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Parents of demon children (aka Flameboy) - PLEASE tell me how you cope/how it was fixed/if it passed?!?!?!

(45 Posts)
Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:02:35

He is 2.7.

He is hell.

The most loving little guy you could ever hope to meet, very friendly and inquisitive.

But... he climbs, he empties bottles, he breaks stuff "investigates" how things work.

I have tried pretty much every kind of parenting method (for proper periods of time so it has a chance to work) - I have done distraction, holding him when he is naughty, naughty steps, positive reinforcement, yelling (not my finest one I will admit). Nothing works. He might get a bit miffed for a min, but then just does it again later. I know he is young, but he is old enough to "get" cause and effect ie. you pour out shampoo/unclip mid car journey = mummy gets angry/holds you still for 2 mins etc

I cannot afford to do toddler groups every day, he is best off out of the house, but I don't have it in me to stride through woods all day every day.

I want another child at some point, but how the hell can I even think about it when I can't turn my back on this one for more than 2 mins???

Please reassure me that things can & will improve.

Please only reply if you actually have experienced a child like this - if yours stopped fiddling with bottles/climbing shelves etc with the first method you tried, it is not because of your fabulous parenting (sorry to burst that bubble) it is because you got the right kind of ^child.

cece Mon 08-Sep-08 19:07:14

My ds has in the past;

rubbed shampoo all over the sofa
smeared lipstick all over the bathroom tiles
thrown whole packets of wet wipes odwn the toilet and then flushed
has a strop if he doesn't get his way, inlcuding in the middle of playground when picking up his sister. He lay in a puddle and caused quite a scene
had a phase of regularly drawing on the walls

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

He is nearly 5 and has justed started school so I am hoping it will wear him out!

TheArmadillo Mon 08-Sep-08 19:13:03

ds is 3.11 now and it is improving.

It's not that he means to be naughty as such - he just wants to see what happens. He doesn't like being told off, but it doesn't stop him.

The only answer is to keep them as busy as you can, and try to minimise damage when you can't. I let ds do stuff I never thought I would to try and not let other stuff get damaged. I also take him with me everywhere - to whichever room I am going to/to the toilet wtih me etc cos I can't trust him by himself.

He wakes up before us in the morning and rather than waking us up, trashes our bedroom every morning. I have no toiletries/cosmetics etc in there now as they get poured over everything. I have to make sure any drinks get finished before he wakes up etc.

We're hoping to move and get somewhere with a garden (to run off some excess energy) and we want to move to outskirts of city rather than close to the middle and we're hoping it will make a difference.

Um, not particularly helpful, but ds is better than when he was younger.

TheArmadillo Mon 08-Sep-08 19:14:03

I tend to find getting out first thing in morning and then doing stuff I need to do in afternoon helps.

bellavita Mon 08-Sep-08 19:25:25

Flamesparrow - I am really sorry you are going through this. DS2 happy, sociable,loving to us, everyone loves him, good as gold for everyone else.

But and here is the but from the age of about 1 year old (and he is nearly 9 now) he has got worse.

Poured paint into the petrol bit of our lawnmower (DH pondered and wondered why it would not start) on closer inspection found the tank full of paint (needed new lawnmower)

Cut my then new venetian blinds (at £300 a pop).

Took the scissors to the stitching on my new and fabulous leather sofa (we were away on a weekend break and even my mother had not realised he had got the scissors he is that good).

Taken the handles, nobs off his chest of drawers and wardrobe.

Spilt fairy liquid all over his bedroom carpet (we had to get this replaced).

Taken countless things to bits, always finding lose screws.

Got nail varnish over my new duvet cover.

Got the matches and tried to light my candles whilst I was in the shower one morning.

this is just but a few of the things he has done.

Btw - all these things are out of reach and he is just like a flippin monkey climbing.

However, my brother was like this, my Mum says DS2 takes after him, but at 40 years old, he has calmed down! His house is spotless, very houseproud and he would look at you in horror if any of his misdemeanours were mentioned. He once got hold of my Dad's Breitling watch and took it to bits and funnily enough all the bits did not go back as they came out!

