No More Toys… Please

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Photo Cred Joey Gabra

Are you struggling with how to tell people “NO MORE TOYS….please”?
I know it sounds incredibly ungrateful, but often times two of everything is just too much. When you are pregnant with twins it is really great to have generous friends and family that are willing to help you acquire two of everything. After that, lets be honest…it becomes a bit heavy on the household. The amount of clutter that builds up with one kid is enough. Now multiply every item by two.

My Mother-in-law likes to bring something for the kids every single time she comes over. It is her way of spoiling them (despite being crappy in almost every other way). The problem is that she comes over 1-2 times a week, and instead of her saving all of that money and getting them something really thoughtful, we end up with a billion little knick knacks. I used to just tell myself “I’ll get rid of it after the kids have had their 10 min of fun,”  but it turns out she takes inventory. She likes to come over and ask where specific items are. She likes to see that we keep all of her stuff and she wants to know that the kids have played with the things she bought them, and that they “had so much fun.”

I don’t know about you, but personally- I miss my living room. I want my kids to have toys, and I want them to have fun, but I also want them to have a grasp on reality. People should be able to visit without my kids expecting a “reward” just because they are alive. I put together this list for parents that are struggling with saying “no more toys” because they don’t want to seem ungrateful.

– Create an Amazon.com wish list
Have a wish list that is always accessible. That way if people want to “surprise” you then at least you are getting things you or your child want/need. When people ask what your child wants for their birthday, you can simply say “Thank you for asking, in fact we have created a wish list of things we know will be useful this year”.

 Recommend books or educational toys
You can let them know that your kids have plenty of toys, but would love to add to their library selection. You can also say that arts and craft type gifts are great. While arts and crafts can be messy, at least these gifts serve many purposes. The kids can create memories, they are fun and educational, and they allow kids to express themselves creatively. Sometimes you get a great piece of artwork to keep and it doesn’t take up nearly as much space as a toy.

– Pick an event or experience
Let everyone know that the kids are really excited to go to Disneyland or The local zoo, and the experience would be that much better with funds or gift cards to which ever place you choose.

I know that in some cases it is completely unavoidable, but a lot of people who are parents understand this dilemma, and actually appreciate the guidance. I love when my friends set up wish lists for their kids. It saves me from feeling like I have to be on a scavenger hunt.

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