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do you have 2 yr old who is deliberately destructive?

(28 Posts)
thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 20:10:16

cos i do, and I am losing the will to live quite frankly.

he has always been a handful. but it's just too much now. he is just constantly looking for things to break or destroy.

he sees a box of something, it must be tipped on the floor.
he regularly empties out ALL the boxes of toys. he doesn't want to play with them, he stomps through them and leaves them
if there is a toy that has something that cn be pulled off, he will pull it off

the other day he snapped the door off his brand new wooden toy kitchen that he had for his birthday. this was after a few days of repeatedly getting behind it and sending it crashing to the floor.
today he played nicely with it again, so i glued the door back on. the moment he saw it he bent it right back until it snapped again. It is now going in the attic

it's embarassing when people come round and find he has broken things they have given him, or things that were given to his older 2 brothers (neither of whom were like this, and neither of whom broke things on purpose)

I can't keep hiding stuff. He has 2 brothers who want/need to be able to play with things.. but whatever is out he will try and break.

if they are doing ANYTHING he will stomp in and break it. today it was the marble run, yesterday it was climbing up and throwing all the pens and pencils all over the floor, if they have books he will snatch them and throw them, if they're playing lego he will upend the box all over the place and try and break their models

he is banned from the kitchen after breaking the fridge door and his habit of turning the oven on, the washing machine on, opening the dishwasher and getting things out, climbing up the washing machine and getting stuff off the worktops, plugging the hoover in, getting the mop out etc etc etc

he has smashed 2 bowls by banging them on the table

I can't let him in the front garden because he gets out. we have a wall. we have a fence on top of the wall, he soon learned to unlatch the gate so we put an extra catch on it, he learned to undo that so now we have to tie it shut. he climbs over it now.

i am exhasusted. we have to clean and tidy at night because i cannot do anything during the day because as soon as I tidy one thing up he has got out and trashed 10 more things. I can't leave him alone because he breaks stuff.

I used to be one of those people who said, "ohhh, 2 year olds can't be naughty, they just don't understand". then i met ds3 hmm
People don't realise how bad he is, and then they spend an afternoon with him and they are shocked.
it isn't attention. because he gets tons. I would much rather do stuff with him than do my housework or cook the dinner. I can give him 100% of my attention and he will STILL just go off trying to find naughty things to do.
even my mum has said the same and that she has never seen a child like him (and she put up with me, so that's saying something!) she worked for years in a children's home, as a nanny, and later on as a childminder, so she has a fair bit of experience

I just don't know what to do with him. I just need a vent really. I cannot spend every minute of every day with him, he will wait until I am in the toilet before doing naughty things, or while I am cooking dinner.... i'm at my wits end. as soon as DP comes in I have to say "take him away from me" sad

I can never go out and enjoy myself with all the boys. if we get invited out to soft play or the park with other people I can't relax because I have to be constantly watching him to make sure he isn't escaping. it's so utterly, utterly draining

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 20:13:07

oh good. DP has just discovered him asleep in the middle of the stairs. He has destroyed a special limited edition CD of mine.

and yes, i know i shouldn' leave stuff where he can get it. but I live in a tiny terraced house... i simply don't have enough space to put everything he might destroy out of his reach, especially as he climbs up anything/everyrhing to get at things sad

Piggyleroux Fri 29-Jul-11 20:16:35

My 16 mo ds is like this. Today, I was in tears because I was trying to make a complicated meal and he was emptying the cupboards and smashed two plates. I can't take my eyes off him for a second. He is also dropping his daytime nap so I never get any time out. I then feel guilty for feeling like that. A lose lose situation realy.

I also know that it is probably going to get worse the nearer he gets to two.

You have my sympathy. I keep telling myself that he'll be 18 soon and probably giving me shit of a different variety that will make this period look like a walk in the park grin

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 20:19:42

yes, ds3 doesn't nap in the day any more either, so i don't even have that hour or 2 to get things done or have a break from him

omnishambles Fri 29-Jul-11 20:22:57

thisisyesterday, hi there - that sounds absolutely bloody wearing. Does he go to any sort of nursery or preschool- could he start in september for a session or two a week?

How verbal is he - my dd is actually quite violent if I'm being honest and we think it is because her speech is delayed as you know.

Is he worse during the school hols when everyone is at home or is it the same all of the time?

pickledparsnip Fri 29-Jul-11 20:26:50

My 21 month old son is a destructive little devil. My house gets trashed on a regular basis. I used to work 60hr weeks, but running after him is far more exhausting. I have to take him out a lot, I find if he burns off excess energy by running about it helps. He seems to take great delight in trashing my stuff!

