A couple of weeks ago my 5-year old lost his first tooth (super exciting!) and it had me thinking about the changes that constantly fill his life. The first years of a human being are pretty remarkable, and if we aren’t looking for it, or sensitive to these changes, we could see them as disruptive, challenging or even frustrating. This is where the “O” in LOVE can be useful.
O –Objectivity and Order
Objectivity can span a wide spectrum, so I won’t spend too much time on it – you really just have to find what’s comfortable for you. For me, objectivity is my ability to see a bigger picture of my child’s life (and my role in it). I try not to get caught up in the day-to-day details or micro-manage behaviors. I find that when I step back to get a bigger perspective of my child’s life (and his or her behaviors), I realize that things are good!
And regarding Order… it can help a child feel healthy, grounded, confident and more secure in life when there’s order. Cynthia Aldinger (expert in the field of early education) emphasizes that it’s important to pare down what’s in the child’s environment for better sense of order. Give away toys (a.k.a. clutter) to open up space to play, create and breathe! And believe it or not, order and simplicity have positive effects on health!
Having too much of anything can be overwhelming and stressful! The idea of paring down toys, is echoed by another parenting expert by the name of Kim John-Payne in his book Simplicity Parenting. He says that “a smaller, more manageable quantity of toys invites deeper play and engagement. An avalanche of toys invites emotional disconnect and a sense of overwhelm”. He has a 10-Point Checklist of Toys Without “Staying Power”
- Broken toys
- Developmentally inappropriate toys – Avoid getting toys that your child will “grow in to”
- Conceptually “fixed toys” – Resist getting plastic toys from movies, comic books or TV shows
- Toys that “do too much” and break too easily
- Very high-simulation toys
- Annoying or offensive toys
- Toys that claim to give your child a developmental edge
- Toys you are pressured to buy
- Toys that inspire corrosive play (i.e. plastic rifles, violent video games)
- Toy multiples – just because your child loves a toy, doesn’t mean s/he needs 10 of them : )
There’s a lot of information when it comes to order, and if you want to delve deeper into it, check out SimplicityParenting.com. And if you feel inspired to simplify your house, I recommend a book by Karen Kingston called Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.