I’ll just have to find a way to live with all the guilt

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A new survey has revealed that parents are racked with guilt about ditching their children’s artwork, with the majority of mums and dads feeling under pressure to keep their children’s creations on display at home.

The survey of 1,000 parents led by refrigeration manufacturer Lec, found that two-thirds of us feel guilty about taking pictures down prematurely, with 90 per cent of those questioned keeping the majority of their children’s creations rather than throwing them away.

Despite this, a quarter of parents admit that the novelty of their children bringing pictures and paintings home from school or nursery has worn off. Whilst two per cent of those questioned refuse to put anything up because it doesn’t match their interior design.

The fridge is still the most common place for pictures to be displayed, with 70 per cent of people choosing to showcase artwork in the kitchen.

According to the findings, on average children bring 48 pieces of art home from nursery or school per year, meaning the typical family home could house more than 800 pieces of art by the time children leave primary school.

I’d say in reality the numbers are much higher and it’s not just artwork, but literacy and maths work too, as well as the odd unidentifiable creation you are left struggling to carry home, leaving a trail of loo rolls and pipe cleaners as you go.

There has been many an awkward moment when he has come out of school beaming with pride over his latest bulky creation and I am left trying to find a more tactful way of saying ‘That’s lovely darling, what on earth is it?’, while hazarding my best informed guess.

‘That’s a fantastic, erm, robot? Spaceship? Flying cereal box?!

‘Well yes, of course I knew it was really a castle, sweetie!’

Our home is fairly small so I need to be ruthless when it comes to what I keep.

Every few months I’m forced to wade through the pile of papers that have accumulated and, it’s true, I do it with a sense of guilt and only when he’s not there to witness my shameful behaviour.

I extract the pieces that I can tell he has worked hard on and then hurriedly stuff the rest straight into the recycling bin, which luckily he is too short to see into at the moment!

I once made the mistake of putting one of his many constructions into our kitchen bin, only to have him find it and question with a pained look of dismay how it had come to be in there.

Even though at the moment they insist that every piece should be kept and are indignant at any suggestion to the contrary, I don’t think any of our children would thank us when they move into their first home and we back up a truck brimming with enough paper to papier-mâché a small village.

So for now I think I will just keep sneaking the not-so-great bits in the bin while he isn’t looking and just find a way to live with the guilt.