I’ve written a couple posts on “what to do with your child‘s artwork.” We had artwork coming out of our ears not to forget crafts of all sizes, shapes and colors. Although I would like to think that in the area of sentimentality, we rate ourselves on the more average scale, this summer my wife and I discovered that our five year-old daughter, Julia, is actually less attached to her “master-pieces” than we are!
We are big believers in getting the child involved in household chores, some decisions, etc., so when it came time to sort through the pile of artwork that accumulated in a box and around her art area, we had Julia decide what to keep in her “memory box” and what to place in the recycle bin. We were amazed at how casually she kept saying “toss it” or “recycle.” My wife admitted herself that she would have kept about 50% of the pieces whereas Julia only said “keep” to less than 10%! This made us realize that for kids (Julia is 5), their attachment to their art is really the “process” of creating and perhaps the admiring of the latest piece for a day or week. After that, they have totally moved on to the next project/activity! We are glad we got her started in this process early rather than later.
So, we still initially held on to “mom & dad’s” favorite pieces to be photographed, etc. But only Julia’s selections will go into her memory box (actually, more like a big tote as it gets filled with certificates, ticket stubs, playbills, etc.).
- Children may not be as attached to their art work as parents think they are, especially as time passes and new creations/techniques are mastered.
- Your child may be better, much better, at de-cluttering that pile of artwork and letting go then dear old mom and dad!
- By starting them earlier rather than later, you might be able to foster better habits of ‘letting go’ than if you wait till they are older.
Of course, now due to Julia’s diligence in getting rid of almost everything – my wife has started her own memory box. Some things won’t change ;0)