Broken toys, we all have them, let’s face it and with that we often have the children who cannot let go of them. As a mother, I have noticed our children react to letting go of things differently. Each one has their own way of dealing with loss and separation; this can also flow into when it is time to clean up their room.
For example: When our boys cleaned up their rooms, they were perfectly willing to let go of broken toys or unwanted/unused items. If it did not work or was broken into a gazillion and one pieces, they would throw it away. However, with our daughter it was not so easy to let go of items that she deemed “perfectly good!” She had an attachment to objects, toys, and random things. For a long time we would clean her room for her, which was a mistake in the long run, because it cut her out of the process.
Many mothers/fathers/caregivers, are faced with this in their children and it can become a daunting task just to get the house clean, as for some who have read my “4 Games to make cleaning fun” Article you know I am very big about involving the children in their own ways to help contribute to the home, even when they were little.
Now for the main issue, how do you get rid of the broken items your child just simply cannot part with?
Well, one idea is this… Have your child help you collect all the broken parts to the items in question and make a pile. What you will need next: A board – wooden or canvas, an old cork board or chalk board will work too (depending on the size of the pile will help you determine how much space you need on the board or canvas) Hot glue, hot glue gun, ribbons or other things that interest your child in decorating. Love and Patience, these are the most important things during this whole process. This is about teaching your child, who may have problems letting go of items, that it is okay to create something new with them, to repurpose them, if you will. After you have gathered up your materials, sit down at the table or on the floor with your child.
Explain to them, you are not there to take away the items, but to help them create a piece of art out of the items. From here, you and your child can come up with several things to do with the broken toys. Create their name, the first letter of their name, a picture or even a sculpture with your child out of the broken heap. By creating something new, they are still able to look at, feel and remember why they do not want to let these “pieces of themselves” go.
As you are creating this new masterpiece with your child also talk about how this makes them feel, make sure it is something they are enjoying. If you have to you can always monitor their emotions using the 1-10 scale. 1 being happy and content while 10 is melt down city, if your child reaches a 5-6 it is a good idea to take a break and relax and talk about why they are feeling the way they are.
This is a process that will take some time, and if you need to, step away and take a break. There is no shame in not reaching the desired completion of the masterpiece in one day. The whole goal of this exercise and activity is to help your child grow and understand, it helps them to let go and look at things differently in life. Also, if you have not noticed, there is a certain degree of psychology added into this activity to help you understand your child better in the long run too.
Hope this helps some of you, Till next time U.M.