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Mindee drawing on furniture - advice please!

(16 Posts)
LingDiLong Thu 04-Dec-14 20:00:53

So a little boy (aged 3.5) I've had for a couple of years is being a little tricky lately! One problem in particular is that he repeatedly draws on my furniture. The first time he did it I told him off - emphasised the rules about only drawing on paper and removed the pens for the rest of the day (and keep a closer eye on him when he got them back). A week or so later he did it again. That time I removed the pens for the remainder of the week - again I told him off and went over the rules again. I also mentioned it to his parents and only allowed him to have them under close supervision. A week or so later and I catch him drawing on the table. Sigh. This time it's possible for him to clean it off so that's what I get him to do. Pens are now permanently removed and only got down when I can sit down with him one to one.

During this time I always allowed him access to crayons as he never seemed to use them anywhere other than paper. Today I've found a load of crayon all over one of my chairs. Argh!!

I don't want to remove any drawing implements as obviously it's important for him developmentally to be able to draw and colour. None of my furniture is expensive so it's not the end of the world financially but still, I need to try and stop this behaviour. Any suggestions on what to try next? I will have another word with his parents who are very supportive of me and I know will back me up completely (not seen them yet today). What could be motivating him to do this? It doesn't seem to be an attention thing as he does it sneakily. I really don't think he's bored as we do loads together. My numbers are also pretty low at the moment so he gets a lot of my attention - willingly I might add because I think the world of him!

Any ideas, especially ways to tackle it in a positive way, would be very welcome!

BertieBotts Thu 04-Dec-14 20:04:35

I would definitely keep drawing implements for when you can supervise him, you can have non-staining things out for him to use freely like aquadraw and those magnetic drawing things.

Then when you get the pens out remind him "Only on paper, OK?" and get him to tell you where it's OK to draw.

You could try doing some 3D type crafts - paper mache modelling etc, it might be that the different angles of the chair, sofa etc is more interesting to him than paper? Good excuse just around the corner to make some Christmas decorations!

BertieBotts Thu 04-Dec-14 20:07:32

Or get some different textures for him to draw on, perhaps - scraps of fabric from old clothes, sandpaper, oats/rice/other things glued onto paper or card, newspaper, different kinds of card.

As you're doing it you can talk about how it's interesting and nice to try out different kinds of drawing, but that it's important to ask a grown up if it's OK to draw on something before he starts, because even though his drawings are lovely and beautiful, drawing in the wrong place looks messy and horrible. Just help him make that connection - I remember melting crayon shavings on a radiator once because I thought it looked nice and colourful(!) - my mum did not!!

LingDiLong Thu 04-Dec-14 20:14:10

Great ideas there - thanks Bertie! I already do the aquadraw but I'll get a magnetic board too. I love the idea of getting lots of different textures for him, I've already got sandpaper and some fabric bits and felt. I'll put them all in a little box for him so he can draw on those.

We do loads of arts and crafts - Christmas crafts have started in earnest!

HSMMaCM Thu 04-Dec-14 21:10:50

My mindees can draw whenever they want, but they have to ask for the pens, because I put them away.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 04-Dec-14 22:37:09

If a child I nannied for did this I would be Removing all pens crayons etc and only allowed under supervision at a table

At 3.5 he knows not to draw on anything but paper

Agree the Aqua sheets and magnetic may be the way forward - he draws but no harm to your belongings

Do the parents say he does the same at theirs? Or only yours?

Tanith Thu 04-Dec-14 23:29:31

My DD used to do this - walls and furniture!

The only drawing implements I left out were easily cleaned ones such as chalk or coloured soaps. If she wanted pens, they were closely supervised until she reliably remembered that she must draw on paper only.

PrimalLass Thu 04-Dec-14 23:43:33

Crayola Superwashable pens. That's all I let my children have at that age.

LingDiLong Fri 05-Dec-14 07:27:12

Blondes, the parents haven't mentioned him doing it at home but I will ask them tonight. I guess I just need to treat the pens and crayons the same way I do the paint and supervise them very very closely at the kitchen table.

I suppose I've been very lucky in that none of my three kids have ever drawn on the walls/furniture so I've just been used to leaving pens and paper out!

NannyNim Fri 05-Dec-14 09:17:40

To add to the idea of drawing on different textures and different angles, can you get an easel ir hang some paper on the wall for him to draw on? Maybe take him outside and do some chalk drawings on the pavement and do some leaf rubbings? All different textures and all a novel place to be allowed to draw.

BertieBotts Fri 05-Dec-14 09:33:14

Oh yes an easel is nice and leaf rubbings.

LingDiLong Fri 05-Dec-14 14:06:58

We do chalk already but yes, love the easel and leaf rubbings - thanks!

He's just taken his socks off to reveal feet covered in felt tip. Guess he does do it at home then grin

FlorenceMattell Fri 05-Dec-14 19:10:48

Lovely to offer him all the drawing/ art alternatives.
But:
At 3.5 he is older enough to understand we don't draw on walls and furniture. And that we need to respect other peoples things.
I would sit him down for a chat, light hearted, friendly no angry tone and explain about where we draw. Explain about other peoples property. Does he have a toy/backpack he wouldn't want drawn on. Also explain some pens don't come off very easy. Once you are sure he understands, you can then tell him if he does this again their will be consequences.
You know him best so know what will work for him, either:
3 half minutes thinking time, then an apology?
Maybe take away a favourite toy.
Book where you write what he has done and then together tell mum about it.
He might be a future artist but he needs to learn boundries.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 05-Dec-14 21:12:44

love chalking outside on the patio, rem one mb got cross we did it and made db wash away with hose sad

all others employers have loved it, seeing kiddi scribbles/pics on the patio

if he does again i would just say no pens etc to him while he is there, just aqua/magnetic drawing

LingDiLong Fri 05-Dec-14 22:21:26

Florence, he's a very bright boy and knows perfectly well where he should be drawing! We've had that chat but he smirks away at me. I thought pens being taken away would be enough of a consequence for him but it hasn't worked at all. Anyway, had a chat to his Dad tonight who also made it very clear that he wasn't at all happy with him. He's really close to his Dad and hates it when I tell him he's been badly behaved so I'm hoping that will help. Dad totally understands that the pens and stuff have to go away for the time being.

Blondes, my lot love chalking on the garden walls and patio and then squirting it off with water pistols!

BertieBotts Sat 06-Dec-14 08:40:03

It doesn't have to be either or smile Obviously you deal with it if he does draw on other things but giving him more freedom to do so within set boundaries should lessen his desire to, and it's still reinforcing the same message that it's only OK to draw on certain things and not others.

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