So what I am saying (I think) that there is hope for the both of us (maybe in years to come).

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:27:28

Yes! That kind of thing

<not giving much hope cece wink>

DS wakes and just jumps all over us instead - I'm thinking that is better than the trashing We tie the bathroom door shut, and have a very loud alarm on the diningroom door so the only place he can get to if he wakes is us, or the fairly safe lounge (dvd player etc up very high).

I agree that it isn't naughty as such, he just likes seeing the things that happen. I think that is why the various methods of discipline don't affect him, the need to learn overrides the result.

TheArmadillo Mon 08-Sep-08 19:28:51

ds also takes things apart. It drives me nuts. Also with the there is no where you can put stuff that is completely out of his reach - he can climb, take locks apart (or smash the thing until it opens).

Dp was exactly the same apparently. This gives me some hope for future.

Ds is very affectionate though.

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:32:10

<wail> 40??? shock

DS has done the nail varnish too - I have a very pretty keyboard now and a pillow case that doesn't look good

What is it with the climbing?? Fun call to nhs direct the other week "what happens when a child takes anti-depressants?" blush

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:32:36

Oh yes, the most loving child in the world

TheArmadillo Mon 08-Sep-08 19:39:03

ds got hold of a packet of painkillers a couple of months ago blush while we were sleeping. It took us hours to find them. He hadn't eaten them but had put them in a coke bottle (with some coke at the bottom) to see what happened. And then when we woke up he had hidden it as was worried that we would get cross.

Today he has smashed up a set of picnic plates amongst other things with a meat tenderiser.

He doesn't believe anything you say without testing it out - if you say something will break if he does xyz to it, he has to carry on till it breaks to prove it. Then he doesn't get upset, he decides to 'mend' it (usually involving object that can be used as a hammer <holds head in hands rocking back and forth>)

bellavita Mon 08-Sep-08 19:44:14

oh dear am sorry for you Flamesparrow.

But on the plus side though for DS2 he knew how to put the seats down in my new car when I needed them doing, he attached the new hose to my dyson when it needed doing, he knew how to scan stuff into the puter when I needed it doing..... and lots more.

We never know where he is. We say to him do not go away from the front of the house, but 5 mins later he is nowhere to be seen. Tbh though he is grounded more than he goes out.

He twice rang 999 and I had a really peed of police lady ring me (I had just been in the shower), I could not apologise enough to her but she was not a happy bunny - which yes I can see her point of view, but basically she said I should watch my child a bit better shock

bellavita Mon 08-Sep-08 19:47:48

When I was at work one evening, DH asked DS2 if he wanted a drink and a biscuit before bed.

He replied that he had already helped himself to a drink, "mummy's drink in the fridge". An opened bottle of white wine was sat in the fridge door and he had poured some into his beaker shock

bronze Mon 08-Sep-08 19:49:25

I did a similar call to NHS
How many paracetemol tablets is too many for a 2.5 year old?
Cue lots of questions and a feeling that the ss may be round soon.
The tablets had been in a high up locked cupboard in a room he doesnt go in (utility). I have trouble getting to them. No idea how he did.

He did lots of similar things to those mentioned on the thread but is getting better. there is hope.

Nbg Mon 08-Sep-08 19:49:57

No you can't have a demon child Flame.

I have the demon child.

Everything you have said about your ds, mine does and more.
He eats anything, and I mean anything. From pens, pencils, crayons, ornaments, and I also mean actually eating them. Not just putting them in his mouth.

This is only a tiny glimpse too.
I am actually begining to dread the days ahead now because I dont know how to deal with the behaviour anymore.

Tbh I am waiting for a visit from my very good HV as I'm not convinced that his behaviour is "normal" iyswim.

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:51:47

Oh I am glad I don't have the eating of things nbg.

We do have lots of drawing on things hmm

Imo it isn't abnormal just a different way of working things out.

