also some of the first things a kid calls their own, so they are an early way to introduce "taking care of our things" ideas. Of course there will be some stumbles along the way; we all learn best from mistakes. Dolly will have to live with her sharpie tattoo for the rest of her dolly life...which will be shortened as a result by being made unacceptable to donate. When the truck breaks from being sat on, kiddo learns that plastic stuff like the truck isn't very strong. When not cleaning up a game results in irretrievably lost pieces and makes the game unplayable, the kids eventually figure out why you insist they put the game away immediately after playing. This is the cost of doing business; I've lost numerous dishes, nonstick pans, flashlights, tape measures, etc. with time and use. Many tools wear out eventually, or we outgrow their usefulness; it's only to be expected the same happens with toys.

Of course, these lessons may stick better if the kid doesn't have 10 dolls and 20 trucks, and actually cares about them to some degree...so I'm by no means arguing against keeping the toy collection curated down to a reasonable size. I just think most kids would only be better off by exposure to and availability of at least a few toys from each category. That said, obviously each kid has independent preferences, for specific types of play that may involve more or fewer toys. Some might do more dancing or tumbling, or play with the family pet, or build blanket forts, or drum on pots and pans. What's "right" definitely varies, not arguing that. Just that there seemed to be an undertone of toys being useless or wasteful in responses and that's pretty far from true.

A final note on reading..."My kid only wants to play video games so I won't make her read" reads similarly to me as "My kid only likes McDonald's hamburgers so I won't make her eat vegetables." There is nothing wrong with video games necessarily (I hear they're great training for future pilots and possibly surgeons), but reading is crucial--it grows vocabulary, develops empathy, trains comprehension skills. They'll need it for school, college (if they go), work, life. Giving up on it entirely seems as ill advised as giving up on a kid's hygiene habits or manners. "He doesn't like brushing his teeth or saying thank you, so we aren't going to make him anymore." Really?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2017, 07:25:42 AM »
Maybe I shouldn't speak to these things as a non-parent, but...

When it comes to kids, "toys" doesn't mean optional or wasteful things. Toys are the tools kids use for learning before we're willing to trust them with real tools. Doing crafts or building freeform with legos or tinkertoys or anything teaches creativity and spatial awareness. Dolls and stuffed animals encourage nurturing behaviors. Dress up and action figures and dolls, through make-believe play, let kids explore and experiment with interpersonal interactions and roles in society, and engages their imagination. Models or complex lego/construction sets teach kids to follow directions...a critical skill for adults assembling Ikea furniture or fixing their washing machine or filling out paperwork or formatting reports for their professor/boss/client/etc. Matchbox cars, on a large, flat surface, lend themselves to early physics experiments (as well as make-believe).

Toys are also some of the first things a kid calls their own, so they are an early way to introduce "taking care of our things" ideas. Of course there will be some stumbles along the way; we all learn best from mistakes. Dolly will have to live with her sharpie tattoo for the rest of her dolly life...which will be shortened as a result by being made unacceptable to donate. When the truck breaks from being sat on, kiddo learns that plastic stuff like the truck isn't very strong. When not cleaning up a game results in irretrievably lost pieces and makes the game unplayable, the kids eventually figure out why you insist they put the game away immediately after playing. This is the cost of doing business; I've lost numerous dishes, nonstick pans, flashlights, tape measures, etc. with time and use. Many tools wear out eventually, or we outgrow their usefulness; it's only to be expected the same happens with toys.

Of course, these lessons may stick better if the kid doesn't have 10 dolls and 20 trucks, and actually cares about them to some degree...so I'm by no means arguing against keeping the toy collection curated down to a reasonable size. I just think most kids would only be better off by exposure to and availability of at least a few toys from each category. That said, obviously each kid has independent preferences, for specific types of play that may involve more or fewer toys. Some might do more dancing or tumbling, or play with the family pet, or build blanket forts, or drum on pots and pans. What's "right" definitely varies, not arguing that. Just that there seemed to be an undertone of toys being useless or wasteful in responses and that's pretty far from true.

