You know how it’s never a good idea to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry? Well perhaps it’s not a good idea to blog about your children when you are furious!

I am sure I’m not the Lone Ranger here, but no matter how hard I try I cannot keep (there’s no other word to use here) crap from entering my house. I walk into my kids’ rooms to see Macca’s toys on the floor, marbles spread in the cupboard, drawings stuffed into drawers, feathers, shells, ribbons and any other paraphernalia they have happened upon that day EVERYWHERE in my house.

While I can engage their cooperation to keep their room tidy, I just can’t seem to stop this high turnover of ‘stuff’ from entering into my house.

Today I sorted, cleaned and threw away most of the contents of the arts and craft cupboard. It mortified me to discover that they had hundreds (and I’m not exaggerating) of crayons, pencils and pens, and over 20 colouring books!!
Cast your minds back Mums and Dads…. Did we, or did we not, have one pack of pencils and one colouring in book as kids? And paper! It was scrap paper – like old documents from Dad’s work – which we used to draw on… my kids think nothing of making a ten page book out of A4 copying paper!!

While I admit I do indulge my kids occasionally, it is nothing compared to the ‘stuff’ that society offers kids today. You go to the shops – have a free balloon. Off to Bunnings? Some colouring pencils and a colouring sheet. Dinner at McDonalds? Enter a crappy plastic toy. Then there’s the overseas trips by Grandma – souvenirs. The clean outs at your friend’s house – more toys.

So what do we do for birthdays and Christmas? What do our kids possibly want or need?

And more disturbing to me, how can we teach them to VALUE what they have, like we valued that packet of pencils and colouring book when we were kids?

I really don’t have the answers. But I will keep trying to control the ‘stuff’, keep teaching my kids to look after their things and pass on the items they no longer want to those who are in need.

What else can we do?