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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splen... splendid2onspec

I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but when my kids make art I scan them into my computer.  i save the originals for  a while to boost their self esteem on the fridge or whatever but then I toss them out, but I will forever have their art in my pc

shaw6033 shaw6033

I think that with all the tools we have today you can keep every scribble. On a disk that is. I have four kids and after i saw how much art work my oldest would bring home I started scanning them into the computer and saving them on disk. That way i can keep it forever. Sometimes at the end of the month we gather up all the art work and cut out their favorite parts to make a collog. The recycle the rest. Tell the they have to recycle it to get more paper to draw on.

eeyor... eeyoreplus4

I save special things like cards they made/make, but I do toss a lot. 17 years of kids & 4 kids, I'd have to buy another house to hold it all :) But I will admit, I sneak when I get rid of stuff. I let it pile up on my desk & layer on the fridge & when the older kids are @ school & lil bit is sleeping, I pull out the bottom layers & shred them (my kids would check the garbage).

Mommy... Mommyx2BG

I agree with a many of the responses about saving the papers that they were most proud of. Lately for my 3yr has been everything she makes while in preschool. A few months ago...I dedicated a wall in the hallway as their "Art Gallery" so whenever they come home from school with a new art project...I tape it up onto their special wall. It makes them so happy and it keeps the art work from piling up elsewhere.

nonmember avatar Angie

I used to save everything my kids made but then we had a house fire and lost everything we ever owned and it made me realize it's just stuff. Lives cant be replaced but those things in a way can be.

deede... deedee180

scrapbooks are great i don't keep everything but i do keep a lot of it they are only young once when they grow up you can pull it out an reminice and give it to them someday to show their own chidren it is a great tradition.  like i buy them a new christmas ornamnet every year for christmas and when they move out and get married i will give them to them

jchris jchris

I keep it up for while and when they arent looking i trash it!! lol  They can barely remember all the artwork they make anyway! lolhugs

choli... cholita1978

I have a two year old who goes to daycare everyday is some type of art work, I too only save the important ones "like mother's day" :-) but you are right if I save everything my house wouldbe full, and I am also a neat freak. 

peppe... peppermintmocha

Between 2 kids, I bring home at least 6 art projects a day. That would be roughly 1440 pieces of art a year. I live in a small apt and just don't have room for that.  They have an art board to put stuff on and when they are sleeping, I take the older stuff to the dumpster. I have kept some things, like the first time my dd wrote her name or mothers day cards etc. But it is just stuff. Stuff that they will probably throw away as adults, like I did with all the stuff my mom kept. I love that my children are creative, but we need room to keep clothes and toys not paper.

Lynette Lynette

 fun thing to do is mail their art to grandparents, aunts etc.  u can turn it into a learnning moment and add addressing the letter themselves.  Another thing you can do is take pictures of their art before you throw it away or mail it out

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