A final note on reading..."My kid only wants to play video games so I won't make her read" reads similarly to me as "My kid only likes McDonald's hamburgers so I won't make her eat vegetables." There is nothing wrong with video games necessarily (I hear they're great training for future pilots and possibly surgeons), but reading is crucial--it grows vocabulary, develops empathy, trains comprehension skills. They'll need it for school, college (if they go), work, life. Giving up on it entirely seems as ill advised as giving up on a kid's hygiene habits or manners. "He doesn't like brushing his teeth or saying thank you, so we aren't going to make him anymore." Really?

These are some great arguments for giving children certain toys. I like to give them toys that teach them to use a hammer or so. But having like 100 small cars, is in my eyes unnecessary.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2017, 01:27:08 PM »
Sure. I think kids should have a few toys, at least. I just don't like too many.  I have friends whose house is filled to the brim with all kinds of toys. I trip over stuff every time I go over there. They are more fascinated with the toys than their own kids are. They'll start showing me all these toys and showing me what they can do. I often think they buy the toys for themselves. Their kids want to play video games or go outdoors. Like my kids, they have almost zero interest in toys.

LadyMustache

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2017, 05:00:54 PM »
I bought my son a slack line on Amazon for his last birthday, which has been a big hit:

1. It's physical - good for core, gymnastics skills, etc.
2. It's outside so healthier and quiet for me :)
3. Nothing to tidy inside
4. Pretty cheap for a b'day present
5. Friends think it's cool to play on too.

I don't mind presents as long as they will be used and don't create work.


formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 12:12:07 PM »
I'm so glad to find I'm not alone.  We already told our kids (8, 10, 11) that there will be no toys this year from us for Christmas.  Period. 

We're either going to take a three-day family vacation to stay with friends and see SNOW for the first time...or they'll get gift cards to things like the movies, their favorite restaurants, the roller rink, or (for the oldest, who is in band) tickets to a symphony performance or an MLS game (for the kid in soccer).  If it's gift cards, part of the present will be a "date" with the parent of their choice.
 We're still debating the best option and our budget.

The kids are okay with this plan.  The 8-year-old even told me he has lots of toys and if I just want to put money in his college account, that's okay.  (I think he was temporarily possessed by an alien.)
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elaine amj

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 03:08:24 PM »
  The 8-year-old even told me he has lots of toys and if I just want to put money in his college account, that's okay.  (I think he was temporarily possessed by an alien.)

Your 8 year old rocks!!

My own DS14 keeps insisting that no, we should not spend actual money on a barber - even during the midst of a 30 min moan about how awful his latest haircut by Mom is (meanwhile, I'm racked with Mom guilt. The kid's been moaning about how is hair is forever ruined just about nonstop for days now).
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Illgetthere

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2017, 01:50:14 PM »
Oh my goodness YES. My oldest is 12, and we decided to start with experience gifts last year for him. This year, we are expanding it to my youngest.  They will each get something from Santa, but I am doing coupon books for them. It will be a secondary gift for my oldest with his main being a sleepover/behind the scenes tour at the aquarium. Last year, we went to a concert.
The books will have tickets to the dollar theater, scoop of ice cream, game of bowling, family movie night with pizza and redbox, outdoor fire with smores, etc.  They will be allowed to redeem 1 envelope per month.
I am trying to think of ideas to ask family for with the youngest as he is still in to toys and gets way too much. I have been eyeing the Ivys kids subscription boxes

dreaming

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2017, 11:36:11 AM »
My kids just turned 10 and 12.  I don't really want to buy them toys anymore either.  I try to think of practical things  (for instance new goalie gloves and a soccer ball for my son).  A few years ago for Christmas I started with the something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read approach.  Unfortunately, Santa still shows up.  At their ages, they really must know there is no Santa, but it has never been seriously talked about so I continue on.

