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Can't deal with ds's destructive behaviour any more

(19 Posts)
ComeOVeneer Thu 28-Jun-07 19:34:39

DS (2.6) is generally well behaved but revels in destroying things. Many of you may have read of his exploits. Tthe list reads as follows:

Drawn on - walls, carpet,sofa,furniture and TV
Broken DVD player
Broken video machine
Damaged dry grass ornaments
Broken ceramic candle holders
Flushed toys

The final straw was I went upstairs to put away some laundry whilst he and dd (5) watched tv and had a lass of milk before bed time and came down to find he had ripped 3/4 of the keys of the laptop (have just spent the last 20mins putting them all back on). I'm afraid I lost my temper and ave him a slap on the hand (first time ever since having children ).

I know firstly you will say I should ensure all thins like that are out of his reach. Beleive me I do try, but you foret for a second as you pop out the room, plus it isn't possible to make a house childproof to that extent. I have tried the naughty step, and I explain to him it is naughty etc, he volunteers "sorry" without coaxing, yet still it happens.

I am getting so fed up with this, but nothing I do gets through to him. I know this is a garbled post but I am just despairing. Any pearls of wisdom greatlfully received.

newlifenewname Thu 28-Jun-07 19:36:43

Both my boys are like this. I've even watched them cast their litter on the carpet in front of my very eyes. I have scolded and reminded a zillion times. I have no magic cure. Sorry.

ComeOVeneer Thu 28-Jun-07 20:10:34

Thanks for the support anyway newlife. Is it simply boys then? In the 5 years dd has been around she has never done anything like this. With ds it seems to be daily. When I catch him drawing on something, he immediately says "on de paper, on de paper", so he knows but.......AAARRRGGGHHH.

charliecat Thu 28-Jun-07 20:14:28

Ok, get rid of the pens, and move everything upwards a foot so he cant reach it.
Hes young. But I bet he doesnt seem that young when hes just destroyed something.
Im a cruel bitch and id possibly wreck something of of my dds has a one legged monkey
It stops her still now, 7 year later. I justthreaten to chop off the other one too.
Not recommended tho...

juuule Thu 28-Jun-07 20:16:46

No magic cure here either. Frustrating as it is it's part of their inquisitiveness. I've had 9 of them and to some extent they've all gone through this stage. Some were much less destructive than others. Just keep repeating that it's not what we do and eventually the message gets through. But for a while you have to expect that things will probably get broken, drawn on etc. It's a home with children in. Just remember to breathe and count to ten

ComeOVeneer Thu 28-Jun-07 20:19:09

All the drawing equipment is out of reach but it is dd's and I have to let her use it, then some gets left out or dropped etc and hey presto he finds it.

FlamingTomatoes Thu 28-Jun-07 20:19:21

my ds1 was ( and to a certain extent still is) like this. I will honestly say that the sooner you accept that this is how he behaves, the happier you will be. I used to tear myself to shreds trying to stop the behavior - nothing worked.

sad to say, only last week he took a pair of nail scissors outside and cut my washing line down. To tie things up with the bits. He had just learned to tie knots, he wanted to practice. this time last year, I used to have cross rants at him - now, I just take away the scissors. the tellings off don't work - I may love my washing line/catalogue/bottle of shampoo/tub of nappy cream, but what he sees is ropes to tie things up with, paper to make tubes with, a bottle to pour water into and a tub for 'making berry and stone cakes for the birds'. I can't make him see it differently, although god knowws I try.

Denmark Thu 28-Jun-07 20:19:29

Sound like my DS (2.1) he draws on the house wall (outside) and he says "on the paper Maman, I draw on the paper" so just like your he knows. I have not cure but I have found removing favourite toys (he loves puzzles at the moment) work for a day or two. Then I have to come up with something else. Like no yogurt, no sweet etc that seems to work for a while as well. I just hope he will grow out of it

3littlefrogs Thu 28-Jun-07 21:25:40

Sorry - but 2 years old is too young to know. I have 2 boys and I know how hard it is. The only answer is to put everything out of reach, until the 2 year old is old enough to understand - about 3 plus in my experience.
The second child is surrounded by things that just weren't there when the first was that age - that is why the second child seems worse, but they aren't really.
This is the time, I'm afraid, when the eldest has to keep everything in their room, or, if they share a room, the eldest needs a special toddler proof place to keep their crayons, paints etc.

I speak as someone who had garden trellis nailed across the living room, and all cupboard doors tied together with garden twine - so I do understand.

Ds2 also had a penchant for applying soap and shampoo to areas of the house that were unreachable by anyone else. I had to put high shelves up everywhere.

