Having repeated this phrase: “Sharing is having more” to my two older kids for almost half a decade, I stopped to ponder as I begin to appreciate the statement more. My extended version – “less” may mean more.
Have we had experiences of buying new toys for our children only to realize that after a week or so, or sometimes merely a few days, they got bored and asked for more? I was chatting with another mummy the other day, she said that her children are getting smarter and they are getting bored of their new toys faster.
Points to ponder:
- have we created for children a sense of diminishing marginal utilities by introducing more new toys in a shorter span of time?
- have we not given our children enough time to explore and re-explore their toys and materials?
- are we too impatient to have them occupy their time quickly so that we could have our own time?
The above were my own reflections as a parent. I do not indulge my kids by buying new toys but they do get new supplies of toys after birthdays and Christmas celebrations. After a while, I stopped opening up the new boxes of toys. People who know me well would know that I love to have an organized space. To my pleasant surprise, my children started to innovate, re-purpose and re-create their existing pool of toys. Their play became engaging and extensive. They started to creatively use different toys like cars, Lego, dolls, kitchen toys to extend their play.
There will be days when they engage in opening “shops” to sell things or preparing interesting menus for “restaurants”. If not, the two of them would create different things with their Lego & playdough. The latter would sometimes be props for their other role-plays.
In the beginning stage, they may look bored. However, have patience. Soon after they get over their boredom, the “less” things they have would not work against them, but encourage them to create their own play experiences.
Thus, sharing is having more, “less” may mean more!
The benefits of having less would be:
- spending less on toys
- expanding your children’s capacity as they create using “less” toys
- (if you have more than one child at home) teaching them to co-operate and share as they adapt to the circumstance of having “less”
- learning to treasure the things they have