Everytime I get over my hate for you in work, you do something new that makes me want to push you in front of a bus. Even so, there were warning signs that my kids still had too much stuff.A  In June, we took a field trip to Reptile World in Orlando. All through our delicious dinner, surrounded by dramatic (fake) meteor showers and animatronic dinosaurs, she fixated on the one thing she couldna€™t have rather than the cool sights we were actually experiencing. Just 2 days earlier I had spent half the day cleaning their room & re-organizing their toys and closet, which is something I do fairly regularly. I had no idea what a dramatic difference this one semi-impulsive decision would make in all our lives. In contrast to our last outing and for the first time ever, neither girl asked us to buy aA single thing the entire weekend.A  Not a toy, not a cheesy souvenier, not a light-up necklace from a passing street vender. They are far more content, able to appreciate the blessings that they do have, and able to truly enjoy the moment they are in without always having to move on to the next thing.A  They are more creative and patient, more willing to share, far more empathetic towards the plight of others, and, with little to fight over, they hardly fight at all. When I first became a mom I was so happy to have a chance to start over, to undo through my children all the wrong that was done to me, to give them everything I felt I had missed out on.A  I wanted our lives to be perfect, and my vision of perfection included a perfectly decorated bedroom filled with beautiful things, a life where they would want for nothing. I equated giving them stuff with making them happy, a message that our consumer driven culture hammers into our psyches from the time we our born.A  Oh, what a lie! I started this blog because I am a shopaholic, and there are so many times where I buy things when I am bored or unhappy, just to fill the void.A  My husband laughs at me (and sometimesA  throws up his hand in frustration) because although I talk a good game about wanting to downsize and get rid of stuff, in reality there are still many times where I just cana€™t help myself from buying more.
I justify it, telling myself it was on sale or a really good deal, or something we really needed, or that I deserve it because I work so hard. It wasna€™t until after observing first hand the real and immediate changes in my children after taking their toys away that I truly began to understand.A  And now instead of me teaching them, they have taught me the lesson I wish I woulda€™ve have learned a long time ago. That said, as far as the toy situation goes, we have continued to limit the number of toys in our home, with no regrets or second thoughts.
After seeing the changes in our kids, my husband and I have been inspired to minimize our own excesses in stuff as well, and over the past six months we have continued to purge as much as we can. Subscribing via email is the best way to stay connected to all the fun stuff happening here at Living Well Spending Less, and we invite you to join more than 300,000 subscribers in receiving regular updates!
We have a couple that we know that asked their parents to not get the kids more than 3 gifts. I have the same situation… my inlaws (including aunts-in-law) constantly buy my kids crap. This post just really hits home as I am the mother to two grown children and with my daughter getting married in the middle of July and wanting to start her family early next year (by the latest), I am faced with some soul searching here. I also went with the less is more thought at Christmas when Santa filled a stocking (socks, undies, her favorite bath bubbles, a pack of side walk chaulk and a bottle of outdoor bubbles!) and put just one other gift under the tree.
My daughter and her best friend’s birthdays are with in a couple of weeks of each other and I took the girls out for a day of lunch out and a movie. Thank you for the inspriration to really get rid of all the toys that I keep stepping on that never get played with.
We were planning a move about 18 months ago- to save my sanity while the house was for sale, I sold or gave away 95% of their toys. Our goal is to help you by delivering amazing quotes to bring inspiration, personal growth, love and happiness to your everyday life. I first started noticing a real change about 4 weeks later when we took a family trip to Key West. A Nothing.A  We passed hundreds of shops and they loved looking in the window, but they were content just to be.
A  In reality it is just another thing I am trying to buy to solve a problem that runs much deeper. A At the end of the day, I simply don’t believe kids need a gazillion distractions to make them happy.
A I wanted to take the time to answer some of the most common questions that have come up in the comment section below.
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They’re a very good way to have plenty to read both at home and on the go while being easy to transport and hard to mess up. If the kids are bored, I make sure they aren’t bored and they get an automatic half hour of weeding in the garden.


