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destorying books at bedtime - its driving me crazy

(12 Posts)
blossom2 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:10:50

My DD (3 yrs)who loves to read books has recently stoarted destorying books (i.e. riping the spine off hardback books and today tore a page out), when she is bored and can't sleep. We don't let her come downstairs after her bedtime.

Needless to say, its driving me crazy and i need to teach her to value her books. I threw one of her books away tonight and made her watch me. I've threatened it a few times now and tonight was the end of the straw.

Was I too harsh, but if now, how can i stop her from doing this??? Should i just take all the books in her room away??

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Tue 22-Feb-05 22:16:45

No, not too harsh. Something that worked for me was calling the books happy books or sad books. Happy books are read and put back on the shelf. Sad books are thrown around, torn, drawn in etc. It took a little while but once the kids saw how much praise they got for happy books, the sad books were no more. hth

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 22:17:54

Personally I would take the books away, yes.

Do you have any old indestructible baby board or cloth books you could temporarily replace them with?

blossom2 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:19:25

i feel so angry about this because both DH and I are good readers. there are always books in the house and we are constantly buying new ones.

one of the things i wanted to pass onto our children was to have a love of reading and books. i feel so hurt that she is doing this but am trying not to take it personally.

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 22:20:55

I was fortunate in that the first (and only) time ds1 deliberately damaged a book it was a library book. I asked a friend to precede us to the library and ask the librarian to really tear a strip off him, and to charge me for the book (even though that wasn't their current policy).

He must have been 3 at the time, but the message went in loud and clear that books should be treated with respect.

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 22:23:37

I'm just typing as I think here. At this age ds1 didn't actually have any books at all in his bedroom.

It may help to separate books from toys at least temporarily, and have books in a separate section where you just look at them together in a 'supervised environment', so she gets the message that they need to be treated in a special way.

blossom2 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:26:36

we have a bookshelf in the toy room and she doesn't destory books in there. I'm going to remove all the books from her room and put them there.

When she seems a destoryed book, she says 'oh no, what happened', as though she's upset. when i tell her that she riped of the spine, she says it wasn't her.

roisin Tue 22-Feb-05 22:34:30

I know this would make me really, really mad, because - like you - I'm passionate about books. But those angry emotions just make it harder to deal with it rationally don't they?

I hope you manage to get your message across to her.

Fran1 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:37:08

I think you should just leave baby board books by her bed for her to read (you don't want to take away her enjoyment from books). And have all the other "special" books out of her reach, that she is only allowed to read with mummy and daddy, until she learns to look after her books.

And gradually one by one trust her with a new book, with the threat that they will be taken away again if she damages them.

Another good tip - but time consuming! - is to cover the pages in sticky back plastic ( i used to do this in the nursery i worked in ). But it is time consuming so maybe just do some of the very special books?

blossom2 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:40:29

the ironic thing about all this is that she is destorying all her favourite books. the ones she gets us to read night after night.

good idea about covering the books though. we do have some special books, and they are under lock & key. they are also a bit too advanced for her.

Fran1 Tue 22-Feb-05 22:45:22

D'you think the real reason is to get mummy and daddy to come in and provide some attention? You say she only does it when she can't get to sleep. If so i would go in (when you hear her doing it) take all books away and say night night. Maybe put a story tape on instead.

What i mean is don't feed with the attention she is looking for.

PS i'm a book lover too thats why i keep thinking on this one!! lol hope you resolve it soon.

frogs Tue 22-Feb-05 22:46:02

My older two both went through a (brief) phase of this. It does pass, but like you, I got the red mist over it. I think there's just something about picking away at the covers that they can't resist.

I'd take the books away, leaving only board/cloth books as others have said, until she sees the error of her ways. At least that way it's a logical consequence of her behaviour rather than a punishment as such.

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