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Give time to your children, not stuff

Spending time with kids, not money on them, is important for families.

Opinion

Give time to your children, not stuff

Sami Muirhead is aiming to buy less and spend more time with her children this Christmas, while remembering those less fortunate.

American radio host and advice columnist Abigail Van Buren said: “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.”

I love this quote, even though it makes me feel a little guilty. I am that mum who forever seems to be saying “not yet”, “in a minute”, “just hang on” or “I’m busy at the moment” when my little people ask me to play/help/intervene/explain something to them.

We tend to relegate fun activities such as jigsaw puzzles and play dough to the school holidays, when there is a little more free time and less structure.

In the whirlwind, I am sometimes guilty of thinking that buying my kids a new book or a new toy is making them happy when really they would much rather I lie with them and read an old book or get out old toys and sit and actually play with them.

And I would benefit from such a sage decision as well. Living in the present and not letting life rush by me is something I am working on.

Many of us are starting to think about buying Christmas gifts and I was so happy to co-host the launch of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal this year.

Please keep it in mind, as for 30 years the toy drive has meant kids and adults receive a gift at Christmas who cannot afford to buy anything.

Daniel Ross is the Captain at the Maroochydore Salvation Army and hopes 3000 Coast families will donate a gift when they are at Kmart or give a small amount of money this season.

“Studies show less clutter leads to more meaningful play”

My children have already written several letters to Santa. But I am struggling with bringing too many new things into the house, as we just seem to be big fat consumers.

We have also just swapped rooms over with my son and daughter, which forced us to have a big clean out of all their toys and clothing.

It stirred up a lot of dust and even more emotions, as they are growing up so quickly. We gave away a minivan of stuff and the kids now love playing in their clean rooms.

Studies show less clutter leads to more meaningful play. Before there was just junk stuffed everywhere, whereas now there is floor space and boxes with toys grouped together in themes.

The theory goes when you decrease the amount of toys your child has, you increase their attention and capacity for deep play.

I can see the merit in this thought and I can see the benefits of not walking into rooms that are littered with deadly bits of Lego.

I will let you know how long the rooms stay clean. We can all hope for a Christmas miracle.

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Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator. For more from Sami tune into Mix FM.

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