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Please help me with my 4 year old - he cut the cat's whiskers off this morning

(99 Posts)
EscapeFrom Mon 30-Jul-07 11:54:41

This is an ongoing saga... every morning he gets into the kitchen by takinfg the chain off the latch, and does something.

Last week, he took raw sausages and ate them, dropped raw eggs on the living room floor, got my sharp knife from the back of the surface and cut large wedges of cheese off the block, went into the bathroom and made papier mache tissue sculptures in the bath...

I tell him off - he apologises, can't give a reason for why he does this, and promptly does it again.

I leave food out for him, temptingly in front of the computer - he either eats it and goes on the mooch, or ignores it and goes on the mooch.

I lock the kitchen door with a chain - he stands on chairs, toys, piles of cushions...

I tell him he must wake me up, and if he does he can have choc spread on tost for breakfast - didn't work.

I provide a big pit of mud and stuff at the top of the garden - he loves it, but it hasn't slowed him down.

I have tried setting my alarm for six, he started getting up even earlier, was exhausted and horrible for a week.

he consistantly ignores the things I ask him not to do, like 'Don't bring mables downstairs. Any marbles I find downstairs go in the bin. You can play with them in your bedroom.' - He now has no marbles left. Again.

What am I doing wrong here? There is a planet chart in WHSmiths that he covets - I have told him if he stays out of the ki6tchen for 7 mornings (and he has an extremely GOOD grasp of numbers!) I will buy it for him - he only managed 1!

Help meeee!

GooseyLoosey Mon 30-Jul-07 12:00:36

Sorry, still laughing at the cat's whiskers!

Can you put a bolt and padlock on the kitchen and bathroom doors and tell him if he wreaks havoc in another room instead, the next padlock will be on his door?

EscapeFrom Mon 30-Jul-07 12:36:37

Well, I think the HV might call the Social Services if I start putting bolts up. She's a loon anyway!

MrsSpoon Mon 30-Jul-07 12:40:22

Difficult, I was going to suggest locking the kitchen but I see you've tried that, I used to have to do that with DS1 when he little.

Sorry but the poor cat and it's whiskers made me chuckle too, apparently my Dad and his brother (they lived on a farm while growing up) took all the farm cats and sheared them after watching their Dad shearing the sheep and I think they were quite a bit older than 4 at the time.

Wolfgirl Mon 30-Jul-07 12:40:41

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!

ladylush Mon 30-Jul-07 12:41:53

Maybe a stairgate to prevent him from going downstairs?

elasticsortinghandstand Mon 30-Jul-07 12:42:38

i think he is very intelligent.
my ds was like that too.
constant trouble.

poor cat

growingbagpuss Mon 30-Jul-07 12:43:02

oooh crumbs, he does sound like a handful!

How old is he?

It sounds like he almost has a compuslion to do something bad... is he on line for other development? At the risk of causing offence, I would suggest you may want to get professional advice. This sounds like more than naughty child behaviour.

snowleopard Mon 30-Jul-07 12:44:11

No, it's your right to lock your own kitchen door, and it's for his safety - what if he fell while climbing to get a sharp knife? Get a padlock and take the key to you roomn at night and hide it - or get one with a number combination.

Tbh he sounds like a very bright and curious boy who is just unable to stop himself. I bet he'll grow up to be a genius inventor or something. Could you discuss with him what would help, something for him to do in the mornings, eg a massive toy building project or something, or a challenge - something has to do (rather than not do, which is harder) every day to win a reward - eg complete a puzzle or something?

ladylush Mon 30-Jul-07 12:44:18

Does your dh help?

EscapeFrom Mon 30-Jul-07 12:44:44

Har har stairgate, yes, if only... I wish, but thank you for the suggestion anyway.

I remeber posting 2 years ago that he could open all the stairgates I tried - and now he would just climb over it anyway.

CarGirl Mon 30-Jul-07 12:45:09

Bolt on the outside of his bedroom door?

ladylush Mon 30-Jul-07 12:45:59

Oh dear He sounds er very determined

elasticsortinghandstand Mon 30-Jul-07 12:46:04

can you lock the kitchen with a key and keep the key yourself? i spose you'd have to put a lock in

elasticsortinghandstand Mon 30-Jul-07 12:46:37

is he doing it for attention? i think mine did.

