toys

I hope I’m not alone in admitting I just can’t stop buying my kids toys. I’ve become THAT Mum. Before kids, I was all for, ‘don’t spoil the children yet to be born’ but well, life is hard and when supermarket shopping needs to be done or peace restored from bat s**** crazy shouty tantrumming and tired kids, sometimes toys and yes manipulation, becomes the easy answer.

toy car

Photo by Ruvim Noga on Unsplash

Throwaway, overpriced magazines, boxes of LEGO (ouch), colouring in books, cuddly toys, DVD’s, sweets, I feel like all my earnings are going on keeping my kids happy and they’re becoming utterly spoilt. So spoilt, that even when I, shamefaced, packed many of their pieces off to the local charity shop, my Mum (unknowingly) bought a load of the shizzle back.

Luckily, I must add, my kids on the whole don’t behave in a spolit way (even if they are)-they have impeccable manners and are pretty good kids, as kids go. It’s me and the rest of the adults in this family that have resorted to pushing material goods on them in a bid to please, and frankly, cope.

Well it has to stop. I’m taking a stand. There has to be a better way to surviving the tough times of parenting without resorting to emptying my pockets, even if that Hot Wheels car in Tesco Express only cost a pound, because here’s the thing, I’m spending a minimum of £2 a day on these boys, and my eldest is nearly 5 now, and that’s not including the more expensive items they both get regularly too. I know.

I’ve started sorting through all the toys which are currently suffocating their once pretty playroom, and bags, and bags are going to hospitals, charity shops, and friends with age appropriate children for the stuff that’s rarely used.

A lot of well-used stuff is going too because no one can play with 500 cars at a time. Who are these kids, the Beckham boys? I bet their playroom has fewer toys than ours.

I’m going cold turkey and so are they. They need to relearn that toys are earned and we’ve started with a reward chart on the fridge, not just for chores but for general, kind behaviour. Praise and reward. The meaning of money is now being taught once more, as it appeared to get a bit lost there, and I’m not buckling. Let them shout the supermarket down, no more toys will be bought unless they’ve been saved for, or it’s birthday time.

You with me?

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43 Responses

  1. best toys

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    Reply
  2. Selina Marie

    I must admit, I’ve also become “that” mum. Holiday gift-toys are allright, but I think all modern mums go too far nowadays.
    Selina Marie recently posted…20 Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 2 Year Old Boys In 2017My Profile

    Reply
  3. Maria

    I can relate your story, when it comes to my kids I always gave them what they want especially toys. I think I spent a lot of money buying toy for them. Lol 😀

    Reply
  4. Lynn Hayes

    I totally agree with the idea of making kids earn the things they want. My grandparents spoiled my daughter, now 24,so I put up list of chores and good behaviors that she could earn something if she did what the list said. We put stars on it when she was good, if she was bad we took one off. She now has a three year old herself. She now knows why I did the lists, and is using them herself.
    Lynn Hayes recently posted…Baby Einstein Childrens Toy StoresMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh fab she’s using it on her own daughter, so hard isn’t it as know the grandparents mean well but so hard to stop the kids from being spoilt x

      Reply
  5. Sian

    If I don’t keep on top on rotating toys and charity shop sweeps then we drown in toys. Less is definitely more, I think too much stuff is overwhelming and can limit imaginative play.
    #brilliantblogposts
    Sian recently posted…Cinema Trip | CinderellaMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I agree and yesterday my husband went through the play room again and we have even more bags filled for the charity shop x

      Reply
  6. Monica Gilbert

    I’ve been trying not to get burried under toys, but it’ really difficult (especially with my Mom sending packages from the States at every minor holiday). I’m trying to focus more on consumables (like stickers and art supplies) as treats. And I’m going to push for more experience based gifts as my toddler gets older. Honestly, a trip to the zoo, tickets to a show, or enrollment in an activity would be a lot nicer than other toy to trip over.

