Why Your Kids Don’t Want What You’re Trying To Pass On To Them

Why Your Kids Don’t Want What You’re Trying To Pass On To Them

You saved that adorable little sailor outfit for 26 years so you could pass it on to your son when he had a son. You’ve been storing it for 25 years, but now he says he doesn’t want it. It hurts! Why wouldn’t he want to take what you so lovingly saved for him?

If you remember nothing else from this article, remember your son isn’t rejecting you, he’s rejecting an object. That object has value to you because you remember him toddling around in it, the admiring looks from people at church, and how he learned a cute little salute to go with the outfit. What does he remember? Nothing. To him, the sailor suit is just an object without memories. He doesn’t need it, so he turns it down like he would an offer to water plants that he’s just watered. He’s thankful but passes on the offer.

A two-year old boy in a cute sailor suit sitting next to a ship's steering wheel

Why Don’t My Kids Want The Things I Saved For Them?


Adults in their 20s and 30s tend to be more minimalistic than previous generations. They want to avoid being burdened by having too many things. Living in smaller homes and being able to move easily has value to them. Things are seen as anchors to be avoided.


Your child may be okay with accepting some or all of what you’ve saved, but their spouse may have different thoughts. Avoid arm twisting or applying guilt to make your child take things if their spouse is reluctant. Your relationship with your child’s spouse is infinitely more valuable than the things you want to pass on.


Sentimentality comes in varying degrees and varies with different objects. You may be very sentimental while your daughter isn’t. Or perhaps your daughter is sentimental about her Barbie collection and not her Breyer horse collection. People who feel less sentimental aren’t cold; they just value things differently.

Colorful, blurry background with a somewhat blurry woman holding a clear picture roll of family having fun together

What Do I Do Now?

Donate or Discard

If your kids don’t want what you’ve saved for them, take a good look at everything. If something is in good condition and can still be used, donate it. You’ll get a tax write-off AND the wonderful feeling that you’ve blessed someone. Well worth it! If some or all of what you’ve saved has no value to anyone, discard it. Take pictures to keep the memories, but then let everything go. Letting go of things now means your loved ones won’t have to deal with them when you’re gone.

Keep Your Feelings Under Control

Once you realize your child doesn’t want the things you’ve saved, be honest with yourself. If you need to grieve, take a few minutes to grieve, but just a few minutes. Fixating how great it would have been if they’d taken the things or being angry at your child or their spouse will lead to bitterness. Relationships are harmed and can even be destroyed when bitterness takes root. It’s not worth it! Once again, relationships are infinitely more valuable than things. Instead of focusing on the history of objects, memories, and expectations, focus on new adventures and building new memories. Life is a lot more fun when you do!

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