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Am I mean?

(7 Posts)
BottySpottom Tue 11-Aug-09 22:59:02

This is an extract from a post on another baby website (hope it is OK to post here). The people replying generally said that the mother had been too harsh on the child, that the child was only five and shouldn't have known any better - see a reply posted below. Would this have been your response? I feel maybe I am too harsh in my parenting because I would have been really cross if a 5yr old of mine had destroyed a wall enough to need repainting.

Just put dd1 (5) to bed and discovered she has peeled a huge patch of paint off her bedroom wall by her bed
I'm really shocked, this is by far the naughtiest thing she has ever done.
So far I have not got cross at all but sat her down on her own and asked why she thinks she did it and how was she feeling when she did it. Both questions have resulted in a shrugged shoulders and 'not sure' replies. When prompted she said she was feeling a bit sad and both me and dh have said to her tonight if she feels like that again or feels worried or sad about anything she can come to us anytime and say she needs to talk and we will make time to talk.
I'm not sure we can leave it at that though (the discipline side not the wall!), its going to be a real pain to put right, their room was only painted a year ago and I am pretty sure we don't have any of the paint left.
I don't want to give her the message that its fine to do things like this to get attention.
To me it seems to shout of an attention seeking thing which is worrying and I am panicking again about middle child syndrome! but I also think maybe she really didn't mean to do it but the peeling paint thing got a bit addictive when she did a tiny bit (I know I would have found it really satisfying to peel off that much paint! )
so wwyd?

i think she has no idea why she did it and it is very likely she felt sad when you were questioning not at all when she did isn't naughty its curiosity. have you ever said to her several time do not peel paint off the wall. of course not so why shouldnt she??? why on earth woud she consider it naughty? its just paint its just a all and i imagine its her wall. the sad thing is a total red herring. you have given her loads of attention now so shes learnt that peeling paint gets that. i doubt she was looking for it just peeling paint!

CyradisTheSeer Tue 11-Aug-09 23:17:25

Message withdrawn

l39 Wed 12-Aug-09 08:07:08

Children don't care about walls. I would've been cross enough to hopefully discourage her in the future, but not needed to impose a punishment. Painting a wall isn't that much trouble. Ours have scribbled over walls (a lot) with pens and lipsticks and nail varnish (very hard to cover!). It seems a bit odd to me that a small child could peel off a 'huge patch' of paint in one evening. An area several feet square is what I'm imagining. For the paint to be that flaky wouldn't the wall have to be damp or something? Perhaps the child has done her mother a favour by drawing her attention to something wrong with the wall!

PortAndLemon Wed 12-Aug-09 08:19:05

I would have been cross, but paint picking tends to be compulsive behaviour rather than deliberate naughtiness, rather like biting nails. And in turn that can be the result of being unhappy or worried, although it can also just be the child's personality type.

I don't see how it can be "too harsh" to sit down with the DD and talk about what happened.

piscesmoon Wed 12-Aug-09 08:20:43

I agree with you OP. She started it and it was quite satisfying. She now won't do it again. You don't have to read any deep meaning into it.

PortAndLemon Wed 12-Aug-09 08:23:58

The other response does seem a bit odd. By 5 I would (sadly) expect my DCs to have had at least one drawing on the floor or walls episode and to have been bright enough to work out from my reaction to that that trashing the walls was Not A Good Thing To Do. The idea that you have to give a child a very specific list of everything that could possibly considered naughty, and repeat that list several times, is odd IMO if you are dealing with a NT child of normal intelligence.

Tillyscoutsmum Wed 12-Aug-09 08:25:58

I remember we used to have blown vinyl wallpaper in the lounge when I was a child. I was always picking bits of it (when I was much older than 5 blush). I wasn't intentionally being naughty or doing it for attention, it was just quite theraputic - a bit like picking a scab.

I don't think this mother was particularly harsh for telling her dd off though

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