written by Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama
This post is a part of a three piece series about creating harmonious play areas in your home. Read more over the weeks to follow.
In my circle of friends, there seems to be two types of homes. There is the peaceful, joyful home where mama and child(ren) are living together in a harmonious relationship with a rhythmical flow. Then there is the chaotic, boisterous, topsy-turvy home where mama and child(ren) seem to be at constant odds with each other, engaged in a never ending battle of the wills. Even before I had a child of my own, I saw a direct correlation between the level of harmony in the home and the types of toys available to the children along with the opportunity for meaningful play. I am not suggesting that this alone was the end-all reason why a home was peaceful or not. There is a lot more involved in peaceful parenting than toys and play. However, there was a noticeable impact. Now that I am mothering an almost two year old, I am experiencing firsthand how toys and play can aid me in my journey to peacefully parent my daughter and create the most warm, loving environment possible.
|Beneath the Rowan Tree|
I have had friends comment that my daughter is deprived of educational opportunities since I do not let her play with plastic toys and toys that encourage learning. Quite frankly, I think that she is experiencing childhood how it was meant to be experienced and that is through the use of her own imagination and free will. A toy that sings the alphabet, tells you what time it is, and shares the colors of the rainbow does absolutely nothing to feed a child’s imagination. An imagination left uncultivated means a child who will become easily bored as he or she moves into their fourth and fifth year. This means that said child will require constant stimulation either from more expensive, educational toys, or will constantly be wearing on mom’s nerves with “I’m bored” comments. Personally, I would rather see my daughter play with a sturdy, wooden flat bed truck that can serve as a fire engine, a farm truck, a delivery truck, and the like rather than some brightly painted plastic red fire engine that can only be a fire engine! Toys that inspire creative play will feed a child’s soul for hours. A well nourished soul helps keep a home harmonious.
|Jennifer's daughter and doll|
Mothering a child or multiple children is tough even on the best day. I believe that consumerism has burdened mothers unnecessarily by convincing us that our children NEED every newfangled toy with all of the bells and whistles. In my observations and experience, more toys and toys that do not open a child’s mind simply lead to boredom, toy fatigue, a disengaged mind, and chaos. For those of us trying to balance motherhood with daily life, we need to embrace every opportunity available to keep our home calm and rhythmical.
Yours in Peace, Love, and Mothering,
About Hybrid Rasta Mama
Jennifer is a former government recruiter turned stay-at-home mama to a precious daughter brought earthside in early 2009. She believes in the importance of having a strong network of support. She's been active both in my local La Leche League and Attachment Parenting chapters. She's a mentor and contributing blogger with the Natural Parents Network and a contributor on Job Description: Mommy.
Why Hybrid Rasta Mama? I take a little of this and a little of that and blend it all together into something that works for me, my daughter, and my husband. I am a voracious reader and researcher and have read an extensive amount of literature about parenting. I consider myself very well informed about the pros and cons of all the different philosophies and approaches out there. Read more on my blog Hybrid Rasta Mama. You can also find me on Facebook. .