I’m finally sharing a decluttering tip for all of you who keep asking about how to get your kids to declutter. This will be the first in a series of posts about decluttering with kids. If you live anywhere that you have the ability to read these words you need to teach your children these skills. The U.S. has only 3.1% of the worlds children but buys 40% of the worlds toys. Most of our children are incredibly spoiled, and it is NOT their fault. We made them this way, now it is time to train them into a better way.
To start this process, lets give our kids a reality check and start an open dialog with them about needs and wants. I love the photo essay/ book written by James Mollison, Where Children Sleep. Take a look at it first to decide if you would like to share all or just some of it with your family. Click on the blue link to be taken to this page and scroll through these beautiful photos or go to your library and request this book.
- Talk with your children about where these other kids sleep and where they themselves sleep. Find children that are the same age as your child or other children you know.
- Talk about how blessed your child is with their many blessings. Some of the kids will probably have more things than your child but many of them have way less and some have nothing at all.
- Listen to what your child says and answer their questions as honestly as you can.
- Give them time to digest all of these pictures.
- If they don’t suggest it themselves, gently encourage them to find things that they could give to children that have less than they do.
- Discuss how God blesses us and wants us to share our blessings. Then talk about how good it feels to share our blessings. And how that feeling is a blessing in itself.
Most of all be supportive and positive of any progress your child makes. Then give your child a place to put any other items that they decide to part with in the future. Assure them that you will donate these items as soon as this bag or box is full – and then do it! A bag or box that is clearly labeled and out of the way is perfect.
Remember, you made your child this way when you allowed (or in some cases purchased) all of those wants into your home. So control yourself if this isn’t an easy process for your child. Don’t let your sentiment get in the way either. THIS IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES I HAVE WHEN DECLUTTERING A CHILDS ROOM. If your child is willing to part with something that has sentimental value to you – it is NOT their problem. If YOU really aren’t ready to part with this item, find a place to put it away, out of your child’s area. It is no longer theirs – now it is yours.
Remind yourself to give your child your time as a reward instead of a toy!
Children don’t need more things. The best toys a child can have is a parent that gets down on the floor and plays with them. Bruce Perry
Share with all of us how it went at your house by commenting below!
The first step to helping your child declutter is AMAZINGLY SIMPLE!