Is it OK to chuck away your child's art?

17th May: A dilemma faced by parents everywhere – but what’s the answer?

My parents moved out of our old family home recently. Having spent nearly 30 years there, it was a house packed with memories. And stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.

So, like lots of people who move, they got rid of lots of stuff. Some of that “stuff” included pieces of art I’d made as a child and teenager. *sob*

I was incensed. How could they do such a thing?! Didn’t they feel my beautiful pictures had any kind of emotional significance?!

And then I stopped to think. My own daughter is not yet two and already our house is full to the rafters of paintings and drawings, hastily scribbled on sheets and sheets of paper. What will I do with it all? Surely I can’t keep it? Every single piece?

My mum and dad were forced to make some selection decisions recently. That embroidered candle I made from felt when I was eight years old? That stayed. But my sketchbook from a school trip to Tenby? That was chucked.

For them, it was all about the emotional connection they felt to certain things I’d made as a child. It was about the memories that those pictures triggered.

Which is exactly why Jez is becoming a serial hoarder. He admitted this morning that he can’t bear the thought of a rubbish lorry being driven down the road, carrying his son and daughter’s precious drawings.

So he keeps them all. Every. Single. One.

But Maggy Woodley, who runs a leading children’s craft website, admits that isn’t always the best solution…

Maggie on keeping kids' art

Mum and writer Hollie Smith knows only too well the significance of throwing away your children’s art. She told us she doesn’t think it’s always possible to keep it – but warned us that if you’re planning to bin it, you'd better be prepared for the fall out!

Hollie on keeping kids' art

So what do you think?

Is it ever OK to chuck away your children’s artwork?

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