Mom reveals the bizarre reason why she took her kids' toys away and the internet is furious
Being a parent has got to be the most difficult job on Earth. It doesn't come with an introductory programme or instruction manual, and it isn't the sort of role you can simply walk away from when you feel like you've had enough. Plus, you don't even get paid for it.
Perhaps the worst thing about the job of being a parent, though, is that everyone does it differently - and those with opposing approaches to looking after their kids normally end up clashing heads.
So, when one mother wrote a long blog post about why she took away all of her children's toys, loads of other parents got pretty mad.
"As some of you already know, I’ve been on a mission this year to simplify my family’s life and rid ourselves of excess," began Ruth, a mother to two daughters aged six and three.
"Over the course of the past nine months I have probably given away about 75 percent of my girls’ toys, keeping only the items that I felt encouraged their imagination and that they actually played with. I thought I was doing pretty good," she said.
However, Ruth went on, there were still "warning signs that my kids still had too much stuff".
According to the mother, her two daughters would often ask for toys when they were out, and she believed that this was making them too materialistic. They seemed unsatisfied with what they had been given, she said, and she could see no feasible way to stop them from wanting more and more stuff.
But then she found the solution.
"In the weeks that followed, Chuck and I talked a lot about how we were going to handle this lack of contentment we were noticing. Then one morning near the end of July, after telling my kids to clean their room for the umpteenth time, I made the somewhat impulsive–albeit pre-warned–decision to take away ALL their stuff.
"I finally gave up and took it all away. I wasn’t angry, just fed up. I calmly began packing up not just a toy or two, but every single thing ... The girls watched me in stunned silence for a few minutes and then, when the shock wore off, they helped. And just like that, their room was clear."
Ruth claims that she saw an immediate change in her girls. They no longer ask for new toys or possessions, and seem to have developed new, healthier methods of entertaining themselves.
"Instead of being bored, they seem to have no shortage of things to do," the mother wrote." Their attention span is much longer and they are able to mindfully focus on their task at hand. They color or read for hours at a time and happily spend the entire afternoon playing hide & seek or pretend."
But not everyone agrees with her extreme decision.
"Toys are the only thing a kid owns," said one critic. "They are the only thing they have control over."
They went on:
"It's clear they tossed out what the kid actually likes and is interested in for the sake of this 'declutter your life' horsecrap. Now the kid has nothing that's their own and has been taught that asking for their interests is punished by everything they enjoy being taken away."
Meanwhile, another person added: "This is how you get your child to never trust you again and develop anxiety in asking you for anything, ever.
"I am so sick of these modern parents who shove their beliefs down their kids' throats when the kids have 0 idea what's going on. They probably thought they were being punished."
A third person piped up to say that they, too, were forced to give up a lot of their possessions when they were 11 years old, and that "It took [them] a lot of introspection to get over that as an adult, but [they] still feel robbed of a lot of [their] childhood."
While it's probably true that Ruth thought she was doing the best by her kids in making them give up all their stuff, then, it seems obvious that a lot of people think the complete opposite. Did she do the right thing? Well, that all depends on your perspective as a parent - and no two opinions will be exactly the same.