Grandparents usually ask me what to get the kids.  I have run out of ideas for my son so my MIL just gave him $100 for his birthday.  We have talked about putting as much money away as early as you can and it will GROW over the years of investing it.  He decided to put the $100 in the CD he has because "he does not want to work forever"  (yes, those are my words and he is now repeating them.  I think they both get it). 

Experience gifts are another great thing.   Thanks for those ideas. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2017, 02:19:32 PM »
Did you know you can give your kids the gift of stock?

Check with your brokerage for the specific steps. How cool would it be to be the only kid on the block to actually OWN a piece of Facebook, Nintendo, Snapchat or similar? That's how you raise an investing tycoon.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2017, 03:16:57 PM »
My 9 year old is addicted to toys and wants all the stuff she sees on you tube.

Her aunt gave her a dress recently, and she got mad and said she'd rather have a toy.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2017, 06:28:12 AM »
My 9 year old is addicted to toys and wants all the stuff she sees on you tube.

Her aunt gave her a dress recently, and she got mad and said she'd rather have a toy.

This is how my nephew reacted last Christmas when the first gift he unwrapped was a paintable bird nesting house, instead of a fancy  Lego car. Big tears... He was so greedy that he picked the presents, instead of let us adults choose the presents in the right sequence, starting with grandmother's expensive Lego car.
As an aunt who doesn't want to spoil the kid with this kind of expensive toys, I felt quite frustrated that the child could not behave better after receiving a gift. This bird house was just an additional gift, after buying other things from his wish list.

Please teach your daughter to say thank you after receiving a gift. A gift is always a surprise and cannot be dictated. As an adult we also happen to receive gifts that we don't appreciate, but we don't start crying for that.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 09:13:41 AM »
My 9 year old is addicted to toys and wants all the stuff she sees on you tube.

Her aunt gave her a dress recently, and she got mad and said she'd rather have a toy.

This is how my nephew reacted last Christmas when the first gift he unwrapped was a paintable bird nesting house, instead of a fancy  Lego car. Big tears... He was so greedy that he picked the presents, instead of let us adults choose the presents in the right sequence, starting with grandmother's expensive Lego car.
As an aunt who doesn't want to spoil the kid with this kind of expensive toys, I felt quite frustrated that the child could not behave better after receiving a gift. This bird house was just an additional gift, after buying other things from his wish list.

Kids these days are materially spoiled compared to the previous generation. They have no idea how hard someone had to work, to buy that paintable bird house. Or that gifts like this aren't available to other kids. When I was growing up, we got one or two small gifts and whatever was in our stocking.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2017, 10:01:46 AM »
My 9 year old is addicted to toys and wants all the stuff she sees on you tube.

Her aunt gave her a dress recently, and she got mad and said she'd rather have a toy.

This is how my nephew reacted last Christmas when the first gift he unwrapped was a paintable bird nesting house, instead of a fancy  Lego car. Big tears... He was so greedy that he picked the presents, instead of let us adults choose the presents in the right sequence, starting with grandmother's expensive Lego car.
As an aunt who doesn't want to spoil the kid with this kind of expensive toys, I felt quite frustrated that the child could not behave better after receiving a gift. This bird house was just an additional gift, after buying other things from his wish list.

Please teach your daughter to say thank you after receiving a gift. A gift is always a surprise and cannot be dictated. As an adult we also happen to receive gifts that we don't appreciate, but we don't start crying for that.

Hopefully your sibling coached your nephew on how to react properly. My son embarrassed me when he was 6 by complaining about something he was given for Christmas.  We worked on the simple joy of receiving - and also giving - really hard after that.  He is now very gracious.

The same previously materialistic kid (now 8) was also over the moon yesterday because I had bought him "Avengers" underwear instead of plain ones.  I should have saved the underwear for Christmas, he was that excited.

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

Hula Hoop

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2017, 11:09:10 AM »
My younger kid is turning 6 tomorrow.  I'm feeling pretty good about the presents she's getting.  2 books that she wanted, a cheap kid watch the same as her big sister's, a paintable piggy bank and a few random things she needed like socks and hair clips. 

