Parenting Advice: Ever Think About Taking Your Kids’ Toys Away for a Month?

Staging Your Home for Sale Can Force the Answer

My Parenting Advice

Find a set of rules that ensures both parents and kids can stick to.  This shows mutual respect for each other and the rules.  Our rules outline where the wars can take place and for how long. If the war isn’t over by vacuum day, all bets are off. They toys are taken away and put on the highest shelf in the closet for a week. So far so good, as long as we don’t move his toys without “permission.”

That’s why when I read Stephen Bradshaw’s article on Parent Co., I almost broke out into hives. Overnight, he and his wife removed all the toys from the playroom without warning.  What would happen if we just shifted our son’s entire world around without warning?

Bradshaw did it because they were staging their home for sale. But would you do this as a way to clean up your house and potentially change your children’s behavior?

Bradshaw shared his parenting advice along with before and after pictures, and the “after” looks like my house only on mornings before we throw a party!

A month ago, my wife and I decided to sell our house.  To make our house marketable, we had to make sure each room had a clear and distinct purpose, according to our realtor.  That meant that our kids’ playroom went from this:

bradshaw, messy play room
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To this:

bradshaw dining room
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What did the kids do? According to Bradshaw, they didn’t react at all! Instead they played with what they found, and more importantly with each other.  Bradshaw points out that the benefits of changing the reliance on toys is important for the following reasons:

  • Unstructured play time is good for their brain
  • You can donate your toys to children who don’t have any
  • They’ll get outside more
  • They’ll read more
  • It teaches them to be thankful for what they have
  • There’s less clean up at the end of the day
  • You can have your space back
  • You’ll spend less money (on toys)

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