“Why I took my kids’ toys away (and why they won’t get them back)"
What do you think?
By Practical Parenting team
October 23 2018
Most parents will be familiar with the everyday struggle to keep their kids’ toy boxes full and their floors clean, and the regular nagging for more ‘stuff’ that comes with every supermarket visit.
But for Florida mum Ruth Soukup, the only solution was the most drastic one – taking away all of her children’s toys.
The 40-year-old blogger was fed up asking her kids to pack away their toys one day, and decided on impulse to take away all their stuff.
“I finally gave up and took it all away,” she wrote. “I wasn’t angry, just fed up.
“I calmly began packing up not just a toy or two, but every single thing. All their dress-up clothes, baby dolls, Polly Pockets, & stuffed animals, all their Barbies, building blocks, and toy trains, right down to the furniture from their dollhouse and play food from their kitchen.
“I even took the pretty Pottery Barn Kids comforter from their bed. The girls watched me in stunned silence for a few minutes and then, when the shock wore off, they helped. And just like that, their room was clear.”
At the time Ruth worried that she was depriving her kids, or worse, traumatizing them for life, however the “opposite happened”, she explained.
“It’s okay that we don’t have any more toys Mommy,” her daughter told her. “We can just read and use our imaginations. And now we won’t have to clean up every day.”
Ruth did pack away a few toys for them to play with occasionally, such as Lego and dress-up clothing, but other than that, it all went to charity.
Posters were very divided in their reactions, with some saying it was a great idea.
“Love this!! My husband and I are thinking of trying it. We have these same issues with our son, who is a great kid but just completely obsessed with toys and electronics,” wrote one.
“I go through my 2.5-year-old sons periodically and pull out any he doesn’t play with to take to the thrift store. We’ve started the Christmas tradition where Santa may bring a few items, but we also leave some for him to ‘take to other children’,’’ wrote another.
Some however, thought her actions were too extreme.
“You are idiotic,” one poster wrote. “You are influencing parents to make a horrible choice damaging their children’s lives,' added another. It disgusts me that you make them lose all physical play and leave them to use fantasies in their minds. That was a very bad decision.”
“This mom is self-congratulatory that her kids now behave in the way she wants for her control freak minimalist neat and tidy showroom-floor aesthetic,” wrote another.
Whether you love or loathe the method, however, Ruth’s family appear to be thriving, placing more value on family experiences such as travelling and playing board games together instead of being chained to ‘stuff’.