My kids are both pretty excited for smaller gifts.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2017, 06:42:16 PM »

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.

Can't blame the uncle.

I've given my nephew gifts for years (every Christmas, every birthday and graduations) and never received even a verbal "thank you" from him.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2017, 12:21:27 AM »

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.

Can't blame the uncle.

I've given my nephew gifts for years (every Christmas, every birthday and graduations) and never received even a verbal "thank you" from him.

Seriously, why don't you just stop?

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2017, 12:10:29 PM »

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.

Can't blame the uncle.

I've given my nephew gifts for years (every Christmas, every birthday and graduations) and never received even a verbal "thank you" from him.

Seriously, why don't you just stop?

Well, since he's almost out of college now, I probably will.  This year I spent under $30, so this will probably be the last Christmas gift. From now on, he will get a Christmas card like I send to the other adults in our family.

We gave him $100 cash for high school graduation. The kid NEVER says thank you.

jezebel

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2017, 01:22:26 PM »
My 9 year old is addicted to toys and wants all the stuff she sees on you tube.

Her aunt gave her a dress recently, and she got mad and said she'd rather have a toy.

This is how my nephew reacted last Christmas when the first gift he unwrapped was a paintable bird nesting house, instead of a fancy  Lego car. Big tears... He was so greedy that he picked the presents, instead of let us adults choose the presents in the right sequence, starting with grandmother's expensive Lego car.
As an aunt who doesn't want to spoil the kid with this kind of expensive toys, I felt quite frustrated that the child could not behave better after receiving a gift. This bird house was just an additional gift, after buying other things from his wish list.

Please teach your daughter to say thank you after receiving a gift. A gift is always a surprise and cannot be dictated. As an adult we also happen to receive gifts that we don't appreciate, but we don't start crying for that.

Hopefully your sibling coached your nephew on how to react properly. My son embarrassed me when he was 6 by complaining about something he was given for Christmas.  We worked on the simple joy of receiving - and also giving - really hard after that.  He is now very gracious.

The same previously materialistic kid (now 8) was also over the moon yesterday because I had bought him "Avengers" underwear instead of plain ones.  I should have saved the underwear for Christmas, he was that excited.

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.

We always heavily reinforce gratefulness in our children at Christmas and how rude it is to react negatively to a gift.  But as a parent, I will say that it doesn't help that they are getting multiple gifts from each grandparent and relative, despite our suggestions otherwise.    We do the best we can, but Christmas is an emotional roller coaster for many children (lots of sugar, lack of sleep, lots of stimulation and people).  We coach our kids to say thank you and give a hug (if they want to) after every gift.

Meesh

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2017, 12:01:30 AM »
+1 for simple parenting by kim payne

My son's 5 and we have very few toys. One cloth doll, nurf gun, wooden blocks and legos, a beach ball... that's honestly about it. And he plays with them all and loves them all. He's not deprived and he has an incredible imagination. Why? Because when he's bored he reads (looks at the pictures) quietly or makes things, his own board games, books, Christmas decorations, presents, science experiments in the bathroom ... He also uses household items instead, pillows are islands and the blanket on the floor is the sea, the chairs moved in rows is the magic school bus. Today I got yelled at for putting away boxes, apparently they were a house for his pretend tortoise. Since he only gets 1 hr of screens he thinks up ways to occupy himself. If he complains I let him know boredom is healthy and he'll think of something soon. He always finds something to do. The craziest was last year when I found him trying to teach himself how to sign the alphabet from a book.

I agree with galliver that it is important to learn all those things mentioned in their post but they can all be learned without toys. I've learned that the more toys we have the less he cares about them. If you only have one doll that doll is well taken care of not to mention he has a name, occupation, personality, hobbies lol. When DS had tons he was just that doll in the mix and often forgotten.

