How do you teach kids...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
How do you teach kids...
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 12:37pm

...not to throw everything away or that not everything is disposable? not treat everything as disposable?

In some regards, my kids are on top of things. We don't use disposable napkins, plates, utensils, etc. at home. Their lunches are all packed in reusable tupperware (they even bring silverware and cloth napkins to school!). They're forever digging through the recycling for the right size box for a craft project and have even started glue stick recycling boxes in their classrooms at school.

The area where we're weak is possessions. They think nothing of getting little cheap plastic toys -- which always break in the first two minutes -- then throwing them away. DD's worst habit is clothing. She'll have to have something, then decide it's not cool and never wear it. (Lucky for me we get a lot of her stuff 2nd hand at the thrift or consignment stores.)

The boys aren't as bad about clothes. Theirs are all hand me downs from an older friend and they're boys - they'll wear anything! For them it's toys. They'll get something, then lose half the pieces and it always ends up in the trash.

So how do you get kids to not treat everything as disposable / throw everything away??


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2011
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 3:50pm
With four kids and family who love to spoil them rotten we are swimming toys. IKWYM about parts getting lost. I try to keep the ones with little parts in containers so they don't get lost, but we're still always losing some piece here or there. We try to go through them on a regular basis and give some away. I don't know if that's a good message or not - just give it away if you're tired of it? I always explain to the kids that the toys are going to other kids who don't have any.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2012
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 11:10pm

We have thrown out our share of toys because of being broken or too many missing pieces to pass onto someone too.

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 9:46am

Now, you are a far more patient mother than I.....

If they bought it with my money, they wore it! If they used their own....well, a lesson was learned though that, too.

As far as junk toys, DON'T BUY THEM! Easier said than done, I know. I have to note, though, that the EXPENSIVE GI Joe fortress and the pricey Barbie House also had small pieces that got lost. If they couldn't keep their sets intact, I just wouldn't buy more of them! DD missed out on the yacht that way and one DS lost out on the bad guy fortress.

Some times it was the littler ones who got into and lost pieces and I didn't penalize the older kids but put hook and eye locks on the outside of the kids' rooms to keep toddlers out of their stuff!

One effective way of demonstrating waste, though, is to fill a box with broken, pieces missing toys and never worn clothes....putting monopoly money in a jar to represent the monetary loss. Then, you can point out the plastic that goes in landfills and other green philosophies.