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Apr
24

Computer Paper and Other Things Kids Waste

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerOnce upon a time, my seven-year-old daughter planned to write and draw the best princess story that ever existed. She grabbed a handful of white printer paper and stapled them together. The title on the first page was in pink with a sloppy princess with long flowing blond hair. The second page was filled with… nothing. Same with every other piece of paper she stapled together and left on my husbands desk… three weeks ago. She wasted all that paper as if I haven’t told her one hundred times computer paper costs $2.50 at Walmart and shouldn’t be wasted. She replied she thought was cheap, and I responded it is until you have to buy six packs of paper every month. 

Kids waste stuff. Computer paper, food, soda, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, the list goes on and on. Why do children waste everything? Because they are unaware the item has value and guess who’s job it is to teach kiddos value? Yep! Yours, mama. Let’s add one more thing to our to-do list. But this one is important as your kids will take this lesson into the future with them. Don’t make that scared face. I have another list for you.

Computer paper, crayons, paint, and other art supplies – do not put these items out of reach, trust me, your child will climb up on anything if they are feeling creative. Put limits instead. My three cannot get computer paper without both permission from me and from my husband. That cut down computer paper usage in thirds. Take that you wasting wasters. They also have to ask before they use other art supplies end of discussion. Well, not quite if they leave art supplies out they lose them for a week. 

Food, drinks, milk, cereal – the worst is leaving boxes of food open to go stale. Nothing drives me more nuts than wasted food. I stopped throwing away or replacing stale food. The kids have to eat it and I won’t buy more of that snack until the old one is gone. Now they use those handy little clips I got from Ikea’s checkout aisle. Other methods are to give clear guidelines for snacks. Only three cookies, only one small glass of juice. If they don’t listen don’t buy that item again. My kids eventually ask why I stopped buying the item and I say because they were wasteful. The promise until their eyes turn purple they won’t waste anymore and that lasts about a week. 

Bathroom towels and pajamas – this topic is still a work in progress at my house. If they would just hang up their towels and let them dry, they could use them all week instead of me having wash extra loads of laundry. Pajama’s too. Who doesn’t re-wear their favorite taco nightgown? Let’s place this category at the top of the to-do list. A solution will come to me. 

Shampoo, toothpaste, and dish soap – If those little tyrants leave the cap of the toothpaste one more time… never mind. My aunt solved this one. They have to put the cap back on 25 times for the first offense and up for each sequential offense. Let’s just say that the next time we find the cap off, they have to put it back on 200 times. It’s been a few months since we played this game. I call that success. 

I’m wondering if it would be wrong to label everything the kids use with a price tag and make them keep tabs of their daily spending. Someday they will learn to budget and live off of ramen while in college. But, man that seems like a lot of extra work for me. The bottom line is teaching children not to be wasteful now will help them be less wasteful as adults.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and is currently writing her first novel. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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