For his birthday we got him 6m kiwi crate and it was great. It ended in Nov so I'll renew it for Christmas. Actually I started giving them out for all the nephew/niece birthdays and now Christmases (with discount codes!) and it seemed to be a hit for them all so far.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 12:18:27 AM by Meesh »

shelivesthedream

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2017, 07:32:44 AM »

It's not necessarily a generational thing, either.  My uncle used to give each of his nieces/nephews a gift card to the bookstore for Christmas.  One year my cousins told him that was a worthless gift to them, and could he please choose something else?  After that he stopped giving gifts, although he'd still send me an occasional book.

Can't blame the uncle.

I've given my nephew gifts for years (every Christmas, every birthday and graduations) and never received even a verbal "thank you" from him.

Seriously, why don't you just stop?

Well, since he's almost out of college now, I probably will.  This year I spent under $30, so this will probably be the last Christmas gift. From now on, he will get a Christmas card like I send to the other adults in our family.

We gave him $100 cash for high school graduation. The kid NEVER says thank you.

Wow. I would have given him one year's grace and then stopped. We were definitely showered with an overabundance of toys as children but we had to sit down on Boxing Day (or the day after our birthday) and hand write a thank you note to each of the five relatives who would have given us presents. They obviously moved from "thank you" scrawled in crayon on a bit of paper to a proper note with bits of news about our lives in a nice card, but every present we didn't receive in person got a handwritten note afterwards. When we were young we were explicitly told that if we didn't do it, our parents would tell the relative not to send us any more presents as we obviously didn't want them. I believe they would have done. Presents are not a right!

Chesleygirl

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2017, 02:22:07 PM »
Wow. I would have given him one year's grace and then stopped. We were definitely showered with an overabundance of toys as children but we had to sit down on Boxing Day (or the day after our birthday) and hand write a thank you note to each of the five relatives who would have given us presents. They obviously moved from "thank you" scrawled in crayon on a bit of paper to a proper note with bits of news about our lives in a nice card, but every present we didn't receive in person got a handwritten note afterwards. When we were young we were explicitly told that if we didn't do it, our parents would tell the relative not to send us any more presents as we obviously didn't want them. I believe they would have done. Presents are not a right!

Me & my sister got very little for Christmas compared to what kids receive nowadays. In the 90s, Christmas became a big blowout for gifts in (middle class) and up families. Of course, the economy in the USA was doing much better back then. After the recent recession that lasted seven years, I think people are scaling back more. There is a growing non-consumer movement, too.

I have a friend whose BFF stopped giving Christmas presents to her son; she fell out with her BFF over that and told me she wasn't going to talk to her anymore.  She couldn't believe her friend wasn't giving her son gifts anymore. I'd bet anything it was because he wasn't showing gratitude.

MrsPete

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2017, 10:22:20 PM »
Maybe I shouldn't speak to these things as a non-parent, but...

When it comes to kids, "toys" doesn't mean optional or wasteful things. Toys are the tools kids use for learning before we're willing to trust them with real tools. Doing crafts or building freeform with legos or tinkertoys or anything teaches creativity and spatial awareness. Dolls and stuffed animals encourage nurturing behaviors. Dress up and action figures and dolls, through make-believe play, let kids explore and experiment with interpersonal interactions and roles in society, and engages their imagination. Models or complex lego/construction sets teach kids to follow directions...a critical skill for adults assembling Ikea furniture or fixing their washing machine or filling out paperwork or formatting reports for their professor/boss/client/etc. Matchbox cars, on a large, flat surface, lend themselves to early physics experiments (as well as make-believe).

Toys are also some of the first things a kid calls their own, so they are an early way to introduce "taking care of our things" ideas. Of course there will be some stumbles along the way; we all learn best from mistakes. Dolly will have to live with her sharpie tattoo for the rest of her dolly life...which will be shortened as a result by being made unacceptable to donate. When the truck breaks from being sat on, kiddo learns that plastic stuff like the truck isn't very strong. When not cleaning up a game results in irretrievably lost pieces and makes the game unplayable, the kids eventually figure out why you insist they put the game away immediately after playing. This is the cost of doing business; I've lost numerous dishes, nonstick pans, flashlights, tape measures, etc. with time and use. Many tools wear out eventually, or we outgrow their usefulness; it's only to be expected the same happens with toys.

