Yesterday I read an article on BBC which was talking about how many toys the children have these days and how much was too much. That got me thinking about my own childhood and the toys we had.

I remembered that we have quite some amount of soft toys, most of which were given to us by our relatives (my sister and I were the youngest in our generation). We divided up the toys among ourselves and ended up with a family of bears for me, a family of rabbits for my lil’ sister as well as an assortment of other animals divided up equally. We did not need our parents’ intervention. We worked that out ourselves and it had worked well. Other than soft toys and an old tea set, we also have Lego building blocks and some wooden numbers mounted on wheels. We did not have many board games. In fact I think we only had one or two. No Unos or Snap or things like that. We use poker cards to play. And certainly no high tech gadgets or even the then extremely popular Barbie dolls.

I think we have a bit more toys than some, but not as much as others, especially not when compared to children nowadays. When I looked at the toys our relatives’ children have, it always astonishes me to see so many. Maybe it is the norm these days to give the children almost more than they need, but all it results are bossy attitude and a spoiled brat who thinks everyone is there to serve him or her. I have to say I feel like slapping them once or twice. Whenever I asked why do they have multiple sets of the toys, the answer often will be: So that they won’t fight over the toys.

I want to say bulls**t so badly to their faces. Fighting over toys and learning to share is part of every child’s learning process. But parents nowadays seem so keen on protecting their child from negative emotions that they are prepared to let the child grow up without learning life’s difficulties. I have seen the products: selfish children with no manners at all; bullies who wanted the best things for themselves and themselves alone.

I do not think that the parents are actually doing their children any favours by giving them too much time. As the article had said, fewer resources actually promote more harmony.

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