This is what your child is learning from being a collector
When a child collects things, it doesn’t matter what, it might be rocks from outside or little toys, you should support and encourage the hobby. You might think that these things are just wasting space, time and money but it’s actually doing more than that. It teaches your children very important life skills.
You will notice when your child starts to collect things some things will be more important to them than others, you will see them arranging it every now and again. When you start noticing this, what is really happening is that your child is being taught the responsibility of looking after something that means a lot to them. This responsibility is something that is likely to stay with them for ever.
Encourage your child: When your child reaches a suitable age consider adopting a pet; they will know that they are responsible for keeping the pet happy… with, let’s be honest here, a little help from you, of course.
Say for instance your child is collecting little toy cars, you will soon notice that when they play with it, they will always put it back in the same spot. Or perhaps your child enjoys collecting teddy bears and then placing them on their bed every morning. What your child is really doing is learning the value of organisational skills.
Encourage your child: Create a space for everything and follow through by demonstrating where everything must be put back after play.
You can be certain that your child knows the exact amount of rocks or dolls they have in their collection because they probably count it every time they get a new one or whenever they play with it.
Encourage your child: Randomly ask them how large the collection is now, or how many purple cars, dolls with red hair etc are in the specific collection. Showing any interest will trigger excitement, and the need to count.
Once you notice your child is interested in collecting something, you can view it as the perfect time to impart priceless money-managing skills. Discuss giving your child an allowance every month and then take them to spend it on their collection. Remember to try not to interfere too much with how they actually spend the money; allowing them to make bad decisions is how they will learn.
Encourage your child: Help teach them the value of money and how to save by offering extra payment for chores and discussing strategies for saving until they have enough money to buy their next item.
When your child is collecting toys they will also have to learn how to be patient because they won’t be able to afford buying everything they want all at once.
Encourage your child: This goes hand in hand with budgeting. Have frequent open discussions about how much money your child has saved and how far they are from reaching their goal of saving enough to buy their next highly sought after collectible.
Some children won’t be interested in collecting things at all and you should never try to force them, remember even if they are learning valuable lessons this should always be a fun experience.
Probably the most important benefit to your child is the memories, treasured items and time spent playing with or discussing the collection with loved ones.
Words: Natassha Burrell