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Determining when it's OK to trash your kids' art work

PhotoLook at this ... what are these exactly? This is a picture of some my daughter's art work. Let's be real - it's not very good.

This "art" is an upper case 'J' and a lower case 'j', with a homemade leprechaun to the right.

The words "colossal" and "disappointment" come to mind.

We are not talking about a Baby Monet here, or even a young, less deranged Jackson Pollock.

There is no way to monetize this stuff, either. E-Bay was a no. The museums passed. 

The problem is that this is your kid, and the art work is coming in by the case. Every day. It's everywhere. On the fridge. In drawers. In folders. In her room. On the walls. On the floors. 

Some of it made it all the way to the recycling bin, until she saw it and promptly took it back out. To trash, or even recycle, this work deeply offended her. To throw it away is a confirmation of your worst fears: You are indeed a terrible parent, and  one day said child will spend thousands of dollars in counseling wondering why her dad threw away her drawing of a sunny beach.

It's an impossible decision every parent battles - when is the right time to trash this stuff? As a semi-functioning adult, it's now apparent the art work I completed as a 4-year-old was just brutal. Coloring outside the lines. Substandard craftmanship. Seventy-degree angle when the piece required a nice, 90-degree line. A continued inability to make a tower.

Yet so much of my work exists today because my parents preferred to throw it in a giant box rather than to do the right thing and throw it in the trash.

There is only one way to go: Save one out of every 10 pieces, trash the rest and blame the dog.

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Miss Ellie

"Blame the dog?" ...really??? I deserve better.

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