Too many toys?

Hi everyone! I've been a nanny to a wonderful family with two boys, 9mo. and 4y/o for 4 months now, and they are the greatest. Ever since I started I noticed the 4y/o is easy to anger, gets overwhelmed quickly, and is always looking for space every now and then. I know that space is normal, but lately, and a few weeks ago he's been acting out a lot (having A TON of tantrums, screaming, and stomping off). The mom and I were thinking it might be an attention problem or still adjusting to the baby being here and adjusting to the balance of attention between the both of them. But, I've been doing a lot of research lately about how too many toys, choices, etc. could overwhelm a child and cause these outbreaks, tantrums, and general upsettedness. They have SO many toys, and I think it's just overwhelming his system. Have any of you nannies brought up this subject to the parents about thinking about downsizing their toys and see if their behaviour changes? I don't want to sound pushy or rude towards my boss, just more of bring it up as a suggestion, but don't really know how. Also, someone once told me about a book on this type of thing, downsizing toys and whatnot, and if anyone knows what it might be, I would love to know! Thanks so much!!

Comments

If they have a spare cabinet or closet why not ask if you can rotate the toys?
I used to rotate toys every two weeks ( some favorites were always out). It leaves more space in the room so everything isn't cluttered. And the kids always enjoyed "shopping" to decide what we would pull out.

I love toys that encourage free play - remember when you could just get blocks or building bricks and make whatever you wanted not a set?

The 4 year old is probably still adjusting to having a sibling. If the little one takes 2 naps still I'd try to use one nap for fun one on one big kid stuff.

Also when he's having a tough time maybe an art activity will help. It's fun to play with play dough or paints or crayons. Or if you have a sensory table or sand and water table that's always good to kind of change the mood.

Sorry he's having a rough patch.

I'd ask if you can rotate toys a bit.

I honestly see these outbursts as normal and just part of the day, especially with a new sibling. You can try it out and see how it goes, but I find as long as the majority are put away (as in he needs to go get the thing he wants to play with, they're not just all out at the same time) it shouldn't be impacting his behavior. Keep tidy is my suggestion, or offer to help with toy cycling where about half the toys are put away in storage and then you swap them every month or three depending on what works. It's worth a shot, but I'd not expect them to get rid of anything :)

This is caused jealousy. The 4 year-old has been the Only Child with All the attention, God's Gift by the parents for 4 years, and now the spotlight is on Baby. The only thing that needs to be done is Mom and Dad need to sit him down and Talk to him. He needs to Share the Spotlight. Kids want attention and hugs, not Toys! Just Time. One parent needs to take him out of the house to a special class all his own; like gymnastics for a 4 year-old, swim classes, Science Camp or something he can call His Own, that does not include the baby. Even a lunch out with a parent alone so he can discuss why he is acting this way. Ask him? Ne needs Individual Alone Time with the nanny or mom like; reading stories while baby naps, or going outside to play while one of you are inside watching baby, etc. When parents give, give, give, smother the first born this is what happens. Weed out the inappropriate age toys that he cannot play with. Box up baby toys and put them in babies nursery closet. Sounds like too much of everything; too many toys, clothes, doting on his every move and his Mood that hour, just to keep 4 year-old happy. He will get real demanding soon, unless it has happened already. His " I want's " and bad behavior needs to be put in check. He needs boundaries. If he is given attention, art class alone, play outside alone, gymnastics alone without baby around, then it might help, but he needs to be told this behavior is not appropriate or acceptable.
I have seen this exact same thing with the family I work for. Precious first child, a 4.5 year-old was the Only Child, just a gift, for parents and grandparents who doted on his Every Burp or whine. Now he is 4.5 and has a hissy fit if he is told "no" or "go sit at the table and eat". His grandma hand-feeds him and has to read to him to get him to sit at the table at 3 meals. I refuse to do this for a 4 year-old. He kept bringing toys to the table at meals and would not eat! I stopped the toy parade as he kept getting up and getting more, not eating. All he wants is the Fruit. I started reading him books at mealtime as this is the only way to keep him in a chair. It is ridiculous. He may be ADD/HD. Grandma has enrolled him in 3 half days of pre-K during the school year, not enough, and over the summer he is going to two classes every week to keep him busy. This is what happens when you devote every hour of every day to a 4 year-old for 4 years. When he has a real screaming fit and will not listen at all to grandma or hits and has a fit in the yard, he is put in a bedroom upstairs until he calms down. I have had a child of my own and have cared for kids for 15 years full-time and have Never seen anything like this family. I blame the grandparents and parents for putting up with this in the beginning. The only time he acts normal is if one of us spend individual time with play and reading to him alone all day. I'm stressed out at the end of the day. Time will tell because in a year he will have to share a "teacher" in Kindergarten All day with 20 kids and He will not be the Star of the Room. I hope you can hold on cause its going to be a rough job to stay with. Frankly, I cannot stand the drama and noise. I am looking for another nanny job and have only been here 4 months. Keep in touch and let us know how it goes will you? miss pat