I’ve gotten some interesting feedback from my post about teaching children about hoarding. I wrote how I felt I am failing my daughter by not coaching her on better organizational habits earlier.
I was delighted to read your comments! Thank you to all who took the time to leave a note on the blog or email me in person. You were all reassuring that I haven’t ruined my kids just yet! Phew! There’s still time to teach them about personal organization!
Knee Jerk Reaction
I suppose I’m being extra cautious. Living so close to someone with a mental illness makes you paranoid (wait, isn’t that a mental condition too??? ). Perhaps it’s similar to those with an alcoholic parent and forbidding their own children to ever toast with wine at holiday dinners. I’m probably being hyper-sensitive, but I know I’ve read in several places that compulsive hoarding can be hereditary. Diabetes also strongly runs in the family…some future I’ve got facing me, huh?
Nature vs Nuture
Genetics aside, I think learned behavior goes a long way. I don’t want to go overboard and insist on unattainable perfection. I can’t maintain that myself anyway. But if I can begin to instill the proper techniques for organizing personal space, encouraging attachment to people instead of objects, and how to begin and finish any project, then I think I’ll be giving my girls some great life skills. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to practice them myself, right? I’m sure Will would agree, as he eyes my creatively chaotic craft room.
Your Suggestions for Teaching Kids About Personal Organization
You had some great ideas for helping kids learn about organizing, and learning how to let go of treasured toys.
- take photos of toys before donating them, and put photos in an album to preserve their memory
- designate a set number of keepers. Let them choose which keepers, but don’t go past the number.
- designate a box for toys and don’t let it go past the top. If it doesn’t fit the box, it can’t stay.
- trim pieces from favourite blankets, clothing, or stuffed animals and sew them into a memory quilt or pillow (careful this doesn’t add to your own long list of projects *cough*)
- Remind them of children less fortunate, and encourage a social conscience.
Feel free to keep sending your ideas, and I’ll add them to this list. I’m sure I’m not the only parent in this boat.
I also just came across the Overindulgence website. It discusses dealing with spoiled children, the feeling of entitlement some kids seem to have, and gives a few ideas about giving chores.
My own purge continues
Going back to my craft room for a minute, I worked on clearing that room out, too. Yes, I’ve been on a purging kick the last 2 months and it’s feeling great. I didn’t realize exactly HOW great until I sat down at my sewing machine and did a quick little project. I mentioned this to another creative kindred spirit, my best friend, and she said “Rae, I think that’s how we feed our soul.”
How we feed our soul. Yes. Yes, I think that’s it.
And because my craft room is the dumping ground for when we don’t know where else to put something, I had crowded out my opportunity to feed my soul. And I was starving. Funny how having too much can make you feel so empty.
Have you carved out a space all your own? How do you keep it clear for spontaneous use? I’d love to hear about it!
In case you’re wondering, Mom is still without a phone. We’ve not spoken since I saw her about 3 weeks ago. That seems like a long time to go without hearing from your mother, doesn’t it?