Decluttering Toys: Our Moderately Minimalist Toy Collection

Decluttering toys is a hot topic among moms today. Minimalism seems to be a lasting trend as so many are seeing and wanting the benefits of owning less stuff, especially families with young children.

When left with a limited selection of the best toys for them, children will play for hours without you needing to push and prod them.

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On Quitting Babywise: Parenting Reflections Four Kids Later

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I like steps. I love plans. And I really love control. And sleep, did I mention sleep?

Babywise parenting seemed to fit my personality like a glove. I bought the book On Becoming Babywise, prepared to follow its advice with precision.  What could go wrong?

Only that babies could care less what book you read about feeding and sleep training.  

They just want you to figure out what they need and give it to them.

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How to Encourage Pretend Play (A story of kids needing less than we think)

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Creating an environment that encourages pretend play can feel daunting in our screen-filled world.  Many parents who want to foster their child’s imagination think a play kitchen is an essential toy for encouraging creative play.  In fact, play kitchens are now commonplace, found in most homes with young children.

I fell for it too – believing a play kitchen (and other props) to be absolutely necessary for my kids to play pretend.  

As my daughter approached three years old, I started looking for the perfect play kitchen.  Home aesthetics are important to me, so I prioritized the ones I could handle looking at every day in our small apartment.  

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Why We Stopped Giving “Chores”, and What We Do Instead

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Our kids don’t do chores.

Gasp! Before you jump to the comments for a good rant about the value of contributing to the family via chores, let me explain. Instead of “chores”, our kids do “family service” and “paid jobs”.

Does it really matter what you call it? Whatever you call it, chores are chores, some would say. But I believe word choice makes all the difference, especially when it comes to our attitude towards work.

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Early Potting Training (The Lazy Way)

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Potty Training.

Besides sleep training, I don’t know another two words that have quite the same effect on parents. Both stay at home and working parents alike eagerly scour the internet for the fastest, guaranteed method. With pressure to train kids in time for preschool, we trade training secrets and argue the merits of using pull-ups or not, one day or three days, drinks or no drinks, rewards or no rewards.

Some parents luck out. They have an eager to please, compliant child who happens to be ready at the time the parent initiates training. 

Then there’s the rest of us.

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