This post is sponsored by the Just Between Friends Children’s Consignment Sale Philly, running this week, March 19-22.
You know that feeling of overwhelm, when you stand in a room (or sit at your desk) and think, “I just don’t know what to do first!?!” Kids can have the exact same feelings. That feeling of being overwhelmed is one reason that parents don’t get what they want….parents want kids to clean up their room or their toys.
When my daughter turned seven, it became her job to hang up her clothes after they went through the laundry. We bring them up to her room, and then she puts them on hangers and hangs them in her closet. She can hang them any way she wants, and her clothes rod is low enough for her to reach it, so there’s no physical problem with her completing this task.
But we weren’t getting any traction. She’d whine about it for hours. I didn’t actually ever used that mom line, but you know I was thinking it.
If you had just done it instead of whining about it, you’d be done by now.
One day, out of frustration really, I went in and removed half of her clothes. Some went to the “too small” bin to pass down to her sister. Some were donated. I eliminated all but about two weeks worth of clothes.
What the heck. I mean, she wears her favorite 2 or 3 outfits on a tight rotation, anyway. She’d wear the same outfit every single day if I’d let her.
Rather than being upset, she was relieved.
She actually thanked me.
Since then, she’s asked me if we could do her laundry more often, because she just feels like there is too much to put away all at once.
She’s telling me about overwhelm. She’s being honest. She doesn’t want or need all the clothes in her closet.
I created the problem. I bought her more clothes than she needs, more clothes than she can care for.
We parents do it all the time. Sometimes with help from the grandparents.
In this land of plenty, listen to your kids. If, like my little one, they are telling you they are overwhelmed, pull some things out of their closet. Put away some toys, to be sold at a consignment sale if they don’t ask for them again. Rotate some toys in and out of storage for rainy day fun.
Kids can be overwhelmed, too. Learning to manage overwhelm is a life skill, like learning how to wash hands or handle money. You aren’t punishing them if you remove a few of their things.
But you can be torturing them if they can’t find a path out of the Land of Overwhelm.
If you are ready to pare down, there is still time to consign at Just Between Friends Children’s Consignment sale in Oaks (March 19-22) and in Reading (April 30-May 2). I have the inside scoop, so shout out in the comments or email me with any questions about consigning.