Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 80/20 rule

We've all heard of different versions of the 80/20 rule - you wear 20% of the clothes in your closet 80% of the time while the other 80% of clothes only gets trotted out 20% of the time. 20% of people do 80% of the work in any given work setting. Kids only play with 20% of their toys 80% of the time. This is a universal truth that applies to most settings.

In my kids' case, it definitely applies to their toys. Sure, everything gets trotted out - and makes for a big mess - every day (God help me), but they only actually play with a fraction of their humongous stash.

Given that my oldest is about to have a birthday (which means, more toys coming into the house), I proposed that we get rid of some of that 80%. Of course I didn't present it to him that way, what I said was "we need to make room for your birthday presents so let's give some of the toys you don't play with to Ms. Camille's schoo1, ok?"

Ms. Camille is the director of the special needs school where Alex first went a couple of years ago. Aidan was allowed to attend as a model peer so the students could see how a non-special needs child functions and reacts to various situations. They both LOVED the school and everyone there. Some of the staff have moved on but we love to keep in touch and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of our abundance of toys with them. Aidan dove into the project and we put together a whole grocery bag full of dinosaurs and animals that he no longer wanted.

But before anyone feels sorry for this poor deprived child, please know that he chose everything to be donated himself, and that this picture above is only about 10% of the number of indoor toys he and Alex have. We have been blessed with generous friends and family, and it's a good thing for the boys to start learning to share those gifts.

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