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Argh! 3yo is such a horror, but preventing his antics is punishing his big sister.

(6 Posts)
allhailtheaubergine Wed 03-Aug-11 10:50:36

Okay, we have a lot of fancy dress costumes. Mostly inherited. We have a low wardrobe rail in the playroom and all the princess frocks and costumes hang on it. It's fab!

But 3yo son has taken to going into the playroom and pulling down every single dress and costume off the rail.

I just put them all back yesterday and found them all down again today. He just enjoys pulling them off I think. Plus he loves them all - plays with them almost more than 5yo sis does these days.

So I have not ranted and raved and got red in the face for their amusement, I have just said fine, if you keep pulling them down you can't have them, and have bundled them all in a black bin bag and put them away. (This is after VERY CLEAR communications from me that pulling them down is not on, and that There Would Be Consequences if he did it again).

Ds honestly doesn't give a tiny rat's ass. Totally unbothered.
Dd is gutted.

So, she is being 'punished' even though it wasn't really meant as a punishment more a prevention. And he has barely noticed.

Argh. Help.

wellwisher Wed 03-Aug-11 10:54:54

If he doesn't care about the dresses, you need to find a different consequence or keep him away from them. Can't you keep the dresses in a dressing-up box or drawer? I doubt your 5yo will care if they're a bit crumpled.

Twinkiesmum Wed 03-Aug-11 10:57:14

It's a playroom (wish I had one). Does it really matter? Tidy up when they've gone to bed, and let them play how they want during the day. By getting stressed you're turning it into a game for him.

allhailtheaubergine Wed 03-Aug-11 11:02:28

It is really hard finding a consequence he cares about though. It's something I struggle with.

You are right, it is a playroom but I'm struggling to keep on top of everything at the moment and it's so disheartening when I spent time sorting it out yesterday only for him to destroy it in a minute. It's like when I sort out all the buckets of cars and dinosaurs and fairies and animals and he tips them all out on the rug because that's a fun thing to do. I get that it's fun, and I know he doesn't really do it to be naughty - but ffs! It's feckin irritating!

I am trying to sort everything out to go on holiday... actually I am answering my own question here aren't I? I am stressed, ill, racing against the clock to get everything done, and hoping that a 3yo will have some compassion grin. Doh!

chickflick Wed 03-Aug-11 17:10:22

In my house as long as no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken/dangerous etc then its ok. It sounds like he is bored and wanting either you or his sister to play with him and so does it to get a reaction perhaps?
You could try and let him pull them off and ignore it completely but then suggest an exciting alternative-lets get the cars out or whatever he like to do.
We also only ever tidy up at the end of the day.In our house some token tidying must be done before the TV /computer is allowed on in the late afternoon. We then finish tidying after they are in bed -or not sometimes we live with it if it is an elaborate train track set up etc.
I would be annoyed at bucket tipping out just for fun though and I would make them pick it up before letting him get anything else out to play with.

If you are busy try giving him a job to do. I am constantly amazed at what small children can do! Wash the potatoes in a bucket outside.Small boys generally LOVE hovering and whilst it isn't very eco friendly it will keep them happy for a bit.

chickflick Wed 03-Aug-11 17:12:03

That should be small boys generally love HOOVERING!

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