My 13 year old is a lovely child. A good worker bee around the house, always eager to lend a hand, well, most of the time. And she tells me everything, the good, the bad and the all too teenagy, like stuff I really don't want to know. But today while she was gone celebrating the 4th, I took a long look at her room.
She collects snow globes. A wonderful hobby. But she also collects empty toilet paper rolls, just in case we might need them, TV guides from the newspaper, advertisements for fried chicken. anything about the military, and slivers of soap.
She would like to collect even more but her room is small and I find stacks of collectible things in the basement. Sometimes these things, well, they disappear.
We talk about her hoarding tenancies often. I try to be kind and nurturing but it usually ends up with her telling me about a new thing she wants to collect. Broken jewelry is a new one. So if this is going to be a positive thing, it is I who must address it. I have decided that I can turn many of these things into activities for us to do as a family.
For instance, I am sure there are many things we can do with those empty toilet paper rolls. And I can reinvent broken jewelry into other pieces and teach her how to do it as well. We can talk about the military and how she wants to be a solider and make a scapbook. Lots of ideas to keep my little one a collector and not a hoarder.