Parents Canada - - Up Front -


Watch as your child finds won­der in the small­est of ob­jects in her en­vi­ron­ment and then wants to keep them close. Want­ing to take a lit­tle piece of that ex­pe­ri­ence home is not un­usual for preschool­ers. At this age, an ob­ject that is like gold one day, but may be for­got­ten about the next. Ei­ther left be­hind with­out a sec­ond thought or mourned over for a few min­utes, preschool­ers are very good at liv­ing in the mo­ment but then eas­ily move onto the next treasure.


School aged chil­dren are more in­clined to cre­ate col­lec­tions and have a harder time say­ing good­bye. Since they are learn­ing all about sort­ing and clas­si­fy­ing ob­jects into groups at school, col­lec­tions can help with this. In ad­di­tion, there’s the thrill of the hunt as the child dis­cov­ers an­other item to add to his col­lec­tion and there’s the so­cial as­pect of maybe even trad­ing items with a friend who has a sim­i­lar col­lec­tion. So, hold­ing onto ma­te­rial ob­jects at this age is quite com­mon and forc­ing a child to part with it or them should be dealt with sen­si­tively.


Teens are a mixed bag. Some are very ca­sual when it comes to giv­ing their ma­te­rial items away while oth­ers hold onto a torn pair of jeans be­cause it re­minds them of a spe­cial oc­ca­sion. Some ap­pear to never know where their pos­ses­sions are, while oth­ers have a dif­fi­cult time shar­ing with oth­ers. Some of this has to do with their in­di­vid­ual tem­per­a­ment, with the way in which let­ting go of an ob­ject was han­dled in ear­lier years and also by the kind of mod­el­ling they’ve seen from the adults in their world.

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