Being given toys is a learned behavior, initially your children plays with the toys that you give them. Then (when they lose intereset in those toys) they start to use the things that you are using (that’s when you discover that your things get feet). Children learn through imitation.
The children are looking for is personal inner satisfaction and you have taught them to be satisfied by giving them toys. It is an external satisfaction. What you need to understand is that kids want to have an inner contentment, too.
The same kind your children receive when you give them encouragement and support. Then they develop an inner drive to seek their best because they themselves feel good.
Instead of pretending to look good on the surface, children learn how to work to get the exterior to look good. It shows on the outside if they lack the internal satisfaction.
Giving children the internal satisfaction is to give children a strong platform to stand on, a good self-confidence. Even when you set limits and say stop you show them kindness. You show that you care about the child, the child perceives it in the moment that you’re mean. But in the long run, the kids understand that this is your concern and it is a way of showing love I think.
When you give them toys all the time, children learn that toys are only cure for their ”has nothing to do” situation. If we look at the things a child plays with, they can play with things they find in the wild and make this become anything. Children will easy find things to play with in nature. A simple stick, a pine cone, leaves (can be woven into a prince / princess crown), trees to climb in, their creativity and imagination are used and promoted.
However, they have a whole room full of toys and still claim that they have nothing to play with. It has to do with the fact ”toys” are often one-sided, they have only one task to be used for. This limits children’s imagination and creativity. Therefore, I urge you to buy toys with several options such as Lego, this is a toy that children often use (and can reuse several times) and where only your imagination is the limit of what you can create (and the number of Lego pieces, of course).
Interactive games on the computer, I would rather have them play those games rather than they watch TV. Craft items, beads, sequins, paper plates, empty kitchen rolls, glue, pencils, crayons, tape, scissors, with this stuff children can create anything.
I remember once when I was babysitting, the mother had bought a castle. The kind of castle you glue together made of precut pieces of cardboard.
I mean she had bought the castle with good intentions, she wanted it to be as easy as possible for me.
But we built the UFOs of paper plates, pipe cleaners, tape, glue, paper of various colors. The children thought it was great fun and proudly showed off their UFOs when their parents came home. The mother glanced at the castle that still lay untouched inside the box and looked at me, I said that unfortunately we have not had time for the castle (the kids and I had played with our UFOs all everning).
A major toy that is often forgotten and given low priority is time with children. Children need your time rather than a bunch of toys.
Play more with the kids instead of buying a toy to numb your conscience.
When my first child arrived, I requested to work 50%, we agreed on 60%. It worked great. What I discovered was that I went down to 40% of the time, but only 28% of salary. So for me it was rewarding to work less time.
The contact I have with my children, I think is worth the time.
Children looking for satisfaction, both internal and external satisfaction. Giving toys to children is to satisfy the exterior. Encourage and praise is to satisfy the internal. An inner satisfaction gives a good self-confidence and stability. The children know they have their parents’ support. Children asking for toys is what they are trained to do. They can find a lot to play with in nature, and they want most of all do it together with their parents.
Kids get so much toys that they become jaded and begin to be ungrateful, it is perceived as flippant and snobby. This in turn leads to even more bad conscience of the parents and a bad spiral.
A new toy, a dull child meets the toy with the nonchalance, the parents get sad and spend less time with their children, which gives a bad conscience and a ”forced” them to buy a new toy to soothe their bad consious, giving … and on and on. ie bad spiral. Toys with multiple uses is more popular in the long run than others, such as Lego or interactive computer games.
Increase the quality time, cook together, play a game, cuddle a lot.
For birthdays buy fewer toys, and do something together instead. To go and eat at the restaurant might be an idea.
Review your working hours, the vast majority of employers are very accommodating when it comes to children.
Go for a walk in the woods or the park to view what the children can come up with and watch how the play.
Check with your kids friends’ parents if they really buy everything your children say they do. It puts you in a good negotiating position when your children argue that ”all other parents are buying toys for their children”.