Well it has now been over 1 week since I took over three quarters of the boys toys away and gave up on watching television while they are awake. Before anyone thinks it, this isn’t any type of punishment. My boys are only 14 months old bless them :-)
The toys have been taken away because my house was becoming ridiculous with the amount of things they have. My living room looked like a Toys ‘R’ Us bomb had exploded in there. The main problem though was not that there was a mess, that’s what I expect from having 3 children, no, the problem was that both of the boys were getting too over-stimulated and becoming really stressed with everything. They were getting aggravated, unhappy, having major meltdowns and Zachary was becoming a bit violent throwing his toys around. He was starting to worry me :-(
So I thought the best thing to do would be to nip this in the bud and have a good old clear out. All of the loud, all-singing-all-dancing, flashing lights toys have been moved out of sight. When they were all going off at once it’s no wonder the boys were becoming stressed. They stressed me out! I couldn’t think straight, couldn’t concentrate on anything with all of that noise so I have no doubt that that situation was no good for the children.
I was also thinking that the reason we have bought all of these things is to help teach our children various things, the alphabet, numbers, colours, we even have toys that are programed to say the boys names! But what is so wrong with parents teaching children all of this? Surely it is mine and Chris’s responsibility as parents to teach our children when they are ready, not leave it up to a piece of brightly coloured plastic.
So the toys are gone and now we’re just concentrating on playing, not being sung at repeatedly. They still have a lot left, building blocks, wooden trains, push along cars, and various sensory toys, basically everything a toddler of 14 months would ever need.
I’ve come to realise that just because a toys packaging says that it is suitable from 6months, 12months etc, this doesn’t mean that a child this age needs these things. I’m learning that all they need is a fun relaxed environment and a parents attention and nurturing.
Because of the change that has been implemented, both of the boys seem so much happier. The tantrums which Lincoln was throwing have been drastically cut down, he is a lot calmer now. Although he still has his little meltdowns, as we all witnessed as the Sling Library today! Zachary still likes to throw his toys over the safety gate and out of the playpen, but now it is just done for fun, not out of frustration. Both boys just seem so much happier, there’s more laughter and less crying so I think I made a good decision. It did take a bit to convince Chris that I’m not just being a mean mummy, but once he understood my reasoning he supported me. Plus hed can see himself the boys are much more settled. A calmer living environment for a calmer child :-)
I just want to say that this is just what is working for us as a family. I don’t want to come across as though I think this is how all households should be. I know a lot of parents who swear that T.V is a magic solution for keeping the kids entertained, and that is great if that’s what works for them :-)