Of course, these lessons may stick better if the kid doesn't have 10 dolls and 20 trucks, and actually cares about them to some degree...so I'm by no means arguing against keeping the toy collection curated down to a reasonable size. I just think most kids would only be better off by exposure to and availability of at least a few toys from each category. That said, obviously each kid has independent preferences, for specific types of play that may involve more or fewer toys. Some might do more dancing or tumbling, or play with the family pet, or build blanket forts, or drum on pots and pans. What's "right" definitely varies, not arguing that. Just that there seemed to be an undertone of toys being useless or wasteful in responses and that's pretty far from true.

A final note on reading..."My kid only wants to play video games so I won't make her read" reads similarly to me as "My kid only likes McDonald's hamburgers so I won't make her eat vegetables." There is nothing wrong with video games necessarily (I hear they're great training for future pilots and possibly surgeons), but reading is crucial--it grows vocabulary, develops empathy, trains comprehension skills. They'll need it for school, college (if they go), work, life. Giving up on it entirely seems as ill advised as giving up on a kid's hygiene habits or manners. "He doesn't like brushing his teeth or saying thank you, so we aren't going to make him anymore." Really?
I am a parent, and I agree with this argument.

Kids need toys.  In moderation.  And it's wise to go through those toys every so often to discard broken /outgrown toys so that they don't become just a bunch of junk.  Also, all toys aren't equal; for example, I'd rather my kids have a BIG batch of Legos and one baby doll with clothes and accessories ... rather than a small quantity of Legos AND Tinkertoys AND Lincoln Logs and a dozen Bratz dolls. 

These are some great arguments for giving children certain toys. I like to give them toys that teach them to use a hammer or so. But having like 100 small cars, is in my eyes unnecessary.
I agree ... kind of.  If your kid absolutely loves Matchbox cars, plays with them every single day, and genuinely enjoys collecting them and having a wide assortment.  If he's the kid who always has a little car in his hand and who uses them for imaginative play ... then I see no problem with him having 100.  They're not hard to organize, and they're not expensive.  On the other hand, if you're buying more and more little cars just because that's what boys are supposed to like, then you're creating junk. 

We always heavily reinforce gratefulness in our children at Christmas and how rude it is to react negatively to a gift.  But as a parent, I will say that it doesn't help that they are getting multiple gifts from each grandparent and relative, despite our suggestions otherwise.    We do the best we can, but Christmas is an emotional roller coaster for many children (lots of sugar, lack of sleep, lots of stimulation and people).  We coach our kids to say thank you and give a hug (if they want to) after every gift.
Yes, when our kids were smaller, we talked about /roll-played accepting a gift graciously ... and they did pretty well for the most part; however, family understands when small children aren't completely appropriate.  It's a different thing when older children or teens are too spoiled to accept things with class. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 10:24:33 PM by MrsPete »

MayDay

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2017, 02:27:10 PM »
Mil: I'm going to get the kids Random Thing
Me: please don't. Please don't get them anything. Literally do not buy them anything.
Me: if you must get them something,here are 3 things they actually want.
Email from mil: Matday said not to get the kids stuff so I got the kids Random Thing.

OMG.

Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

Meesh

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Re: Will stop buying toys even for Christmas
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2017, 04:01:32 PM »
Mil: I'm going to get the kids Random Thing
Me: please don't. Please don't get them anything. Literally do not buy them anything.
Me: if you must get them something,here are 3 things they actually want.
Email from mil: Matday said not to get the kids stuff so I got the kids Random Thing.

OMG.

LOL this is very much my mom. I started donating her random things but now she comes back and asks my son where's x? mom hides your toys you know... GAH!