This post is not to be confused with the fantastic and very helpful online website titled Children of Hoarders (COH), but rather my observations in dealing with actual children of hoarders.
Not many people know what goes on behind the closed doors of hoarders. However, because of the work we do with Clutter Trucker, I get a glimpse of people’s lives in a very personal manner. I see the interaction between parent and child, the love, the anger, the worry and the patience it takes to help hoarders regain control.
Over the years, I have noticed it is not uncommon for my hoarder client s to have raised some of the most dynamic individuals I have met. These children have PhD’s, degrees, and they are successful, friendly, compassionate and thriving members of society.
The children are sometimes the ones who reach out to me first. They may be angry, disappointed, fearful and frustrated when they talk to me. However, when handled in a compassionate, non-threatening, non judgmental manner, we have success in helping their parents gain freedom from the clutter and chaos.
Often hoarders have a stereotype associated with them as being crazy, lazy, dirty or just downright strange. This cannot be further from the truth! Yes they may have a disorder that manifests itself into accumulating a lot of “stuff”, but so many of them have done a fantastic job raising their children.
While we clean out basements with the children’s art projects, writing and report cards, I find myself regularly praising my hoarders on their parenting skills. Parenting is not easy, and I am certain it is not easy when battling the issue of hoarding.
Interestingly enough it is the grandchildren than sometimes prompts my clients to get help! What a blessing for them both. Let the babies be the motivation for a healthy clean environment to add years onto their lives!