Mom Confession: I Throw Away My Kids' Artwork


mom confessionsIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

If it doesn't make me laugh or cry, my kids' objets d'art have gotta go.

I'm a neat freak. Until I became a mother, or at least until the kids hit preschool, I was able to maintain a minimalist household. Now my house is gasping for air beneath an avalanche of construction paper. My kids generate a minimum of one piece of artwork a day, and that's conservative. If I never trashed any of it, I'd be overrun by nearly 10,000 pieces of paper by the time they left elementary school.

I throw the art away on the sly. I make sure it's wedged securely under several layers of potentially camouflaging detritus. Coffee grounds are good. Likewise with the recycling bin. I never toss that worksheet full of big A's and little a's near the top of the pile. Inquisitive eyes can spot one of their outcasts anywhere. I bury it beneath the Sunday paper and layer in a healthy dose of junk mail just to be safe. I've considered investing in a shredder. -- Bonnie Rochman on


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Do you save all your child's artwork? If not, do you tell them you are going to throw it away or do you do it stealthly? By doing so, are we being dishonest with our children?

We all have secrets and opinions -- so thanks to these brave moms for sharing their honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

Past Confessions:

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It



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Shado... Shadows00

I like the above posters idea of sending the ones you dont keep to family memebers. Great way to spread the art love and make the child feel special. But i agree you just can't keep it all.

heath... heatherama

My daughter loves to paint and some weeks she'll paint everyday. We have a portfolio to keep her artwork in but when that gets full we have to toss some.
I don't see the point in telling her we're tossing them, that would just create an issue where one would not exist otherwise. To me it sounds overtly aggressive to announce "And now I am throwing away some of your artwork..."

lucin... lucindamartinez

My youngest is 15 now....but I must admit, I still have boxes of artwork that I can't let go of.  I only saved the best and brightest, but my kids think it's hilarious.  "MOM.....why on Earth do you still have THAT?"  Of course, there are boxes with all of the old report cards, etc., as well.  ; )  Maybe I should one day in my spare time (when I figure out what spare time is and how to acquire it), I should make them each big scrapbooks.  Maybe their kids one day will find it interesting. 

360 360

I found the neatest picture frame.  It is called a Li'l Davinci.  It has a hinge and opens.  You can insert the latest picture either vertically or horizontally on the same hook.  The older pictures fit behind the newest artwork.  I love it.  It hangs in my kitchen. 

I've had some of the better artwork framed and put in their playroom or the gameroom.  Other pieces I've had made into blank cards to send to friends.

But, I don't keep ALL of their artwork either.

MKSers MKSers

My mom saved my art work from elementary school.  Its all in a box and until I had a kid I thought it was kind of silly but now its fun to pull it out and see how are writing and drawings are the same during the same age frame.

yaffa... yaffamommy

I dont save them all. There is way too much!!! We post them on the frig for awhile and when new ones are put up some get trashed and no I dont tell my children because it would hurt their feelongs but they dont find out.

momof... momof2luvsshoes

I don't save all of my kids' work either.  I will store everything they bring home for a few months and then I go through it and discard certain things.  My boys are 3 and 6 so they don't really care too much other than the extra special things we must keep.  I have found a way to archive their creativity.  About every 3 months when I go through their artwork I take pictures of the masterpieces as collages before I toss them out and then download them onto a disc for storage.  That way even though we may not have kept every piece of their works we have a picture of it for them to see. 

Elect... ElectraSpy

My MIL saved every little scrap of paper my hubby (& her other 4 children) so much as breathed on. Her house is a storage locker of boxes. She had to move and so decided to give the boxes, suitcases & storage containers of childhood artwork to my husband to "Treasure", my husband brought them home and treasured them all the way to the recycling bin.

I have a picture line in the kid's playroom, it has mini clothes pins holding about 20-30 pieces of art. As they overlap & get crowded, I clear the ones they don't care about. They also each have a small line in their room for those the really want to admire longer, then they decide what goes from there to make room for the new art.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I bought my son a "banker's box", wrapped it in wrapping paper, let him cover it with stickers, and he can keep any art he's proud of in there.
I ask HIM if it's okay if we recycle certain ones.  It's his work - not mine.

TKsMo... TKsMommie

You can't save everything but make sure you are saving some, especially stuff you loved.  When my mom died this past summer my sister and I spent hours sitting on the floor in the living room going through the cedar chest and the stuff my mom had saved.  We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.  It was a lot of fun and a great way to see the stuff that meant alot to her when we were little!

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