In today’s world parents have a really bad habit of giving their kids way too many toys to play with. Starting from car toys for boys and doll toys for girls, and ending with parents who give their children their smartphone and let them play with it all day long, just to keep them distracted. This shows laziness in parenting because it means that these people don’t want to deal with their kids, or instead of appreciating their attention, they give them things that are going to distract them even more.
Research shows that giving your child too many things to play with, might actually take happiness away from them. A lot of toys can distract kids from learning and can also overwhelm them. A professor of Early Childhood Education for the University of Cincinnati, Michael Malone shows in his studies that giving kids, fewer but better toys, will improve their cooperation and sharing skills. What is there to learn from all of this? To pay more attention to our kids instead of wasting all of that time making ready the Christmas list.
Sure the kids love the presents, but wouldn’t it actually be better to gift them experiences? For example, instead of buying your kid a new car toy, maybe you can take him to a village he has never seen before, where he can enjoy some nice, natural sightings. These experiences will actually help the kid grow stronger and smarter. Oxford University did research with 3000 kids and found out that kids that have no engagement with electronic devices and have more interaction with their parents, tend to do better in social life, school and their inner emotional state. This is proof that parents’ attention is way more important than a device’s screen.
Another reason to not buy that many toys to your kids is that researchers have found out that gratitude and generosity rise when you gift them experiences instead of toys. Thoman Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornel University studied this for decades and he found out that happiness is closely linked to experiences instead of materials. So happiness derives from childhood experiences and the more your child has them, the happier he is prone to be when he grows up. Remember, it’s not easy to be the difference in a world where everyone is acting the same.