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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Aweso... Awesomemomm

I save enough to put a little collage on the wall. Then I take a picture and exchange them with his new drawings, and throw away what was on the wall. This way it didnt get tossed without him showing it off, and he always has something to be proud of.

allic... allicat12881

I have four kids, two in school. Whe have artwork everywhere. I let them pick whats important enough for the fridge, the rest goes in a box for me to go through when they are asleep or gone. I throw away the common and regular stuff and keep a few things that stand out for scrapbooks. Occasionally I get caught throwing it away, and just explain if I keep all the papers where would we live? The piles would take over the house!

heidi... heidim229

someone once told me that they will save it for a while then she takes a digital picture of it she saves all of the cd's that the picstures are on and she save the pics but she still saves a few pices of the artwork

coutt... coutterhill

I throw away artwork too! But he's only 2, so I don't think he even knows or cares. I only keep the really cute stuff put it on the fridge.

mama4... mama4Christ361

I scan them into the computer and only save the fridge worthy ones. I have them all on disc, I can't deal with having all the hard copies all over the place!!!!

justa... justanotherjen

I  have 4 kids, including 2 that are "artists".  I've never saved everything.  I let them know at an early age that I couldn't.  We just didn't have room.  We hang stuff on the wall and periodically we go through it together and decide which projects they just HAVE to save for whatever reason, which projects can go in the recycling and which they just aren't ready to pack up or toss yet.

Homework papers automatically go in the scratch paper bin or recycling.  They tell me if it is something they want/need to save or not but usually I toss it the day they bring it home (if we have enough scratch paper already).  So far we haven't had any problems.  Ocassionaly I've tossed stuff that has been sitting around forever and never put up.  I give them warnings that if they don't do something with it then I'm getting rid of it and then I do.  Usually that is just papers they colored in school for holidays that are boring and plain.

nucle... nuclear_sugar

My toddler generates about 3 art projects per day (He stays at home with my sister, and he's VERY into the arts); if I saved everything, I wouldn't be able to walk around my house at this point, for all the crafts stuffed everywhere.

We put up an "art board" in my son's room for him to show off his favorite art pieces every month. He picks the ones he likes, and I add to it if there's something I really want to keep. The rest I throw out on the sly, but, since he's getting to see his "favorites," he doesn't really miss them. Whenever the board fills up, I take everything off, save about 1/3 of the most memorable projects in a big rubber tub, and toss the excess. He's usually so busy MAKING crafts that he doesn't notice where the old ones go.

CaliL... CaliLily84

I would display them on the fridge for a few days, and save my favorites to keep forever.  Thats what my mom did, and my sis and i love looking at our old stuff every now and then.  It's fun.  I'm sure my son will want the same.

cmb12... cmb121906

Wow. I plan on saving EVERY little scribble my child brings home. I don't care if I have 12 dozen totes full of this so called "garbage" in my basement. I wish my mom saved my stuff. I think its fun to look back on that stuff.

s.teph s.teph

I'm 29, and my father recently mailed me a fed ex box full of my art work as a child. Now I'm sure he didn't keep ALL of it, and I'm not suggesting it's a crime to throw it away, but I thought it was really neat that he did that. For one, I never realized he cared enough to save it and it brought tears to my eyes knowing that he did, and second, I didn't realize I was that creative in my youth.. some of them were sort of average, and others I looked at with amazement all over again lol. It was really kind of cool. I hope to do that for my own son some day.

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