It does pass, but it seems endless while you are going through it.

mytwopenceworth Thu 28-Jun-07 21:32:44

Agree. It really is all upon you to put everything away. Fitting locks, preventing access. I've had to fit all manner of things over the years!

It is possible to make a house that childproof. At one point my house was bare. main furniture only, no frills and a lock on every cupboard and door. A lockable pulldown to store the computer so it is locked away when not in use, for example.

It's a bugger, but sometimes its the only way.

Now it's different as we have seen massive improvement, and now have bits and bobs and only window and external door locks in daily use, but still the option of a 'lockdown' if needed for safety or discipline.

3littlefrogs Fri 29-Jun-07 08:22:52

If it is any comfort to you, Ds 2 is now almost 16 and he is truly wonderful. (Aside from the occasional teenage moment). He is an A* student, self motivated, independant, kind, brave and loyal and I am so proud of him.
This is the child who burnt a hole in my kitchen floor, broke a double glazed window with his home made catapult, painted my dining room floor with bright green paint, dug a tunnel out of the garden under the fence, exploded a hole in the middle of my newly laid lawn.....and a host of other things too numerous to mention.

Hang in there - it is worth it in the end.

FlamingTomatoes Fri 29-Jun-07 08:24:01


Your words are music to my ears

Someone told me it's a sign of intelligence[clutch at straws]

3littlefrogs Fri 29-Jun-07 09:00:09

Flamingtomatoes - your ds sounds just like mine. I bet he is a truly adorable little boy. You just have to have a robust sense of humour, and keep trying to see the world through their eyes.

HonoriaGlossop Fri 29-Jun-07 09:34:34

There's been some fantastic advice on here CoV. I do sympathise. I agree that you just need to keep repeating the message until you get to the stage where it goes in/he matures enough to play in a different way!

And re-assess your expectations. You're used to having a non-destructive, possibly even helpful, little girl and now you have something else entirely - maybe for now you just can't do so much housework in the day, even if popping up to put laundry away doesn't take long....maybe you need to save all that stuff for when they're in bed. I know it makes the evenings tougher but I certainly had to be supervising my ds when he was two, pretty much constantly.

However I think the boys described on here sound utterly adorable and I agree, it DOES change sooner than you might think and it IS worth it.

Caroline1852 Fri 29-Jun-07 09:58:18

With toddlers I think prevention is better than cure as it is the feelings of frustration and anger that do more damage than the (washable?) pen marks on the wall. Keep everything out of reach. Occasionally give him pens, scissors etc at the kitchen table when you have time to sit down with him and help him. It is hard when you have an older sensible one. I had a bash and crash 2 year old (very good natured) and his older brother (3.5 years older) used to shout "He's doing his wrecking" which involved sitting on lego models, pulling books out of bookcases, etc. In the end I put a stair gate on oldest DS's room so his room and his creations (lego models, pens, scissors, glue) were safe and made the playroom and kitchen totally safe and closed all doors to other rooms and left the doors open onto the garden It didn't last long and it was not malicious - just his way of expressing himself. Funny as he is now 11 and a very gentle person.

mumbleboo Fri 29-Jun-07 10:52:03

My house is totally childproofed like mytwopence says.We have 2 sofas and a desk with a closable front - that is our only furniture in the lounge. Everything we like - books, cds, records, dvd player, tv are all up on shelves DS (16months) can't reach, we have two small shelves to put tea and coffee on. The table will possibly be reintroduced shortly although i know DS will pull the chairs over - he used to do it in his baby walker! Given a pen or pencil he will draw on anything but paper, toys are to be spread over the widest possible area. He used to love the kitchen and run in whenever the stairgate was open but since a lock appeared on every cupboard my life has destressed noticeably. When he comes with me and i have a shower he is strapped into his old car seat and waits until i have finished without putting everything into the toilet and playing with the bin. I have great sympathy with you but as i have only the one i think i am having an eaiser time of it (for now). Hope it gets better for you!

mumbleboo Fri 29-Jun-07 10:53:58

Also i too have heard the sign of intelligence thing <<clutches at slightly crowded straw>> and i think mischievous little kids are generally more fun, when you're not seeing the red mist!

auburnmum Fri 29-Jun-07 11:03:49

Respect to you for only taking 20 mins to put 3/4 keys back on the lap-top!!! This happenined to me and I was totally stuck. Highly likely you child is also pretty bright IMO

SoupDragon Fri 29-Jun-07 11:04:13

"Is it simply boys then?"

Nope. BabyDragon is by far the worst of the 3 SmallDragons and the only girl...

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