Any Mother's have children Emotionally attached to Material things??

Julie - posted on 07/11/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I would not believe it myself, but my mother in law states my husband had a friendship with his toilet growing up! He named it "Herbie" and when they moved he cried over it!

My now 8 year old has been doing the same thing. It started when he was around 5. Our dryer broke down so we turned it in for a new one. At bed time, while tucking him in I noticed he was crying? I said, what is the matter? He said, "I miss our dryer? I will never see it again? Where did it go?" I told him it went to Dryer Heaven (what the heck?) I was completely caught off guard, but let it go.

Since then, it has continued..with clothing, papers, toys, furniture. Even when he finally lost his first two teeth! He was crying? I said, what's up? "I don't want to give my teeth to the tooth fairy?" I said, honey, you don't have too." I took him one week and a written letter with instruction to the fairy that she "take care of his teeth for him."

I keep thinking it is a phase, but recently he was crying again in his room alone. I went in distraught asking, what is wrong? He said, " I don't know why I am so attached to material things?" " I miss stuff and don't know when I will see it again".

Shocked at his insight as a child, I tried to explain that giving things new homes makes other children happy, and the "things" happy as well. But I can not seem to answer his question WHY?

Last night, we put his old playroom TV out on the curb for recycle. He choked up saying, I am not going to cry but can I take a picture with the TV? I said, of course and we did. But he still cried, and it is breaking my heart.

Have any of you dealt with this? If so, how and what do you think the cause is? Is it genetic? Is he just more sensitive than others? The trigger was after watching Toy Story 3. He cried until he fell asleep, traumatized by what happened to the toys.

My other question is, do I have a potential hoarder on my hands? How can I help him transition out of his attachment to material things...thanks.

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Amy - posted on 07/11/2012

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Well we've only replaced one appliance recently and my 6 year old son who was 5 at the time was mad that we bought a new refridgerator. He actually wouldn't talk to us for a couple of hours and had to say goodbye to it as well. My son is sensitive and is very attached to things but it's hard to say if it's all things because we haven't replaced a lot. I would try and talk to him to find out why he's so attached to these material items.

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Tor - posted on 08/08/2014

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I have always suffered with an attachment problem and now i'm currently 15. However i'm starting to get over it. I used to get attached to material things such as paper and it even got to the point that i was attached to orange peel. I horded it under my bed. Eventually my mother found it, this is when i realised i had a problem. My mum used to find me crying in bed. When my mum took me to her friends house for a coffee her house was full of just crap really... then i clicked i realised i needed to throw things out. Gradually i emptied draws and got rid of things. Recently i have given away a hamster cage, i knew it was going to a good home so i didnt mind. The main problem i had and the questions i asked myself where, i wont ever see this again? or where will it end up? i needed tyo be reminded that everyone throws things away, it was a normal thing to do. The main objective is to understand what is going on and understand. children giving material things names makes things worse, i never had this problem however i got over it without any professional help.
i hope this helps.

Julie - posted on 02/18/2014

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He is not a big "cryer" like my oldest cried a lot. He is more of a whiner. The things he gets upset about are not only appliance and TV's but stuffed animals, old cards or papers. Ironically not books? lol Good news is he is NINE now, and we just replaced another appliance! My oldest JUST said last night, "did you notice Jaden has not said ANYTHING about missing the dishwasher? " I was like, SHHHHH....... don't say anything, maybe he's grown out of it :)

Julie - posted on 03/08/2013

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Hi Lili Rose, so your boy is 12 and still attached. I wa hoping mine would grow out of it, but from your story it may not be the case.
I am still waiting on therapy only because HE came to ME identifying it was a problem. I think acknowledgement is the first step, so I am hoping he can move on to the second step of acceptance to change and mature into a rational thought process when it comes to "recycling" his personal things.

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What a relief to read this. My eldest child is 12 and has similar behavior. He is attached to objects. When he was younger, first I thought it was only a stage of transitional objects like his stuff toys and pillows. But at 12, he still has them on his bed. Although when he goes to sleep at friends, he leaves them at home.
He did have problems when we had to replace appliances or give his toys away. He would get upset but them forget after a day or two and them remember again.
But what surprised me recently, he got attached to a box, an amazon box. It was a big box which he did not want to throw. First I thought he had plans to make something out of it but after 2 months of just seeing it not used , I gave him an ultimatum that it has to go because it was using too much space in his room. All of sudden he was teary eyed and called it 'boxy' . It even had a name. I gave him a week to put it awayand then the day came that it had to go, he was upset and sad that boxy had to go. I helped him fold it and he went to the paper container in the neighnborhood to throw it himself .Then I discovered he kept a fourth of the box and made it into a smaller box. He said to have a part of boxy.
His younger sibling thinks he is weird. We had an incident with a sticky note, grocery list for his camp which I threw after doing the grocery. He said he wanted sticky note back and was searching garbage can of the grocery for it. It was beyond our understanding why he did that.
A box? A sticky note?
My son is a premature baby and thinking can it be something not developed in his brain .
Is therpy helping your child???
What diagnosis did the therapist say?

Julie - posted on 07/11/2012

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@Amy: Thanks for sharing a similar incident you had with your son. As far as asking him why he is attached, like I said, he asked me why?
I did not have a good answer, so I am reaching out to others for advice.

Julie - posted on 07/11/2012

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@Louise: I know? It is odd right? He cry's about "material things" those were HIS words. He asked ME WHY he cried and missed "things" so much! I don't know what to tell him...

When like your example said, the "toaster blows up" he is fine. It's when we "throw the toaster away" that he falls apart.

As far as the husband story, my son has not heard it yet. Besides, it was one scenario for my husband, but it seems to be more for my son.

I will try therapy if it continues, I was just hoping it was a phase, or somewhat normal...thanks

Louise - posted on 07/11/2012

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I have never heard of this before. Does he cry at anything or just literally household appliances. Has he heard about his dads weird behaviour as a child and thinks he is being like him. I think you should sit down with him and have it out once and for all. Tell him that it is a bit strange to cry over something that has no feelings. Can he tell you why he cries? Let him think about this for a while and then ask him for an answer. If you dont get anywhere I think I would want to see a therapist to see if they can get to the bottom of this. You can't have a child break into tears because the toaster blew up, it just makes no sence!

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