Nowadays, our kids usually have lots of toys. Not all of us had that luxury in our childhood. We used to play with things that wouldn't be considered as toys at all. Parents have opportunity to give their children almost any toy they want, because they are cheaper nowadays and there is really a big variety of them on offer so there is plenty to choose from.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

What wouldn’t you give your child if you have the opportunity? Of course, we all want to make our kids happy and give them whatever they want. But there is also a disadvantage of having too many toys.

First and foremost, children, who have tons of toys from early babyhood, may later not fully understand the value of them and may crave for bigger, better and more expensive toys every year. By the time they are 16 years old they may ask parents to buy a car for their birthday or even something more expensive.

We used to treasure every single toy we received on big occasions. Now children don’t need to wait for special occasions; a gift here and there - when we are out doing our weekly shopping, visiting a friend who is nice enough to buy something in advance and the list goes on. That is the reason why many children don’t feel like occasions such as Christmas or birthdays are special anymore - they are just another occasions to get gifts on.

One mum made a comment on a social media site about her views on having too many toys: “My little one has only about 15 toys and he really treasures each one of them. My boy gets toys only on occasions such as birthdays, for example. Once we went to meet my son’s friend; her bedroom looks like a toy shop. I don’t agree with parents who buy so many toys for their kids. I feel I’m doing the right thing for not doing so, because I love to know how my boy appreciates each toy and knows that he has to take care of them.”

Earlier generations used to love small things like receiving a trendy (at that time) hat and gloves for Christmas. Try to wrap some gloves and give them as a present for a 12-year old child now, and watch his/her reaction. That is what I am talking about. Two or three year olds who get android tablets as their gifts is quite a common occurrence nowadays. Later, some parents will try to sell these gadgets, because their “little girl doesn’t know how to use it yet”, which makes the situation ridiculous.

There is a story of a boy (I am not too sure if it is real, but it has a strong moral), who was waiting for his dad to come home after work. When his dad came home, the boy asked if he could borrow some money. The father got a bit angry, but then he thought that maybe his boy really wants to buy a cool toy and he agreed to give some money.

Later that evening the boy asked his dad how much money he earns in an hour. The father said the sum. The boy then took some money out from under his pillow and dad got angry again seeing that his son already has money, but still asked him to borrow more. The boy calmly said that he hadn’t got enough money, but now, after he borrowed some more, it’s enough and asked his father: “Dad, I want to buy an hour of your time; Here is the money - please come back earlier from work tomorrow for dinner with me and mum.” The father had burst into tears...

This story speaks for itself. Many parents may think that buying expensive toys equals showing their love, which is not true. Children just want to spend more time with their parents, go for a walk, play with them, hug, discover new things, sing... The list is endless. Ironically, things that don’t cost anything at all are more likely to be the ones that children cherish, want and actually need most.

By Monika Petrauskaite