    Reply
  7. Isabella @ Fairies & Pirates

    I’m totally the same. I can’t go anywhere / shopping without picking up something for Becky or Alex, whether it’s a cheap magazine, some little rattle or lots of Frozen paraphernalia. Becky’s birthday is a week before Christmas, so around that time things get particularly bonkers (I wrote a post about that back in December, “Can a child have too many toys”) with the amount of stuff she gets. I do love giving presents, always have, not just with kids, and I love seeing their smily faces, but I too worry that they get spoilt and won’t appreciate the value of things. I think I need to find a good middle ground and buy them odd treats, but also say no more often and focus on fewer, but maybe more meaningful items. 🙂 x
    Isabella @ Fairies & Pirates recently posted…Daddy (*Warning* A bit of a soppy one)My Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I agree on the middle ground and I’m totally guilty too but I can see with my two they expect toys everywhere now so I have to make a stand xx

      Reply
  8. Charlotte @ Educating Elsa

    I am pretty good at not buying toys but I do cave in to magazines and books a lot. I think Elsa does get quite spoilt by her extended family but I think when they don’t see her very often I can understand why they do it. It does annoy me though. I don’t want her to get to the point where she is expecting something for no reason. She has very good manners though, so that’s something.
    Charlotte @ Educating Elsa recently posted…5 Reasons we love Toddler SenseMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      So hard isn’t it, I think manners count for a lot but I’m definitely reigning in the toys, books are definites but I find those mags to be a waste of money as the boys just want the toys that last about a minute x

      Reply
  9. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)

    As I type this on my phone I’m looking straight at the cheap magazne I bought the little man today with it’s attached plastic ‘toy’ already discarded on the floor… eek! So with you on this. The eldest gets pocket money for completing her reward chart and has to save up for her toys or wait for birthday/Christmas (hello Amazon wish list) but I’ve been lax with the little one. Thanks for spurring me on to be more strict about this!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks Michelle, it’s so tough isn’t it and so easy to keep on buying but I’ve got to my end now with all the rubbish and so far, even in a couple of days I’ve noticed a big difference and O loves his reward chart on the fridge x

      Reply
  10. Jeremy@thirstydaddy

    we have a lot of success keeping some toys in the basement and swapping them out now and again with the ones in her room to keep her from getting bored. Its somewhat surprising I don’t buy more given that I seem to spoil her in all other areas
    Jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Daddy TantrumsMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Susan Mann

    I am the same. I used to buy and buy toys. I love toys and it’s my thing, but as they got older they had so many toys they didn’t know what to do with them. I haven’t been as bad with A, which is really difficult as I love toys. x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Go Catch a BubbleMy Profile

    Reply
  12. Kate

    Interesting post, I think you’re doing the right thing. They may not think so to begin with but one day they’ll understand that you did it for their benefit!

    We were in the same position a few years ago with our older two, they just had so much and they barely even played with it. We decided to stop the inbetween gifts and only buy them toys on birthdays and christmas. Occasionally we get them something as a reward for doing well or sometimes they’ll use their own money to buy something but on the whole we stick to it and they appreciate what they have SO much more.

    #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Kate recently posted…The Unpleasant Side of ParentingMy Profile

    Reply
  13. Mummy Tries

    Oh honey I am soooooo with you on this. It actually upsets me to see the amount of plastic junk they get on birthdays and at Xmas. On the one hand I’m really grateful for other folks kindness, but it’s an internal battle for my conscience being a little bit of an eco warrior. We very rarely buy them anything in actual shops, it’s all presents, hand me downs and charity shops while they are this young. Great post my lovely xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…The Bittersweet Truth about the Early Days of MotherhoodMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks sweetie, I am determined to change my ways, this endless consumerism has to stop. You’re an inspiration hun xx

      Reply
  14. Parent-plus

    Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.
    In the past I’ve bought that one thing they really, really wanted and couldn’t live without only to find it cast aside on the bedroom floor for the next thing they really want! Is it just me or does anybody else go into ‘poor Wooody from toy story mode’?

    Reply
  15. WeeMarieWHunter

    Ha, I love this post. So true. My name’s Marie and I a toy-a-holic. Worst of all I hoard, I can’t seem to throw anything away- I attach memories to everything!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Haha, oh I can’t throw away or pass on anything with a lot of sentimental value but their toy pile has gotten out of hand lately!

      Reply
  16. Ebabee

    I used to be guilty of this but I have become much better recently. Especially cheap plastic toys that get looked at for all of 5 seconds – I don’t buy at all. But there is no limit on books and games – we buy loads of these. Oh but I do indulge her with way too many clothes – actually not sure who I’m indulging here – me or her 😉

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Haha I agree, we don’t do lots of cheap plastic toys either but we’re competing with Hamleys here. You can never have too many books in my opinion, bought, from the library, hand me downs from my own childhood and I’m guilty on the clothes too although so good at getting to charity or the designer and well made stuff, on to friends and family with children x

      Reply
  17. Izzie Anderton

    You’re right to stop buying so many toys for your sons. Our daughters have left home now and there are so many toys in the loft that it’s going to take ages to offload everything. Good luck with going cold turkey x

