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Gah! Help!

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Gah! Help!

Postby missmaddysmomma08 on Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:24 pm

My 7yr old dd is "collecting" (and I use that term loosely) rocks from the school playground. Every day. Not 1 or 10. But a ton. Like 1/4 of her backpack, both coat pockets, and today her agenda. Yep, a handful inside the plastic pocket in her agenda.
I know kids collect weird stuff. But at what point do I draw the line. It drives me friggin crazy. I've tried limiting the number that can come home, threatening to take soccer away, you name it.
She says "she can't help it", she "needs to", she doesn't know why she does it, only that she feels a need to do it .
The reason it's a problem now is that she is late coming in from school breaks because she feels she doesn't have enough yet, and therefore cutting in to her eating time. So she's collecting gravel basically over eating. And when she gets home she hides her coat and backpack in her closet to try to hide it from me.
My hubby feels it's just a phase. I'm not so sure? Any advice? Does she have SPD? OCD? Anxiety?
Help please :(
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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby Blacken on Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:16 pm

Are you able to honor the rocks she has? Maybe a few shelves with mason jars filled with water and rocks? (the water makes the rocks even prettier!) What about a rock polisher? Head to a local river with rocks and ask her to find her favorite 10 rocks?
I don't know that it will help curb her collecting, but maybe if she can visually see her collections more, it will make her feel warranted somehow? Our kids love rocks, shells, feathers, leaves, etc etc. Sometimes it feels like we have a nature house lol...rocks in the dryer, dried leaves in books, sticks on shelves...
"Those who hear not the music, think the dancers mad." ~unknown
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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby missmaddysmomma08 on Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:31 pm

We have her containers of them, what bugs me I think is that to me it looks like a compulsion. I don't know what to do.
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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby OnceHarmony on Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:36 pm

What is it about rocks? I don't know why kids love to collect rocks so much. I did it as a kid. My DD does it.

I myself would not make a big deal about it or threaten to take activities away. If my DD missed eating time because of collecting rocks then she learns natural consequences.

My DD has a shelf in her room and when she brings her collections home we go through them and she picks the prettiest ones to keep. Some in jars (we'll have to try the water idea) and some just on the shelf. Some of the just plain rocks get tossed by me quietly and she doesn't notice.

Does your DD want to keep ALL of them or gets upset when some get thrown out. Does she show obsessions to anything else?

7 is still young and it may just be a phase. Myself I would take a wait and see approach for now.

And the Rock Hound shop is cool. DD loves it there.

Maybe your DD will be a geologist one day and find a vein of gold. Who knows where these interests will take them one day.

And you should see me collecting beach glass. Now that's an obsession. :)

I just wanted to add what about showing an interest in it. Take her to the Rock Hound shop. Talk to her about what ones are her favourites and why.
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future ― Yogi Berra
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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby SlobberBug on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:52 am

We went through this with our son when he was in kindergarten, except it was wood chips. He would become quite attached to them, and would cry when his teacher asked him to leave them outside. He would hide them in his pockets and backpack. We came to understand what was happening for him - he didn't know what to make of recess. He is a structured activity kind of kid, and didn't do well with free play at the time. He wanted a task. An assignment. Something with clear expectations. So collecting wood chips, especially ones that "matched" was the task he assigned himself. It gave him something to focus on, instead of being overwhelmed by the chaos (or at least that's what it looked like to him) of recess.

I'm happy to say that was a phase and he plays with the other kids at recess now. But he still does like a prescribed activity with set rules. It's just who he is :)
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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby barb on Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:09 pm

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Re: Gah! Help!

Postby missmaddysmomma08 on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:01 pm

Thanks for the input all! I think it is anxiety, I had anxiety as a child and I can see it in her a bit. She used her "safety bracelet" today (I made it for her so when she feels nervous at school or needs to collect she can play with it) and only came home with about 2 dozen. I'm just trying all I can to make her feel safe and loved. I spoke to her teacher today as well and she agreed to watch for anxious behaviour. I feel we have a start in the right direction!
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