Wolfgirl Mon 30-Jul-07 12:46:53

soooooooooooo! he gets up before you, and causes havoc. Mmmmm...he wants to be independant huh! and you being in bed is his moment of freedom. You gotta get tough, and start some reward system, or use the bunny ears clock...whatever, but tough discipline unless you want your home totally wrecked.

Poor lamb. I feel for you. Its like your words fall on deaf ears and you want to smack your head against the wall. Yep, Time out, tough discipline and rewards.

But no doubt you will have tried all that, so best of British to you m'love.


EscapeFrom Mon 30-Jul-07 12:49:15

Bagpuss - I already did get profesional advice, so your hunch is spot on - The ed psych says he is very 'borderline' hyperactive - he is normal - just. He has poor impulse control, is a natural fiddler, and is burningly curious about EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD.

Snowleopard - THAT is a very good idea, maybe I should get hold of some more K'nex and leave pictures of what I want him to build!!

Ladylush - no DH, I am a single parent. I have a one year old too.

michaelad Mon 30-Jul-07 12:50:02

oh God..the poor cat!!!

you seem to have a ds almost equally determined to mine (and he now has an accomplice in the shape of his toddler brother) <<sighs>>

elasticsortinghandstand Mon 30-Jul-07 12:51:25

i think ou willjsut have to sneak down early in the morning and sit in the kitchen..

emsiewill Mon 30-Jul-07 12:52:05

Firstly, my sister cut the cat's whiskers off when she was about the same age, and the cat was absolutely fine, if a little disgruntled.

Secondly, are you saying that you don't wake up when he gets up? Is there any way you can set some sort of booby trap so that you hear him get up? I don't mean anything that will hurt him , but something that will make noise - wind chimes or something on his door?

Thirdly, have you done a star chart for him to earn the planet chart? I mean is there a visual reminder of what he is trying to achieve? If you put it up on the kitchen door, then would that give him pause for thought, and time to change his mind?

And what about that old chestnut of praising the positive and ignoring the negative (as far as possible)?

Also, someone told me once never to tell kids what you don't want them to do, only what you do want. So when you say "don't bring your marbles downstairs" he only registers the "marbles downstairs" bit. You need to just say "all marbles stay upstairs" (or whatever).

This is all stuff you probably know, but I always feel the need to add this to threads like yours, as it's the really useful stuff that I have learnt from MN over the past 6 years...

ladylush Mon 30-Jul-07 12:54:19

No wonder you are finding it tough Escapefrom. My brother was borderline hyperactive too (quite lazy now!)and my mum was a single parent so she aged a lot He used to do things like get up at 4am, drag furniture to the front door to stand on so he could open the bolt at the top of the door, then cycle round the green on his tricycle. He has high IQ so the other suggestions that your ds is probably very bright could well be right.

CarGirl Mon 30-Jul-07 12:54:44

Perhaps you get him to build something in knex and then come and wake you (when it is an acceptable time - dots on the clock for the hands at what time) and he can get a star on his chart for that?

ladylush Mon 30-Jul-07 12:56:31

How is the cat?

meowmix Mon 30-Jul-07 13:00:11

I'd put a bell on the kitchen door so you hear him go in (or on his door so you hear him go out). If you hear him you put him back in his room type thing.

Does he have things he can play with in his room? is he reading? could you get him some books to look at?

EscapeFrom Mon 30-Jul-07 13:03:27

<<scribbles>> star chart on kitchen door.....

Another one I shall put into practice.

I have told him, since April, that 'Marbles stay in your bedroom' but he does have a moderate speech delay and major problems listening, so maybe it's just SLOW sinking in...

I can't make him wait until it's time to wake me, he just can't. I don't mind, I would rather be awake when he is anyway! I just don't wake up when he gets up - I am so tired sometimes that I just crash.

I can't lock the bathroom door, really, because he will wet himself, because I guarantee by the time I have woken up, found the key and got the lock off, it will be too late! he won't use his potty any more - fair play, he is far too big for it.

I might start sleeping on the sofa - then he will have to get past me

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