I hate my children’s toys. The. I said it. I pulled it out of my fully guilty mama chest. Honestly I don’t hate all of their toys, but some deserve to go straight to the trash. Toys test a parent’s level of patience in the smallest of ways, and the annoyance threshold is often much lower than expected. The toys imposed on children these days seem to be designed by people without children or those who enjoy torturing their parents.
Although these opinions may seem a little dramatic, many parents like me can’t stand their children’s toys. Believe me when I say parents are not buy these toys for their children. They often come from well-meaning relatives or friends. They usually show up at birthday parties and holidays, making it difficult to hide the gift-giver’s displeasure or figure out how to slip it into the garage for a trip to the store. Sometimes they sneak in through goody bags at another child’s birthday party.
My least favorite toys are battery-operated devices that don’t turn off or make gigantic messes that mom can clean up later (I’m looking at you, mud and kinetic sand). After taking to Twitter to check out other parents, I found a variety of pet peeves.
For Jeff Loiselle, a 44-year-old father of two from Bridgewater, Mass., these are toys that make loud noises. “[There’s] no volume controls on many of them,” he notes. “And they are almost all plastic. Nobody wants it when the kids grow up, because nobody wants second-hand plastic.
The father of a Robert Bearden from Winter Haven, Florida, meanwhile, is not a fan of toys that require an app download.
“I appreciate that we live in a time when toys can have distinct applications,” Bearden says. “However, I hate it. I want my child to be a child and not use apps when playing with toys. Instead, he buys his child items such as dolls and dollhouses to encourage her to “use her imagination and create her own world” instead of relying on technology to play.
Jenn Wint’s toy annoyances include “anything that lights up and sings repetitive songs in high electronic pitches,” the 39-year-old mother of two from Vancouver told Yahoo Life. “A few years ago, my son received a singing microphone. Luckily, he was too young to notice that it had never come out of the box. Usually, battery-powered gifts are re-gifted, passed on, or given .”
Wint shares that her 3-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son have also just started playing with toys that involve smaller pieces, such as Lego sets and marble tracks. Although they don’t make noise, small toys are difficult to clean and keep organized, and she finds that her children stop playing with a toy that doesn’t have all its parts faster than other toys.
So what can parents do about the toys they hate? Polite society says gifts should be accepted with gratitude, but should you keep something you or your child will never play with?
“Many friends and family members mean well when they give your child certain toys, but often those toys turn out to be a headache for you — or a safety issue,” says Olivia DeLong. preferences for your child in advance, you can gently explain which toys you would rather your child not have (and why) and offer other ideas instead. »
DeLong also shares that creating a listing on a shopping website like Amazon gives parents more control over the toys a child can receive, even if gift givers are simply using the listing to get ideas. My own family has been doing this for several years, and it’s been moderately successful in helping friends and family members provide safe, age-appropriate items.
But what about the cases where a child receives a toy, and it turns out to be a parent’s worst nightmare?
“For toys that are safe, but that you just aren’t crazy to have around, you can always donate them to local charities, shelters or children’s homes,” DeLong suggests. “You can also call your hospital or doctor’s office to see if they’d like to have them for their patients. Your neighbors and friends may also want to take them away from you.
DeLong says it can be difficult to decide which toy is appropriate and safe for a child’s age and developmental stage. She suggests trying a toy subscription service that curates a set of toys based on your child’s age.
Personally, I am a fan of experiments around toys or other gifts. It can be tempting to fuel his sense of instant gratification with a gift that can be used immediately. However, my family has found that the memories of the experience often last longer than a toy. Children grow up with toys, but their memories with their families last forever.
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