According to recent studies, giving your child too many things to play with can result in the opposite of the desired effect – they may actually be less happy.
Children don’t need a mass of toys.
Childhood development researcher, Clair Lerner, suggests that when children are showered with toys and games, they start to play less. An abundance of toys can overwhelm and distract kids, making them lose concentration. Fewer but better toys lead to increased cooperation and sharing when it comes to valuable life skills. Too many toys push children into more solitary play while causing a type of unproductive overload.
What can we learn from this? There is no point in stressing about buying every toy on the market. Spending time with your children is far more valuable.
In an Oxford University study of 3000 three to five-year-olds, it was discovered that the academic success of children was more tied to their home environment and parent’s involvement than to the toys and electronics they were given.
The kids who had fewer toys and no electronic devices, but had parents who spent more time with them, performed better in school and in many areas of emotional and social development, suggesting that parents’ attention is much better than any screen or toy money can buy.
Gratitude and generosity rise when experiences are given instead of material objects.
To wrap it all up: Happiness derived from childhood experiences is far more precious and valuable than the fleeting excitement of toys.
Giving experiences that involve time spent as a family rather than giving toys brings far greater happiness and joy. Go outside with your children and find some sticks, dirt, and rocks.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to control what others give you as gifts. But, when we’ve spent our own money on toys, I’ve been very careful about what we buy. The most popular children’s toys today are inexpensive plastic objects that light up and make all sorts of noise. They are cheap to buy, but often require frequent replacement when they get broken.
So, dear parents, don’t worry too much about buying toys and focus on making memories.