Over the last year or two, my daughter Betty has developed a deep love of unicorns. A passion? An obsession? Not sure how to classify it, but she is WAY into them. Her heart skips a beat with every unicorn image she sees, and at the top of every wish list she makes (for holidays or birthdays) is a unicorn-something-or-other.

I saw Betty reading The Last Unicorn the other day, and it started me thinking about my other kids and their particular obsessions. It occurred to me that only some of my kids had really developed specific obsessions (at least so far), and that the same was true in the 8-kid house I grew up with. It doesn’t seem to be a universal thing, and it makes me wonder if it’s more of a personality type.

I have one brother who is totally prone to obsessions. As a kid, it was baseball cards, then aquarium fish, then extreme-skiing. As an adult, it’s been flash (programming), paragliding and solo backpacking. In each case, the passions don’t seem to overlap much time-wise. He’s really, really into something, and then he’s really, really into the next thing. He doesn’t dislike the previous passion, he just becomes more passionate about the next thing. And he dives deep. Whatever the passion is, he’s all in. Books, magazines, movies, equipment, online groups, and lots of participating in real life.


gifts for a unicorn obsessed kid

Unicorn Sources: When Your Kid Is Unicorn Obsessed.

1) Unicorn tape dispenser, to spark many creative projects.
2) Iron-on patch, for a backpack or jean jacket.
3) Dying over this rainbow backpack! I love the low positioning.
4) Unicorn Snot, glitter gel for the whole body!
5) Geometric unicorn necklace, so charming.
6) Cupcake toppers for any sweet occasion.
7) Epic pool float.
8) I’d love this magnetic unicorn on Betty’s vanity for bobby pins!
9) Origami enamel pin to adorn any favorite item.
10) This wooden wall art is just too cool.
11) Unicorn make-up brushes, just to dust some blush and glitter would be a treat.
12) Darling knee high socks perfectly adorned.
13) Unicorn Vans, enough said.

Bonus: Unicorn doll in the top photo is by Meri Meri. It’s Betty’s favorite. It’s about 18″ and so adorable. I love the closed eye.


My daughter Olive seems to have similar tendencies — she gets really passionate and dives deep, and then eventually moves on to the next obsession. Perhaps Betty will follow in her footsteps. But for the other kids I don’t see a pattern as clearly. Yes, Oscar likes sharks, and Maude loved cross-country for a couple of years, but the passion doesn’t seem to go as deep or get replaced by another passion.

Having a kid with an obsession is nothing I worry about, but it does make me curious. Do you feel like any of your kids have obsessions? If yes, do they seem to be permanent obsessions, or do they shift every couple of years? Do you find it worrisome or see it as a cute quirk? (I suppose it might depend on the actual obsession.) I’d love to hear your take.