Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hoarder or Collector?

On at least three occasions, we have found food or left over cheese wrappers hidden under Ben's bed. Today we found a bowl full of an entire package of pepperoni there and by the looks of it, it had been a few days.

The culprit? Sean, our three year old.

Rather than overreacting, I have asked Sean some questions to try to understand his behavior - Is he hungry? Does he know he can come to Mommy or Daddy for food? Does he know he can not eat in bedrooms? Besides being able to tell me that the food is for him, not Ben, I am not sure what is going on here.

I just looked at a few sites about hoarding food and it sounds like at this age, it can be common for children to collect things. At an older age, like 7, it can be a controlling parent issue. If the child has had a time in their life where food was scarce, they may also exhibit this behavior.

And when a 40 year old mom hides her favorite candy, Milk Duds, a special present from her own mother, well that's just normal.

If anyone has insight into this behavior or into the psyche of a three year old boy, please comment. In the meantime, I have the exterminator coming so we do not have a bug problem!

And last but not least, Ryan's viewpoint: We should be proud that Sean put the pepperoni in a bowl.


  1. Okay, Ryan's viewpoint made me laugh! He's right! You know, it could be Sean just likes to have a secret hiding spot. Maybe suggest other things he could hide? Or, if it is about food, have a "secret snack box" that's kept in the kitchen/refrigerator and has his name on it?

  2. Leslie - great ideas. I think I will try the secret snack box for him. Although, cross my fingers and knock on some wood, there's been no food under Ben's bed for several days. Perhaps my bug talk worked - Sean hates bugs.

  3. Don’t overreact. As a kid, I took cereal & chocolate milk into my bedroom. I hid the bowls and cups under my bed until I was in my teens. Sometimes, we just want to have a place to sit and have a snack in a quiet place that is all ours. Kevin C.


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