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URGENT .... Need advice on a discipline thing ....

(45 Posts)
ghosty Fri 07-Jan-05 19:37:06

DH and I are livid with DS ... he is in his room now howling.
In the last two days he has deliberately destroyed three christmas presents ... He was severely told off yesterday for breaking two of them and when he laughed in my face I gave him a smack and spent a lot of time in his room.
This morning he snapped the aerial off his remote controlled car (well, it was a present from him to his dad, for him to play with).
We are fuming and have decided to make him take his own remote controlled car and maybe something else that he got for christmas to a charity shop to give to someone who doesn't have nice things like him.
Is this a good punishment do you think? I can't stand this blatant disregard for toys and possessions ... he is a very lucky boy to have what he has ... we live in a nice house and he has nice things and in the light of all those poor families involved in the Tsunami I just can't bear him growing up to be such a spoilt brat.
My DH was fit to be tied this morning ... he gave DS a smack too and he never smacks ...
Any advice????

ghosty Fri 07-Jan-05 19:37:52

He is 5 by the way

Frizbe Fri 07-Jan-05 19:38:23

how old is he?

Frizbe Fri 07-Jan-05 19:38:39

ah ha, cross posts!

Blossomhill Fri 07-Jan-05 19:39:47

I think timw outs are good. Apparently 1 minute for every year of there life. You have to give them a warning first such as "one more time and you are going to (apparently not the bedroom) the step, corner or whatever is easiest. Toy confiscation is another good one. I always find sticker charts with a reward at the end of the week work wonders.
The other thing to really try and do is ignore bad behaviour as much as possible (it's usually for attention) and really praise the good. Once they realise that they won't get a reaction they give up.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 19:41:30

I see nothing wrong with taking away his toys if he has no regard for them. Whilst some will say that I'm cruel to agree I think that children need to be reached where they understand. If you really can't let the toys go to the charity shop, put them in the loft/cellar/dark cupboard then you can always take them out again when you feel it is appropriate.

Do you think that there is any reason why he is breaking toys? Or is it just because he can?

Frizbe Fri 07-Jan-05 19:43:43

IMO Take all the toys away and only give him one at a time to play with (ie put in loft)so he learns to appreciate the value of them (treating a bit like a baby, but if he insists on this behaviour, IMO its time to re draw the boundaries) If he persists with bad behaviour, re introduce (if you don't do it already) a naughty chair or step, the bedroom is far to good, as it has things in it to do, unless you strip his room out!
Hope this doesn't sound to severe, its the old boundary pushing, so they get firmer issue...

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 19:44:34

well said friz

Frizbe Fri 07-Jan-05 19:45:41

ooh Mars we agree

ghosty Fri 07-Jan-05 20:04:14

Blossomhill, thanks for your thoughts ... ... I have however, been doing time out and warnings and sticker charts and all that stuff since he was 2. And it works, it really does ... but how many warnings and time outs does it take?
When he chewed he deliberately snapped a lego piece yesterday I told him it wasn't acceptable, took all the lego away and put him in time out.
Two hours later he carefully tore the plastic cover off his Shrek 2 DVD (the whole thing, and that needs some thought and concentration .... ) some might say that he didn't know that was not allowed but the thing is he did it to a video about 6 months ago and got into trouble for that.
I told him to go to his room (where we always have time out) and when he laughed in my face I smacked him
So you can understand that this morning we were fuming when he broke the third thing.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 20:06:00

I think that you should put his toys away, esp. his favourite ones.

ghosty Fri 07-Jan-05 20:10:54

Mars and Friz ...
I like the idea of taking all his toys away but I don't think I could do it.
I just want him to understand that there are children out there who have nothing and he has so much. Well, he doesn't have that much to be honest as we don't buy him a lot but what he has got is nice.
Unfortunately the problem in NZ is that the quality of toys is crap. If you want good toys you have to pay for it. They do have ELC here but it costs a fortune ...
As a result NZ children (the ones we know) don't care about toys because they break so easily. So we decided when we moved here that we would rather spend the money on a few good quality toys rather than buy loads of cheap stuff.
I have been rendered speechless by DS's little friends who actively break toys (some of ours) and then their mothers who say, "Kids are kids ..." It makes me more determined to make sure that DS looks after his stuff

ghosty Fri 07-Jan-05 20:11:40

You are right Mars, I will put all his toys away, although it will be very hard.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 20:15:27

ghosty, you are doing the right thing. If your son's friends are actively breaking their toys then no wonder he is. He just needs to see that you aren't like the other mothers. Whenever my kids complain that so and so is allowed to do things I simply tell them that it is a good job that I am not so and so's mum, because if I were then so and so wouldn't do it.