When a kid says they’re bored, give them a book to read or have them research a new topic. This year I finally made some headway and my sisters got together and gave us a family membership to our favorite zoo and for my daughters birthday this month my sister sent 4 movie passes and a gift card enough to cover popcorn and juice for everyone. Her mother acctually thanked me for thinking outside the box and not bringing another toy into their house. I caught so much slack from my mom friends, telling me how that was cruel and unfair for my children to have no toys to play with. Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays have seen a steady influx of toys back into the house. Take a look at the cringe-inducing texts below -- and whatever you do, don't follow their lead. A What was most amazing to me was that we didna€™t talk to them about it ahead of time.A  Not once did we have to tell them not to ask, or explain that being together was what mattered. A Hopefully you’ll take the time to get to know me a little better, to read my story, and to see how much I truly love my kids before you judge. It does advertise books but I think I can pay ten or fifteen bucks to get rid of that feature.
He has had no life to speak of and now is losing his health to the point of life threatening conditions due to complete inactivity all his life. We have these same issues with our son, who is a great kid but just completely obsessed with toys and electronics.
Neither of us grew up with excess and I spent hours reading and playing outside, same as my husband.
This weekend she is taking the girls to one of those indoor play grounds, I thanked her for the lack of toy gift too! Do we force nice guys into last place?I hear from a fair number of A young men who are just as frustrated as many of you are in the search to find meaningful relationships.
A I am far from a perfect mother, just as my kids are not robots (nor do I expect them to be.) A Ultimately we are all in need of Grace.
A Most evenings are spent reading, playing games, or doing puzzles as a family, and we continue to see increased contentment and joy in our kids. While my husband and I were on a trip we put up ALL of the electronics and limited computer time to school-related activities during the week and only 30 minutes a day on the weekend to make it easier for my parents while they were watching the kids for us. It was hard at first, but the kids are finding new forms of entertainment, and the parents are even satisfied with the challenge for themselves! Probably not setting a good example for my kids… I would love to take away their toys bc I think that would make a huge difference in our family! My son’s biological mother left him when he was a few months old and my husband lved with his parents until we got married when our son was four.
When she saw first hand how much STUFF they have and had to put up with figuring out where the hell it would all go (I had a c-section, so she had to do all the heavy lifting), she declared she’d never buy them another toy again. I really thought my daughter would be disapointed but she had more fun with the few things then with the many of years past!
One reader here commented that when he got to college and acted like the nice guy he really is, he got nowhere. A The girls watched me in stunned silence for a few minutes and then, when the shock wore off, they A helped. Each visit to my home in Hawaii , meant that the laptop or a book came out while at my house or on the road. Luckily for us our family knows my son gets overwhelmed with getting to much stuff at once as he struggles with autism. I argue on a daily basis with the kids to clean up their oversized playroom and I’m tired of the disorganization!
We let our boys open everything and then put some stuff back, rotating it through out the year.
Except for the activity portion of the visit, there was no appreciation for the island culture or beauty.
We are being pulled by the Holy Spirit to pull our son from private school and I need half of that playroom for our classroom! You’re guilty because you keep sending the message to men that they need to be cruel and uncaring in order to get anywhere with you.


I am planning on getting rid of st least half of the stuff and praying our family members support us and help us on this journey to simplify life! Having no sense of responsibility, he has thus far been left behind by his peers, and has lost any sense of personal pride in his appearance or cleanliness. Women are attracted to jerks, form relationships with them, and then try to justify their choice by seeing things in them that no one else can. Do these reasons ring true, or is there something else going on?
These were emails from cancer survivors, heart attack survivors, stroke survivors, people with diabetes and blood pressure problems, joint issues and chronic pain.
After calls to take care of your health and your finances, the most common piece of advice from people looking back at their 30-year-old selves was an interesting one: they would go back and enforce stronger boundaries in their lives and dedicate their time to better people. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on.
It takes a lot of sacrifice to achieve anything special in life.”A few readers noted that most people arbitrarily choose their careers in their late teens or early 20s, and as with many of our choices at those ages, they are often wrong choices.
It may mean ditching a career they spent a decade building and giving up money they worked hard for and became accustomed to. Don’t Be Afraid of Taking Risks, You Can Still Change“While by age 30 most feel they should have their career dialed in, it is never too late to reset.
The individuals that I have seen with the biggest regrets during this decade are those that stay in something that they know is not right. When I asked my mom this question, her answer was, “I wish I had been willing to think outside the box a bit more. Many readers related the choice of going back to school and getting their degrees in their 30s as one of the most useful things they had ever done.
Others checked themselves into therapy or began a meditation practice.As Warren Buffett once said, the greatest investment a young person can make is in their own education, in their own mind. Stop assuming you can plan far ahead, stop obsessing about what is happening right now because it will change anyway, and get over the control issue about your life’s direction. Fortunately, because this is true, you can take even more chances and not lose anything; you cannot lose what you never had.
While this is disturbing to those who cling to permanence or security, it’s truly liberating once you grasp the truth that things are always changing.
Sorrow is part of everyone’s lifetime and the consequence of an open and passionate heart.
They are always going to see you as their kid until the moment you can make them see you as your own man. Take advantage of the time you have left to set things right and enjoy your family.” (Kash, 41)I was overwhelmed with amount of responses about family and the power of those responses. Family is the big new relevant topic for this decade for me, because you get it on both ends.
Your parents are old and you need to start considering how your relationship with them is going to function as a self-sufficient adult. And then you also need to contemplate creating a family of your own.Pretty much everybody agreed to get over whatever problems you have with your parents and find a way to make it work with them.
You will never regret it.” (Kevin, 38)“It’s never the ‘right time’ for children because you have no idea what you’re getting into until you have one. Try to stay open to the experience and fluid as a person; your marriage is worth it, and your happiness seems as much tied to your ability to change and adapt as anything else. Children are the most fulfilling, challenging, and exhausting endeavor anyone can ever undertake. The consensus about marriage seemed to be that it was worth it, assuming you had a healthy relationship with the right person. I would add, don’t forget to actually grow up and start a family and take on responsibilities other than success at work.



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