Children: The Colonists of Stuff

Now that Columbus Day is over I think it’s time to start thinking about the real colonists of today: children. At least my children are. All day long they go around “discovering” things and then claiming them as their own. It is very annoying.

“That’s MY toy!” shouts the first child.

“No, that’s MINE!” shouts the second child.

Whose toy is it? I’ll tell you this little secret rule of parenting: “Whoever starts the fight doesn’t have the right.” There would be no need to wander around declaring that something is yours if it really were. No, you would only claim something if it didn’t belong to you. Exception: if something were snatched out of your hand while you were playing with it, although that can almost be taken as the first declaration of ownership in this case.

So the child walks into the room, they see the toy that they want, they know it does not belong to them, so they do the only thing they can do. They proclaim for all to hear that it does belong to them and hope that the natives are too weak and disorganized to fight back. Yeah, my kids are basically the Columbus of toys, with slightly less murdering.

Is there any way to stop this overreaching playtime imperialism? Should we build a wall to keep undocumented siblings from encroaching on sovereign territory? Would a sharpie solve everything? What if some of them don’t know how to read?! My friends, the solution to this problem is obvious. Do not buy your children any toys. This should…what? They started claiming your stuff instead? Ooooh, those little monsters. Well we can’t have that! Ok, maybe buy them so many toys that they can’t even get to their beds? Would that stop the toy colonization? No? Huh.

As it turns out, there may be no way to completely shut down this particular empire, but it doesn’t mean we won’t keep firing proton torpedoes of sharing into our children’s thermal exhaust ports of greed. With some patience, determination, and more patience, you too can bring balance to the force, by essentially involving yourself in complex trade negotiations until they move out and go to college. Good luck! And may the forcing your children to behave be with you!

Posted in Children, Parenting, Star Wars.

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