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 20:27:03

no, he doesn't go to nursery or anything. I would love him to tbh, but we just can't afford it at the moment because obviously he won't get his funding until next June, and it's just so expensive to pay full price.
maybe I should start thinking about going back to work so we could put him in for a couple of mornings, although that wouldn't be much of a break for me (tho i would get to talk to actual grown-ups, which would be nice!)

he is like it all the time. doesn't matter where we are, who we're with, term time or holidays...

his speech is within the realms of normal i think. not great, but getting tghere, so no concerns yet...

Meglet Fri 29-Jul-11 20:30:39

yes. DD is nearly 3 and still trashes things. Books ripped, walls drawn on, tissues torn and scattered like snow, drinks poured on the floor etc. She's been told a million times not to do it but she ignores me. This evening she bit me and poured a huge jug of water on the bathroom floor angry.

Small house here too, there's no where to put stuff! We're pretty toddler proofed but there's a limit to what I can do. I have a stairgate across the kitchen door, God knows what would happen if she could get in there.

She's much better at nursery. I think she's bored at home and just full of beans.

I'm sure she'll grow out of it, at heart she's a happy little soul, just a bit boisterous hmm.

omnishambles Fri 29-Jul-11 20:34:05

Do you have any of those preschools in churches that are 10-15quid per session - I know it still adds up but would be worth it for the new view on things - see how he reacts to other adults/children etc.

This is going to be quite a wanky thing to say but could he have something that he could break - like packaging from parcels etc - something in a specifc place that he could go to to really break and make a mess?

I gave in with dd and had half the room sectioned off with a divider so that she couldnt get at breakable stuff and ds' toys. She has calmed down a lot lately though at 3.3.

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 21:23:36

sorry, my mum called so I have been ranting about him to her lol

meglet.. that all sounds so familiar!

I am not sure if he'd respond to a specific breaking area/item... but we'll try it and see! anything is worth a try. He does like things like the sandpit, if I let him lob sand all over the place (costs me a bomb to keep refilling) so perhaps he just needs more stuff like that

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 21:24:02

Am now wishing I hadn't sold the playpen, I could have used that as a room divider! bum

Nihilisticbunny Fri 29-Jul-11 21:25:54

Oh god yes, I have 21 month old ds2 who is a complete pita. He totally bullies his older brother hmm poor ds1 can't have anything without ds2 following him round and shrieking, also he hits/pinches/bites mostly me and ds1, dd and dp seem immune???

He is also a climber and destroyer, very very determined when he wants something. I do time outs and saying a sharp no and ignoring blah blah, he just laughs <aaaaaghh>.

My older two were not so violent at this age, only had transient problems with biting etc, although dd had a rough time when ds1 was born. Although dd (7) atm is obsessed with pokemon and is currently always trying to battle poor beleaguered ds1, which inevitably leads to violence. I have banned it but fgs I have had enough of them after only one week <rocks in a corner>.

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 22:00:41

haha my ds1 (6) is also obsessed with pokemon and wants to battle anyone he catches sight of.
perhaps we should introduce them to each other?

lockets Fri 29-Jul-11 22:12:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Galena Fri 29-Jul-11 22:15:14

So my 2.3yo DD who waits till I'm out of the room making her breakfast and then tears books, rips things up, tips toys out and who pours drinks out if I give her an open cup (and shakes drinks out of her Tommee Tippee cups) isn't what EVERY 2 year old is like?

I've just assumed they're all like it as she's my PFB.

thisisyesterday Fri 29-Jul-11 22:48:40

oh no Galena, you are parent to one of the special ones. I think we should have a club, and a special handshake and stuff.
Or at the very least just a padded cell we can shut ourselves in and weep

my mum said to me on the phone "well, you were given them because you can cope with them"

hmm I say yes, and I'll cope with him by putting him up for adoption!

Galena Fri 29-Jul-11 23:06:22

But why should I have to cope with her behaving like this on top of her prematurity and her cerebral palsy?! She had reflux when tiny so screamed for months on end. She's only just sleeping through. What did I do that was so bad to deserve this?! Argh!

