There’s No Shame In Throwing Away Your Kid’s Artwork

“You should have three of these,” my son’s beloved preschool teacher says to me as she hands me his work from that day of class. As I gently turn over the precious project in my hand I realize that, yeah, she’s right. I should. It’s an All About Me book that each of my three children created at one time or another in her class.

Here’s where I have to confess to the worst crime a loving mother can commit, though: I threw my kid’s artwork out, and I’m not a bit sorry about it.

See, my eldest son is 12-years-old. TWELVE. If I’d kept every project, every doodle, every glitter covered monstrosity that was ever created with his incredible imagination and his little hands, I’d need a pod parked in my driveway just to store all of it. Now multiply that by three, and you have the situation over here.

Not everything is special. Not every craft is worth storage and immortalization. Recently, I discovered one of my kids had a large heap of plastic and scraps of paper. When I asked him about it, he matter-of-factly stated, “Oh that, that’s my paper collection.” No kid, that’s a pile of freaking junk. Bye, bye, paper collection. I’d like you to meet your new owner, garbage can.

Don’t get me wrong, if they wrote their name on something for the first time, I probably saved it. If the project had some sort of duel use, like a mug or a t-shirt, we’re probably using it. But, if it’s a bunch of ink splotches made by my 2-year-old from those colorful daubers the old ladies use at Bingo… no. All the no’s in nopeland. That ain’t art; it’s garbage, and my life-long goal is to not end up on an episode of Hoarders.

Photo: Getty

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