    Reply
  18. Elaine @ Entertaining Elliot

    Oh I am definitely guilty of buying those overpriced crappy magazines to keep my son quiet, I can’t say no! And he doesn’t even really bother with the mag, he just wants to plastic tat on the front. Just last week I bought him a Bob the Builder mag and it wasn’t til I got home and checked my receipt and I realised it cost £4.99!!! x

    Reply
  19. Christina

    I have been having the “too many toys” discussion constantly with Husband for the last month or two. Christmas and Birthday month at beginning of year was crazy. We are always saying “no more” toys for awhile but then we find a toy we want to play with. Daughter”s favourite toy recent was a cardboard box. I think I need to do a clean out one evening a few toys may go to Nanny”s home so can be enjoyed once to twice a month. Good luck! Be strong!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      See that’s the same here, they love the simple things, making a den with blankets, playing with sticks, I feel so much better for sorting and a lot more are going too x

      Reply
  20. Angela from Daysinbed.com

    Oh my gosh. I’m having de ja vu! Admittedly I’ve had the same problem and I also decided to go cold turkey on toys…well in a way! I told my daughter that she has to wait for her birthday in May for her next gift! She really loves her barbie dolls and wants a doll house. Instead we pulled out the boxes from her Ikea Kallax and created a “make shift dolls house. It was just as fun. We went to the local charity shops to find what we call our “charity props”. (barbie hats, clothes, surf board, horse…cost us £3) and then created furniture with cardboard and cello-tape. She had just as much fun as usual. I’m now planing to upcycle an old bookcase into a permanent dolls house and put some fairy lights in it too. We also implemented a new rule.. that if Sylvia wants something new..then I have to sell something old first to get the money to pay for it. We have decluttered a whole lot and Sylvia used the cash to get her Ahna and Elsa dolls. Angela xx

    My recent post “WHY I BECAME A BLOGGER” http://wp.me/p5XRN6-1dy

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I absolutely love these ideas Angela, so inspiring, well done you and the beauty of it all is that you are creating not just buying while teaching your daughter the value of money. Thanks so much for this fab comment x

      Reply
  21. Charlotte Oates

    I remember before I had children looking at other children and thinking that my boys would have as many toys. I was wrong – they’re everywhere!

    That said they mostly earn them for the sticker charts and when we go to a toy shop they’ll look around and choose what they want for their next reward rather than asking for it immediately. We’re now trying to teach Daniel about the value of things as he gets his heart set on something expensive each time. He’s starting to understand that sometimes he has to have rewards that don’t cost much and occasionally he can have something bigger.

    My unable to say no problem is treating them to cake or chocolate when we’re out. That’s definitely one I’m going to have to work on.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Sounds like you’ve got the toy thing under control, I will be taking note, I’m mostly good when it comes to cake out but lollipops are my crutch in the supermarket, stopping those too x

      Reply
  22. Emma T

    My OH’s always moaning about the amount of toys N has. There’s quite a few, but apart from the odds of rubbish that come in from party bags that he refuses to get rid of, he does play with most bits…until the weather is good and he’s outside all the time. So I’m on a mission to clear out anything other than Lego, train set, books, Britains/farm, music stuff. The rest can go – he doesn’t need them, even in the winter he doesn’t need much more than those. Obviously outdoor toys can stay, but then he’ll be at school by September and will be looking at more challenging toys anyway.

    I do clear out regularly, but I did give in the other day when he spotted a set of Peppa Pig figures – and he’s been playing with them and the aeroplane he has since getting them.

    He doesn’t have that much bought outside of birthday/christmas, he doesn’t have comics etc, but I’m definitely with you on the getting rid and getting him to appreciate what he does have…plus reclaiming the space we have.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Sounds like a plan, my kids love being outside too when the weather shines but the amount of toys is getting out of control and it’s my fault so changing my ways. Still keep the stuff they love, youngest’s cuddly toys, cars, train set etc, not everything but definite spring clean happening here and most importantly trying not to accumulate more stuff x

      Reply
  23. Morna

    Yes! I am totally with you. Standards slipped badly over the Easter holidays but we are drawing a line. They get enough toys bought for them by doting grandparents without us spending our cash.

    I have a strict charity shop policy though – I donte to ones on one side of the road and buy from the ones on the other – I should probably make sure my mother in law is aware of this rule too!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Good idea, we love supporting charity shops and I think I need to make my Mum aware of this too although all going to charity and the money too. I just want to stop the crazy spending on toys they don’t need. Determined to x

      Reply

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