Too Many Toys

Jamie came to her mother as said, “I’m bored”. “What do you mean, you’re bored? Why don’t you get out your dolls, or maybe you could look at a book or watch a video”, responded mom. “I don’t like my dolls, I don’t want to look at books and all my video’s are boring. There’s nothing to do”, related Jamie. Mom started to Jamie’s room with her. “Just look at all those toys. Why, you’ve got a whole box full of them. You need to just get something out and play with it”, directed mom. “That stuff is boring”, continued Jamie. “I want something else to play”. “Well, I’m busy,” said mom “you’ll just have to make do with what you’ve got.” Five-year-old Jamie got mad. She threw her doll on the floor and stomped to the other side of her room. Mom felt frustrated and confused. Why weren’t the things she explained enough? Why was her daughter bored?

One possibility is her daughter has too much. One negative outcome of affluence is too little interpersonal family time and too many material possessions, even for children. Each television ad screams of all the neat items for children (watch the ads on children’s programs). Children often compare themselves with others and want the latest clothing, sports item or gear, toys, videos, and exciting experiences.

What happens for children who grow accustomed to hearing about the next exciting material possession? They don’t appreciate what they do have and grow bored after a brief time.

Every parent wants good things for their children. Perhaps we need to help children learn to value possessions by removing an item each time a new toy is acquired. Past generations required that children make bows and arrows, slingshots, or dolls out of paper, clothespins or tree limbs. While the average child might turn up their nose at such a low-tech possession, interest was obtained by participating in the development of the project. Today’s children acquire apart from their own effort and their own money.

Help children develop interest (reduce boredom) by being involved in what they possess. Help them develop ways to create their own money and obtain some of their own possessions. With young children, when acquiring a new toy, they should decide what will be put up or given away in order to appreciate what they have.

Too many possessions spoil the child. Help their boredom and perspective. Limit their toys and increase their appreciation for what they do have.

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