It's difficult, but think about what it is that you are looking to achieve. If you stick to your guns then he will learn and stop what he is doing. Let me know how it goes.


kinderbob Fri 07-Jan-05 20:16:05

Is there a reason that he wants to get your attention? (albeit negative attention).

As you say with the DVD, it was a carefully thought out thing...I just wonder if something is bothering him.

Anyway as hard as it is you cannot get angry yourself. Whilst I appreciate your point about the Tsunami, did your parents ever tell you that "there are children starving in Africa"? And did it make you eat up your food?

Maybe a side by side activity (so he doesn't have to meet your eye) and finding out if something is troubling him.

GeorginaA Fri 07-Jan-05 20:16:17

Ghosty - just want to give you some hugs.

Ds1 goes through distructive phases too - although younger (almost 4) he knows that it's wrong - it's heartbreaking isn't it, especially when you've gone to a lot of effort to make sure they have nice things.

What helped for us is that I just used to chuck out the broken toy or book without attention or fuss or even meeting his eye, even if it could be repaired. Nearly killed me to do it as many of them were my favourites too! Didn't attempt to replace them (obviously). He hasn't repeated it except for a few fairly obvious accidents (bit too excited and been a bit rough - reminded him to take care but have fixed). Not sure if the same tactic would work on a 5 year old though?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 20:17:47

btw, I wouldn't be as nice as you. If other kids deliberately break my kids things and their parents shrug, I simply ask them to replace them. People like that make me quite angry.

Gem13 Fri 07-Jan-05 20:40:51

Poor Ghosty. Sounds miserable for you.

My immediate thoughts are to remove the good toys and books (to look after them not as a punishment) and keep a really close eye on him so that he can't wreck things. Try and keep things clam and low key for a while to let him get out of this situation. It sounds like he's got caught up in a cycle of destructiveness and he knows you're cross but he's feeling so rubbish he's got nothing left to lose. I wouldn't give them away as I don't think he'll understand on a deeper level (i.e. other children don't have nice things) and will just think you're being mean which then won't help the situation either.

Has this coincided with going back to school? Could he be tired and frustrated about something?

bee3 Fri 07-Jan-05 21:05:52

It's so tough, but I agree with Gem.

Having taken away the toys as a consequence of his actions (a solid, real learning experience) can you take extra time over the next few days to point out and praise every tiny little thing he does that is positive, helpful and calm?("You're breathing beautifully"...).It might give him a chance to get out of the cycle. And if the stickers etc work can you cut back to really short term specific rewards that give him chance to succeed? Getting through breakfast without causing a fuss etc...things that are really achievable. You could build up to getting back the toys. You will need to think about further sanctions that he needs to be very clear about if similar behaviour continues, especially if all the toys are already gone....(I don't think the positive alone approach works without children knowing that there is also a bad consequence if they don't behave).

I really feel for you. Five year olds can be the most gorgeous but exasperating creatures on the earth!

Tortington Fri 07-Jan-05 21:33:02

doctor phil says to take EVERYTHING they like away from them out of their room and make them earn it back with good behaviour

sound bloody good to me

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 07-Jan-05 21:38:34

another Dr Phil fan. He talks common sense

Tortington Fri 07-Jan-05 21:50:16

i miss it mostly cos am at work - how sad are we? i love him. my dh keeps saying that his programme is one long advert for his new book or newer book. and i must say the "elganise america" bollox was so "american" i wish i could see it more

zebra Fri 07-Jan-05 21:52:23

This is why I started giving DS fish oils, I thikn it made a difference in making him more reasonable.

DH is pointing out we had to physically restrain DS sometimes, too.

My 3yo is embarking on a destructive, acting up phase; she pees on things to get attention.

Aren't kids great...?

Christie Fri 07-Jan-05 22:31:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mimsie Sat 08-Jan-05 00:47:34

For what it's worth I had a few discussions with my 4 yo about taking care of toys, once he showed me a broken thomas (he had dropped it down the stairs) he said he was sorry, I told him I didnt care it wasn't mine it's up to him what he does with his toys, but now it's ruined and he's not getting another one. That he had to be sorry for himself and not for me. And that's happened several times (thought not at close intervals). another one was with cards, he cut them all up. Again I walked into the room to watch him do it. and again I told him it wasn't my problem. It's funny it leaves him puzzled and feeling a bit stupid.
He lost a domino piece hey ho, now we can't play dominoes anymore. thought with the dominoes it was this summer and I did buy him another set this Xmas. I figured 6 months of because you lost a piece we can't play was long enough.

then other session he left toys all over the floor in the lounge and then stamped on one and I asked him if I should sell it on ebay, because he clearly doesnt care about them any more. I went to get the camera, and believe it or not he picked them up quick. Now am not quite sure this was such a good idea caus I only told him that once and since he always tells me "don't sell my toys" so might have been too traumatic that one.

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