So, judging by the responses on here, I pretty much just roll with it. There is no way to "fix" them?

bellavita Mon 08-Sep-08 19:55:35

How about we try and tape their hands and feet together and see if they are houdinis as well? Would be one way of keeping them outa things grin

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 19:57:58

I suspect it wouldn't work - the kid can wriggle out of the tightest car seat straps, and was undoing poppered vests from a very early agewink

SmugColditz Mon 08-Sep-08 20:03:14

I got the hellboy type of child. It hasn't got much better. Sorry.

Get a big cupboard in your bedroom, and put everything pourable in it. Lock the bedroom door with a small high slide bolt..

And I must say, BOTH my children play with bottles of shampoo given half a chance, so it's not abnormal, just annoying. keep it in your cupboard.

You must get out every day. Put him on reins, put his coat/jumper over the top, and walk and walk and walk. It doesn't have to be forests, can just be as far as you can physically walk in any direction.

Get him some k'nex or lego. Not the big stuff, the little stuff. It's fiddley, requires the sort of input he seems prepared to give, and he sounds manually advanced enough to manage it (as was ds1)

Put a washing up bowl of water in the garden with some big empty bottles and let him pour and unscrew and screw up and pour again to his heart's content. If you don't have a garden, stand him at the kitchen sink.

I am giving you NO "Just say XXX and he will stop" solutions - I never found any.

I had DS1 see and ed psych about the wanton destructiveness when he was nearly 4 - she said to me that he has a need and it must be met. If I don't meet it 'conventionally' he will find a way to meet it himself.

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 20:07:55

This is all making me feel so much better.

I have had so many problems feeling like DD is the way she is due to my parenting, I was wondering if I had "broken" DS as well and I am just not fit to be a parent

Having read all of your stories, I am feeling much more that it is not I am doing something wrong, it is just who he is, and it is a case of safe enabling & damage limitation. (I am currently looking into places that will do rock climbing with teeny ones - thinking he will learn to do it safely)

bellavita Mon 08-Sep-08 20:09:17

DS2 also nibbles and picks his finger nails and picks his toenails. He has the need to fiddle all the time.

clarke Mon 08-Sep-08 20:10:19

My dd is nightmare!
She wont stay in straps in car seat. Rips sun visor off window in car!

At the mo I can't even eat! Everytime i have some breakfast she goes mad, she screams - snatched bowl and goes to throw on floor, i can't even have a drink anymore.

She destroys everything she gets hold of and won't play with her toys!

I think im going mad some days!

SmugColditz Mon 08-Sep-08 20:10:37

It IS who he is, and take heart - ds1 is doing really well at school and never was a whiner!

MerlinsBeard Mon 08-Sep-08 20:13:59

"issues" aside, DS2 is similar. I have lost a hell of a lot of weight purely picking him up and removing him to another room. I feel awful when i have to do it in public because with his speech and understanding being so poor (esp in mid "fidget") he will only respond to "go away" or "shut up" instead of "please can you stand over there" etc

I cope by sitting down of an evening with the laptop on my knee! Seriously!! if i didn't do that, i would be doing housework and lets face it, who wants to do that?!

DS2 will break things investigate how thngs are stuck together as well. He hasn't got an easier as he has got older but in some respects he is more predictable and i can plan ahead a bit

Nbg Mon 08-Sep-08 20:15:24

Just out of interest Flame, how is his speech?
Can he talk to you quite clearly and get across what he wants/needs etc?

My ds cannot talk yet, just the odd word and I sometimes wonder if some of the beahviour is frustration.
He gets very cross if something doesnt go his way and will look for an object to throw or squeeze/break.

Atm his latest "thing" is to strip off and he scours the house for something to use so that he can draw on himself.

CoolYourJets Mon 08-Sep-08 20:15:55

I thought this was just normal no?

If not can someone please claim their hell child please? I seem to have two, which has to be one more than required.

DDs btw. Both climbing before they could walk. DD1 at 3.5 unscrewed the door furniture and swapped it from door to door. Did a good job though!

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