Advanced search

to ask how YOU deal with destrucive 3year olds?

(29 Posts)
SeasonalVag Tue 08-Nov-16 17:07:31

Today my son has: Ripped a massive sheet off newly wallpapered wall....
pulled down the fourth curtain pole in six weeks - he pulled down this one on saturday.

I have run out of options and am unwilling to smack.

Nothing works. He has no SN, he's just a bhappy, gregarious but bold child. He is trashing my house.

Collective wisdom please?

Gowgirl Tue 08-Nov-16 17:10:58

3 of the little sods here.....i have nothing left to break!

SeasonalVag Tue 08-Nov-16 17:14:41

It's totally unacceptable. I punish to no avail. He knows what is and what is not acceptable. We are firm parents who don't take any nonsense from our kids, I have no idea how to handle this.

Viasabatthe2nd Tue 08-Nov-16 17:18:16

I have n idea, but when you find out please let me know. My 3 year old DD has totally trashed my house. I am not buying anything new until she is 18.

RedStripeLassie Tue 08-Nov-16 17:18:34

Urgh, one very destructive 3 yr old here. I've just stopped being sentimental about the necklaces and nice mugs she breaks.

StillaChocoholic Tue 08-Nov-16 17:20:56

Place marking for the magic answer grin

NattyTile Tue 08-Nov-16 17:22:47

Keep him by your side so he can't do the damage. Give him lots to do which gives the same feedback - ripping paper off the wall, maybe try ripping newspapers to make papier-mâché; swinging off the curtains, turf him into the garden to swing, or head off to the park.

Get outdoors as much as possible, basically run him ragged during the day so he's happy to settle once you're home. If there are reasons you have to stay in, try being as physical as you can safely be inside - indoor mini trampoline type thing, or stack of cushions to bouncy on, running up and down the stairs (assuming he can do that safely), playdough or biscuit dough to squish and squeeze, washing up bowl with half an inch of water and a load of bubbles, with some straws to blow through to make bubble mountains.

Believeitornot Tue 08-Nov-16 17:25:11

More supervision

Also he's three so still very impulsive. Things like the curtains - why not show him how to handle the curtains. Let him draw them with you in the morning.

Did he see you or someone wallpapering? Maybe he wanted to have a go.

Teach him how to behave instead of telling him off all the time. How can you expect him to know what to do when he's hardly had time to learn everything....

yummymummycleo Tue 08-Nov-16 17:33:29

Is it when he's angry? My 3yo went through a stage of throwing, hitting biting etc when he was angry. He's purposely spoilt a few things in the house but minimal damage.

I brought him two books about being angry which he reads with dad at bedtime. We discuss what to do when he's angry a lot. He has a calm down bottle, but could be toy or anything.

Have you tried a sticker chart? We have one and I go over the top with praise when he uses his gentle hands and controls his anger. It's a bit hit and miss but works better than nothing.

Thankfully we re coming out of it now

LivingOnTheDancefloor Tue 08-Nov-16 17:55:58

We had to move out while house work was being done. Tiny temp accommodation, the DCs didn't like it that much.
Since then, when they destroy something I tell them to be careful or we will have to move out again while "the man comes back to fix the house".
I emphasize "you are BREAKING the HOUSE".
It doesn't work all the time though...
They are 2.5 yo.

LivingOnTheDancefloor Tue 08-Nov-16 18:00:27

Love the "supervise him" advice... Mine ripped wallpaper from the wall while I was using the toilet, they were strapped in the buggy, with books/toys. I guess I could have taken them with me hmm

SeasonalVag Tue 08-Nov-16 18:20:27

thanks everybody. Feel slightly better....

I do supervise, but am I really to make him stand by me while I call the boilerman (wallpaper) or take him with me to change the beds (curtains)? Is that what you all do? looks like ill have to do it.

We talk about what hapened, why he did it, how I feel, how he should behave in future, all kisses and apologies. Except when i saw the curtain pole today I just burst into tears and started shouting.

He's not angry...he's never angry actually....but he'll deliberately wait for me to be absent then plunge into mischief. The curtain thing happens because he likes to jump onto the window cill and leap off, he absolutely terrifies me.

Kids go to football, rugby, tennis and swimming, they're very active. When its dry, theyre outside trampoling etc. It's been so wet today and I wonder what will be left of me by spring.

Farmmummy Tue 08-Nov-16 18:42:59

I find locking in the cupboard particularly effective. Actually who am I kidding if I actually did try this she would probably break her way out.

