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Little Hoarder

Posted by on Aug. 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 50 Replies

We are in the process of moving to another state and have started the painful process of packing a house. Books are going into boxes, unworn clothes going to Goodwill, and knick-knacks are getting carefully wrapped up for a month or two in storage.

We are making good progress except for one part of the house: my son's room. It turns out my son is a bit of a hoarder...and heaven help us when he finds us throwing out his "treasures"! So far we've thrown away his stash of used band-aids, many tubes of empty toothpaste, several empty boxes of soap, a cicada husk (!) and several other random piles of things shiny or small or shiny AND small. When asked about these things, all my son could say was that he liked the way they looked and that they weren't trash, they were perfect.

My husband hates clutter and tends to throw away things like this (this is clearly a one man's trash is another man's treasure situation) so my son has been hiding his little collections under his bookshelf or in shoe boxes under his bed. Now that we've found them we either have to move them or make them disappear late at night so the kid doesn't see. 

Spoiler alert: the cicada husk is NOT moving with me.

I think it may be a good time to encourage my son to start a collection of something that isn't trash. Something small, something that isn't expensive to collect, something that isn't dead bugs...this should be doable, right?

Do your kids collect anything? Any suggestions for a six year old with a hoarding tendency?





by on Aug. 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 3:14 AM

Recently my son decided it was a great idea to collect Monster cans. That collection ended up in the trash rather quickly.

A child who hoards things can be switched to something else, but that is often an OCD or anxiety driven behavior, so it is something that has to be broken. In other words, you could start him with a collection and he would still try to keep the others going. Another collection may only add to the issues. I hope you have good luck with it though.

LaniBee
by Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 7:37 AM
1 mom liked this

My oldest DD just moved out to go to college and I couldn't believe some of the stuff she was cleaning out of her room! She did say, however, that "obviously, the things you collect when you are 9 are not of the same importance to you when you are 18." She did throw a lot of things away, but I guess some of that stuff gave her comfort in some way. 

Mom2jngnc
by Gold Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 9:11 AM

My boys have small totes... when their "stuff" stops fitting in 1 tote, it is time to clean out and reevaluate..... do i still need the rock found at xyz park? 

DisabledVet
by on Aug. 25, 2014 at 9:18 AM

How old is your son?

Why not let him choose one set of things he can keep. They may mean nothing to you but they mean something to him. Allow him to choose one. this gives him some control about what's going on. 

Some gave all and all gave some. Remember your rights as an American were earned with the blood of others. Don't waste them and please do your duty as a citizen and vote intelligently in every election.


DisabledVet
by on Aug. 25, 2014 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this

And sometimes it just that the kid likes something and has nothing to do with any mental illness. We are far to quick to label kids these days. I worked in the mental health field (degrees in counsling/psychology, criminal justice and human services with minors in special ed and business) and used to see 5 or 6 year old boys being brought in for treatment (sexual harrasment) because they kissed a little girl. Somehow we've forgotten what childhood is about.

Behaviors we used to tolerate, are now not allowed and I don't think we're doing our kids any great favors.

Quoting stormcris:

Recently my son decided it was a great idea to collect Monster cans. That collection ended up in the trash rather quickly.

A child who hoards things can be switched to something else, but that is often an OCD or anxiety driven behavior, so it is something that has to be broken. In other words, you could start him with a collection and he would still try to keep the others going. Another collection may only add to the issues. I hope you have good luck with it though.


Some gave all and all gave some. Remember your rights as an American were earned with the blood of others. Don't waste them and please do your duty as a citizen and vote intelligently in every election.


sarahjz
by Gold Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 10:04 AM

 A cicada husk isn't a dead bug, and my kids like them too.  I let them hold on to them for a few days, and then we toss them.  I don't see that it's a big deal.

la1118
by Laura on Aug. 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM
My kids have all kinds of treasures. I never know what I will find. Mostly it's just cheap little party favor type of stuff. If they don't clean their room I will threaten to do it and they know I will start throwing junk away. Most of it they never even miss. DH hoards miscellaneous screws and chargers that we never know what they are for, lol.
RobynS
by Silver Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

DS tries to save EVERYTHING. Every scrap of paper! Ugh. And lately, he's collecting rocks. But not particularly special ones, just every rock he can find (hello? those belong in the alley!!!) --  even if he already has a whole handful just like them.

I have always been a collector (okay, pack rat), too and I've been working on changing that. I'm trying to teach DS that "stuff" will eventually weigh him down and that the best things to collect are memories and photos!

rjt13
by on Aug. 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM
1 mom liked this

I think children "hoard" things, because it is a way of controlling the universe around them.  It is possible that this move, or something else happening at school or at home, has him nervous.  Children aren't very good at expressing emotions and can't really say "I'm nervous about..." as well as us, so they typically try to control things that are within their power (their room, their toys, etc.).  

momofsixangels
by Platinum Member on Aug. 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Not really. Im the bad one lol. 

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