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DS(8) strange obsession

(292 Posts)
Namechangelar Sat 25-Jan-20 02:17:41

Okay so I’ve NC for this as very outing, but I’d like some opinions about my son and where I should draw the line and possibly some suggestions as to why my son is like this.

My DS is nearly 8 and for some time he has had an obsession with things that are very old. He loves history, but this is next level. For Christmas he asked Santa for an old oil painting similar to one we had seen in a charity shop. We thought he’d forget about it as what kid wants one of those, but he went on about it for weeks until we were at the point of we can’t not get it because it would ruin Christmas! He is nearly 8 ffs!

What concerns us is that this isn’t the first odd gift, he got some money for Christmas and now has a collection of thimbles and old carriage clocks, prior that he has bought items such as an old mirror and and old trinket box. My grandpas house is more modern than his bedroom so it’s not like this is a role model scenario, but the place looks like an old girls house clearance.

He is into “normal” 8 year old boy things too, Lego, wrestlers, reading books etc but this year for his birthday he has asked for an old carpet and I just cannot deal. These are not normal requests and whilst I thought I’d be very much you like what you like, I’m not seeing the no fucks side because I feel it’s a pattern of strange behaviour and I don’t know how to deal with the situation the best.

I can’t take him into charity shops without him wanting to look through all the knickknack crap, it’s painful, he begs me to let him spend his money on a porcelain dog and a pocket watch! It’s not even old cars etc, just pure crap.

We are lucky to have a large living area so when friends come to play they don’t have to see his room and I feel awful for even saying that, but I don’t want him to be bullied at school just for liking all this old toot! Is this just a phase he will grow out of or could there be something underlying here? As time goes on I think it’s more than just being an old soul, he wouldn’t be bothered if I said no clubs or tv if he was naughty, but if I took the flipping oil painting away for a week I think he’d feel that was the biggest punishment from the above.

Any suggestions MN?

InkogKneeToe Sat 25-Jan-20 02:24:17

He has an interest that doesn't fit the social norm.

Does it matter? Is he harming himself or anyone else? You should be teaching him to be proud to be an individual and different to the rest, not ashamed.

UndertheCedartree Sat 25-Jan-20 02:32:06

Sounds like he likes collecting. I honestly don't think it is that bad. Kids like all sorts of things. Do you talk to him about what he likes about them? Maybe if you understood it a bit more you wouldn't think it was so 'wierd'. My DS (12) wanted a super complex expensive calculator for Christmas. I don't really get that and I'm sure it was a bit 'abnormal' for his age. But it made him happy.

HarryHarry Sat 25-Jan-20 02:34:19

I’m confused. What’s wrong with him liking what he likes? Are you just concerned about him fitting in with his peers?

PolPotNoodle Sat 25-Jan-20 02:47:11

The way you've written this sounds like you're embarrassed by him and his interests.

Checkmeowt Sat 25-Jan-20 02:47:44

I don't think it's weird, pretty cool to be fair. I also don't see the problem? Most kids waste their money on 'old toot' or toys they will never play with anyway, so as long as your child is happy who cares?!

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sat 25-Jan-20 02:51:28

Honestly? Let him get on with it! He likes old things, he is interested in history, so what?
Maybe get him some books about historical stories, or non fiction even, and let him wander round the charity shops or flea markets.
Just set a limit on how much he can spend, or how many "desirable things" he can bring home, and let him get on with it.
He could be the next David Dickinson (or he could totally lose interest next week) it doesn't matter!

NotTheLangCleg Sat 25-Jan-20 03:04:49

Your soon sounds like a bright and interesting child.

I’d surround him with books and documentaries on history and antiques. There was a BBC (?) thing - the history of the world in 100 objects? And watch Antique road show with him, and perhaps get him auction catalogue, so he can learn about the periods that interest him and how to build up a proper collection.

My only concern would be if the volume of stuff was heading towards hoarding tendencies. If so then I’d implement a one in one out system - he has to sell something on eBay before he can buy another. Or only one thing a week, or whatever.

No kids should get exactly what they want whenever they want it so it is fine to say no some of the time, Make sure he spends his own money, etc.

It is fine to say no on hygiene grounds - old carpet wouldn’t be hygienic and people throw them in the tip rather than donating to charity shop. There are antique rugs but I think they’re expensive.

StoppinBy Sat 25-Jan-20 03:13:19

I don't see your issue?

Maybe he will be a history teacher or travel the world studying old ruins and artefacts when he is older.

Leave him be, you will find kids will be a lot more accepting of his cool collection that you are being.

As for the op shops, why cant you let him look but forewarn him that you wont be buying anything? I love looking at interesting old stuff at op shops and garage sales but I rarely buy anything.

MajesticWhine Sat 25-Jan-20 03:15:29

I was also going to say I would say no to the carpet. Otherwise it seems fairly harmless up to a point ie as long as you have space. I agree with you it does seem a bit strange however he is not certain to be bullied for it. Just relax about it and see what happens.