Disclaimer I was joking and have never locked either of my dds in a cupboard or anything else grin however dd2 is only 20 months and is an absolute tornado, she seems able to leave a path of destruction if you so much as blink. I dread her as she gets older but the only thing that has been working a bit recently has been her obsession with naming things I have been telling her that there's nothing to name if she breaks them. Won't work for long though

Wolfiefan Tue 08-Nov-16 18:49:42

You need to supervise wherever possible. When you have to do something set him on a task first or take him with you. Can he do a "job" whilst you do sheets?
He needs clear consequence. He's being naughty. It will work. You have to issue a consequence for every bad behaviour.

Spottyladybird Tue 08-Nov-16 18:57:33

Mine is with me most of the time when she's at home. Obviously phone calls are tricky but when I'm changing beds she helps- she can take pillow cases off pillows etc.
We try to explain why we don't do things too so she has an understanding.
3 is hard though, the other day I popped upstairs for a wee (2 mins max) and came down to her having drawn on herself to become a kitten!

bumsexatthebingo Tue 08-Nov-16 18:58:53

I would make sure that he puts money towards making any damage good. So for eg if he usually gets a magazine/toy/sweets on a certain day I would tell him that he won't be getting it that week as you've had to use the money for screws/glue whatever it is.
If it is still a problem then it would have to be constant supervision. He will soon get bored of having to follow you around doing chores/not being able to play in his room etc and when you decide to trust him again make sure that he knows if he won't look after things he will need to stay with you again until you think he can be more sensible.

PicnicPie Tue 08-Nov-16 18:59:50

Both my girls are terrors at ages 2.3 and 3.10. They are generally well behaved but they touch everything and love jumping off sofas. I've decluttered as much as possible. But as I'm out of house working their grandparents provide care for them when not at nursery and are obviously are alot more relaxed with these things then we are. Grates on me, but hey they are happy and secure and safe and that's the most important thing. We purposely didn't renovate house when we bought pre kids and im so happy we didn't. We've had wallpaper tearing, fingermarks on walls, pictures moved, photo frames broken and contents of drawers emptied to name a few. My bro has a newly renovated house, lovely cream carpets and a 6 and 3yo I don't know how he manages to keep so pristine.

Theladyloriana Tue 08-Nov-16 19:02:19

Absolutely agree with posters saying supervise, involve, teach, replace sensation with something similar, exercise, never shouting, and wine after bed time. You are nearly out of the woods op,toddlerdom doesn't last forever, thank god. Well done for getting this far! flowers

Believeitornot Tue 08-Nov-16 19:03:08

I would make sure that he puts money towards making any damage good. So for eg if he usually gets a magazine/toy/sweets on a certain day I would tell him that he won't be getting it that week as you've had to use the money for screws/glue whatever it is

Sorry but I can't see that ever working on a 3 year old grin

ThatsWotSheSaid Tue 08-Nov-16 19:05:27

You need to get some in door toys for him to jump of/swing on/spin around in etc.
I recommend bean bags and mini trampolines.

isthistoonosy Tue 08-Nov-16 19:07:46

Mine keeps throwing things he seems to think its a game - today it was a flask (an old one they had for tea parties) at me and his sister.
To say I lost my shit is an understatement - never before have the words -,SIT DOWN - landed three bums in different rooms on the floor so.quickly (almost wish my dh had been home to see if he would have also sat down grin )

Also waiting patiently for someone to come here with the answer.

bumsexatthebingo Tue 08-Nov-16 19:09:15

My now much older dd had pocket money at that age. She broke something that I had asked her quite a few times to leave alone. The last time I asked her I told her that if she broke it I wasn't replacing it and she would have to replace it with her pocket money. She broke it, she paid, she wasn't happy. Don't think she's ever broken anything else.
I also remember a time my son (who was maybe a little older - 4 or 5) was refusing to walk to school. I told him that he had the choice to walk or I wold call a taxi and use his magazine money to pa for it. He walked. Hit them in the pocket that's what I say! 3 yrs old isn't too young to learn that things cost money. Why should the op pay and the child who's destroying stuff still have treats? Obviously if it's a younger child or the damage is genuinely accidental then that's different.

SleepFreeZone Tue 08-Nov-16 19:09:23

I'm afraid I shout, scream and have certainly cried when it's been expensive. He is nearly 4 now and getting much better but i now have a 9 month old that I fear is hoping to be much much worse 😁

SleepFreeZone Tue 08-Nov-16 19:09:37


ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Tue 08-Nov-16 19:20:05

What sort of punishments are you doing?

Ds (almost 3) has started lashing out at me and dh. He's been firmly told no etc, reasoned with etc, but nothing worked. After a hellish weekend he now knows that every time he does it, I take a toy away for the rest of the day, starting with his favourite. He gets one warning per day and that's it. It seems to be working, though time will tell. I don't like punishing in this way but some things are just very bad behaviour and need to be stopped. I'd include wilful and repeated destruction in that category tbh.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now