We love our little ones, and always want the best for them, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also want the best for our Picasso, our heirloom Baby Grand Piano, our white carpet, or our carefully curated collection of LPs.

Anyone who’s ever had a child (or even a pet they treated as a child) well knows that babies often take a destructive precedence over all our most treasured possessions. Of course, you love your babies more than the Fender guitar signed by Jimi Hendrix, but the selfish mum knows how to have both (and keep both safe). Here are a few tips.

1. Know the street value of what your heart values

Most people overestimate the value of their favorite objects, if you’ve ever seen the American television program, Antiques Roadshow, you know what I’m talking about. People have a penchant for assuming their favorite possessions are worth millions.

Instead of assuming you know the value of what you own, have your most important assets professionally assessed by a reliable company, and use that assessment to purchase insurance on anything you’d be permanently maudlin without.

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2. Use museum tricks

Once you’ve purchased appropriate insurance, it’s time to face the facts. Certain objects are simply irreplaceable. This is especially true of the items you’re hoping to pass along when your little ones own a home of their own. So, how do you protect those things from grubby little hands?

Steal a few tactics from museum curators, who’ve become experts at keeping cultural gems safe. First, don’t be afraid to create a barrier. There’s no reason your children won’t violate the space of a significant object, unless you create a barrier. As kids grow, barriers irritate them and instigate vandalism, but most children respond well to the suggestion that a space is hallowed ground. Use their reverence to your advantage.

3. Elevate

The great thing about children: their almost always shorter than we are. This make sit easy to protect certain items from their sweet, sticky, almost always dirt crusted little mits. Sure, putting something on top of a cabinet seems a little obvious, but get creative. Does your home have upper levels? Could there are off limit rooms within those spaces? Rooms where the children are allowed, on a supervisory basis only?

Or, could you create a kind of art/place space, where something you value (your Picasso, for example) is placed high on a wall, and the children are given a creative outlet (chalk board, canvas, etc.) beneath it?

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4. Take the opportunity to educate

As parents we are always dividing ourselves. We are individuals with needs and wants, and yet we are at the complete mercy of the corresponding needs and wants of our children. It’s helpful to remember that these relationships merge so that your young one can become a delightful big person, and teaching them about things that are valuable to you (whatever they may be) is essential to their development in the long term.

Don’t always hide your best and most prized from your children, and they may grow to appreciate and understand similar things. What could be better than that?