CarolineIngalls Sat 25-Jan-20 03:17:15

Be nice to him. These are important choices you are making as a parent, and will frame your relationship. He sounds like a quirky and interesting child and you should want him to feel he is cherished and not an embarrassment.

Collecting is normal at that age. My son collected rocks. He'd smuggle them out of the strangest places. They were a pain to get rid of when he was 14 .

stuckinthemiddlewithtwats Sat 25-Jan-20 03:17:22

I don't see the issue with it personally. He has a hobby that isn't the same as his peers but it's an interesting one that is doing no one any harm.
I was like that at his age and it my parents didn't have an issue with it. Just beware of bringing old fabrics into the home that may not be clean.
As NotTheLangCleg mentioned, be aware of hoarding and allow him to sell on if it gets a bit out of hand.

NeckPainChairSearch Sat 25-Jan-20 03:19:34

Is this just a phase he will grow out of or could there be something underlying here?

Like what? He likes old junk/stuff. I did when I was a kid. I loved looking around antique shops for bits and pieces.

It's not a biggie. Chances are he'll be into Minecraft instead this time next year.

TheBewildernessisWeetabix Sat 25-Jan-20 03:24:51

One of the cousins did this as a means of connecting to the past. He outgrew the interest but we all learned a lot.

PatricksRum Sat 25-Jan-20 03:28:19

Is his name Roy Cropper?

Not seeing the problem here.

kateandme Sat 25-Jan-20 03:34:50

he seems like he is a reallyinteresting young too to be interested in this stuff.i think anything esepcailly in current times,that doesnt fit the norm people see as weird or worse wrong.but is it effecting him,making him unhappy,causing him distress.this would suggest ocd or illness but from what you say its making him really can that be wrong.if others are going to be horrid then you help him deal with him be rave and strong and give him good lines to tell people in other words to fuck off.teach him strength in his own self and what he loves.
i can see how it would eventually become an issue if he is hoarding.but then like with any other kid obsession like lego etc you be the parent and say nope no more shit.but never becasue of what it is.
what is bothering you about this really?

Nancydrawn Sat 25-Jan-20 03:37:48

I think it's strange how strange you find it.

Appreciating and collecting things from the past is an excellent hobby. It's way better than amassing plastic tat. And there's nothing weirder about wanting to collect old bits and bobs than wanting to collect Pogs or Beanie Babies or whatever. It may well pass. I certainly don't have any My Little Ponies anymore.

You should watch The Repair Shop with him. If he can get into tinkering with these things and bringing them back to life, that's an actually useful skill.

And stop making him feel weird about this--get him some books and encourage him in what he loves.

(Obviously, if he's hoarding, then you need to worry about that. But this just sounds like a weird response from you, not anything to worry about.)

PeytonManning Sat 25-Jan-20 03:45:56

I can understand why you’d find it strange as he’s your first born, but it really isn’t. Kids that age are into all kind of shit. The important bit is you encourage him and show an interest. That’s really all it takes.

MaMisled Sat 25-Jan-20 03:53:23

A friends grandson was obsessed with the Royal Family and, at 12, was still collecting mugs, teatowels, thimbles etc. He read everything printed about them, past and present. Alongside this, he skateboarded, went to parties, all mainstream stuff too. Hes 26 now, in the Air Force, and STILL,proudly adores the RF.

Embrace your boys quirks.

GeorgiaGirl52 Sat 25-Jan-20 03:54:43

A few years ago my son wanted a pocket watch, a fez and a bow tie for his birthday. He was about 10 at the time. I thought it was very weird. I didn't make the connection. His uncle finally clued me in. He was replicating Doctor Who. Talk to your son and ask him why he wants these things. There may be a simple answer.

DisinterestedParty Sat 25-Jan-20 03:55:27

I'd rather he followed his own interests than just did what everyone else was doing because he didn't have the confidence to be himself.

Don't stifle him OP, he sounds adorable.

RefuseTheLies Sat 25-Jan-20 03:58:50

Your kid sounds ace. I’d much rather a room full of interesting objects than a room full of plastic tat.

FishCanFly Sat 25-Jan-20 04:07:11

Sounds like the odd one here is you. Your son could be looking at making a load of money from this in the future.

Wilkolampshade Sat 25-Jan-20 04:22:14

OP, as others have said. Completely normal and widespread behaviour. He sounds creative and interesting. Tbh, I would probably encourage it! Certainly help display objects or squash up on the sofa to look at bits from his collection together. My daughter at the same age-ish was obsessed with lines of things in diminishing size, collecting 'families' of objects, pebbles, shiny glass beads. It's nice. I think they like te feel of them in their hands - more interesting than all that plastic tat that comes before. Trust me, if you have real trouble with this tiny, rather lovely, idiosyncracy you might need to brace yourself for the storm to come through puberty and beyond. I can guarantee you'll look back on this time with fondness. He sounds like a terrific kid, you should be proud. X

Bellagio40 Sat 25-Jan-20 04:25:18

YABU - your son sounds absolutely lovely and good for him for having such an interesting hobby. Please don’t make him feel bad about it.

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