Let Them Be Hoarders: How to Teach Your Children to Take Care of Their Things

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It flies in the face of all the advice I like to give, but when it comes to your kids, let them be hoarders. Within reason, that is.

There is something in human nature that makes us cling to things. Things make us feel safe, make us feel happy, make us feel worthy and fulfilled. This is demonstrated at a very early age, with our children hoarding rocks, buttons, pencils, you name it: If it fits in their little hands, they are likely to hang on to it.

Let them. Let them discover what intrigues them. Let them think for themselves and explore the great big world around them by collecting the little things that carry some sort of secret meaning for them. But the key to letting them collect is teaching them how to do it. 

We will create a new generation of hoarders if we don't teach our children that there must be a place for everything. As soon as there isn't a place for it, it must go. Because if there really truly is a place in their hearts for what they have collected, they will find a place for it in their homes, they will take care of it, they will value it.

In my house, each child is welcome to keep whatever they wish. But as soon as it appears that item has no place of it's own, we have all agreed to let it go. They are learning to take good care of the things that are most important to them, and to let go of the things that only take up space.

So let your children be hoarders. Just teach them how to do it—in a meaningful, organized way. And as they grow into responsible adults, they will tackle the world with a sense of self, a sense of organization, and knowing what it is to value the things they surround themselves with.

Written by: Pam Toigo. To read more from Pam, visit her site at www.thepulledtogethermom.com. Photo: stock.xchng

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