- What input do you have for other COH raising children of their own?
- What has helped you, what routines do you teach your children?
- What do you tell them about their grandparents?
Please post your comments below if you choose, to share with other site visitors.
A recovering person who hoards sent in this list for the site of
“How Not To Raise A Hoarder.”
- Stand over your kids when they are trying to do their homework, correcting spelling and other mistakes as they go.
- Pick all their clothes for them and be overly involved in their daily clothing decisions…as long as they are neat and clean and reasonably well put together.
- Talk frequently about how most people are not to be trusted and have alterior motives, complain and comment about the neighbors and others – “he has BO”, “she’s not all there”, “they’re just looking for a free babysitter by shoving their kids off on us”, and so forth.
- Tell an adult child that you don’t like their hair, weight, clothing, or other personal choices unless asked.
- Fuss about every little thing that happens to the grandkids, such as every crumb on their face.
- Freak out about spilled milk.
- Make your child a confidant for problems that you should be discussing with another adult. Just because you don’t have any friends doesn’t mean that you should unload on the child!
- Make them color inside the lines.
- Emphasize the importance of things over people and their feelings…is it really “too good to use”?
- Overdramatize everyday events. It isn’t “criminal” or “terrible” that people choose to throw things away.
- Be there ready to catch children and correct every mistake. Make them “buck up” a little bit so that they can develop self confidence, decision making skills, and the ambition to make it in this world.
- Don’t hand-wring and create anxiety where there shouldn’t be any.
- Be such a control freak that your kids don’t feel like they have any control at all over anything, including their daily clothing choices, hair style, or other matters that aren’t important in the whole scheme of things. Later, when the child becomes an adult, they will struggle with decision making, self confidence, and control issues themselves. In some ways, they may seek to control in their own lives because they were denied any kind of control as kids. (I am not advocating that kids be raised with no guidance or discipline…obviously those things are important.)
- Have friends and invite them in, entertain a little bit at least.
- Promote decision making skills in kids by allowing them to choose their daily outfit, complete their own homework, cereal for breakfast, how they will spend some of their time.
- Allow your kids to wear their hair in the style of their choosing, within reason.
- Buy your kids one or two trendy pieces of clothing now and then so they fit in.
- Push your kids past some of their fears, riding bikes or swimming for example, so that they know these skills
- Try to put things into perspective. One of the things about hoarders is that their fears are totally disproportionate to reality. These fears are sometimes rooted in childhood with their own parents who were/are extremely conscientious – almost to the point of neuroticism.
- Teach your kids to prioritize, and focus on the larger issues and let the smaller ones go. Don’t place the same emphasis on small problems that you do on the big ones.
- Teach your kids how to manage your time. This is something hoarders are terrible at. (IMO)
- Don’t correct every single mistake, let the small ones go.
- Let them color outside the lines!
- Unless it really is a collectable, let the kids play with their toys.
- Above all, tell your children frequently that you love them!
Additional sent in via the anonymous COH website feedback form (thank you!):
anthropomorphize every single inanimate object your kid plays with. Obviously, your kids will have a few favorite stuffed animals – but when your kid attaches yarn and construction paper to a sock or cardboard tube, it does not mean that is a dolly forevermore.
have your kids do a purge of their toy collection every fall.
They should learn that it’s smart to clean out the ones they’ve outgrown or broken, to make space for the new toys they’ll get for the holidays. One thing in = one thing out…a concept I still find magical and amazing!
Do you have some input to add to this list?