Sorry. Self-pitying rant over. Definitely need a special handshake... and alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

tigerlillyd02 Sat 30-Jul-11 02:27:28

One of my nephews is exactly like this!
He breaks literally anything. He empties all the kitchen cupboards and drawers, breaks all his toys, throws phones down the toilet, in the washing up etc, jumps on laptops.
My sister is far too soft on him though. I was there once and he'd taken my phone off the arm of the sofa where I was sitting and ran off laughing with it and threw it in the sink! My sister was at the end of her tether so I (with her permission of course) introduced a 'naughty' chair to him so when he did something drastic, this is where he went. At first he just laughed and must have been thinking "Whats she think she can do!". Well, it took 2 and a half hours of constantly putting him back on the chair every time he got off before he gave in and realised he will do as he's told. Nobody had ever followed through with threats before.
Now, though he's petrified of me! lol. Whenever I appear, he calms immediately and just stands there wide eyed and open mouthed staring at me. I find it quite funny. I had the dreaded task luxury of babysitting him not long ago. He never eats anything for his parents and they have a constant battle with it. Auntie K cooks him something and he demolishes the lot, just in case! lol. Obviously, I gave lots of praise for how good he was, as I would my own child, but he just continues with his wide eyed, wide mouthed stare at me.
I think, in his case certainly, he just needs some authority, clear boundaries and consistent repercussions for his actions which he doesn't have. I'm not saying OP doesn't have these already but just highlighting a similar case and the reasons for that.

Octaviapink Sat 30-Jul-11 06:15:45

Surely "deliberately destructive" is the definition of a two-year old??

mellowcat Sat 30-Jul-11 06:57:12

I don't know your personal circumstances but it might be worth contacting your nearest Children's Centre to ask about a free 2 year old nursery place.

OriginalPoster Sat 30-Jul-11 07:10:10

That sounds like a nightmare. He needs to break the cycle (no pun intended). Can you get him outside more where there is nothing to break? With a football or scooter?

And double check his diet in case he is being wound up by additives.

MrsVidic Sat 30-Jul-11 07:20:00

I second the advice about contacting sure start to see about any funded nursery places- though these are term time only- I know this as my dd's nursery has a few children who go there through this scheme and they are off for the summer! So theres only her and a few other 2 yr olds going over the summer.

Anyway- my dd sounds the opposite really- but I can sympathise- my friend has a DS who sounds very similar. Does your DS get lots of excersize- does he get out and about? We found that this really helped my friends DS.

mellowcat Sat 30-Jul-11 10:14:30

MrsVidic - Not all places are term time only - in my local Children's Centre they are all year round.

bamboobutton Sat 30-Jul-11 10:27:51

lots of this sounds very familiar to me too.

i'm utterly exhausted with it, it's just constant.

it makes me really, really angry when people say 'he's just a normal, energetic boy!!' raaaah!
none of my friends children are like this and i seeth with jealousy when i see fb updates of angelic children sitting quietly doing jigsaws with tidy houses in the background.

i really can't wait for him to start nursery in september.

thisisyesterday Sat 30-Jul-11 11:38:53

galena yes... lots and lots and lots of alcohol!
is she your first? in some ways that is good, because it means that subsequent babies will seem angelic in comparison! I had it the other way round, 1 incredibly good baby, 1 who was a bit picklish, but nothing too bad... then ds3!!!

tigerlilly, thank you for replying, that does sound a lot like ds3! We do discipline him, he just has no impulse control (after all, he is only just 2) and he just doesn't stop.
I'm not really keen on naughty step type punishments for a variety of reasons, but aside from anything else I just don't have the time to keep putting him back with 2 older kids to look after and dinners to cook etc etc. I just don't think it would work. however, i will keep it in mind if he doesn't get any better!!!

mellowcat and mrsvidic- I didn't realise that there was a possibility of free places for 2 year olds and it's definitely something I will look into. I need to go to our sure start centre to see a Health Visitor about ds2, so I will ask when I go

originalposter, he definitely is better outside and today he has been pretty good most of the morning because I have dp here to help keep an eye on him and he has been in the garden all day. He has tried and failed to pull the door off the playhouse, and the doors off the cupboard inside... hmm.
food-wise he does have intolerances and these last few days of being exceoptionaly bad do coincide with us having a dairy trial, so perhaps that's not helping.
we steer clear of all artificial sweetners, colours etc etc as they have a bad effect on ds1 who has autism!

bamboo... no, it's definitely not just "being a boy" is it? ds1, as I say, was abnormally well behaved. DS2 is my "normal" boy- boisterous, energetic, full of mischief... but ds3 just takes it to another level.

wine anyone?

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