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3-1/2-year-old behaviour

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My 3-1/2-year-old is out of control. The other day he was the bedroom playing and when I went to check on him I found the curtains ripped off the wall, the crib on its side, bookshelves in pieces, toys everywhere... you get the picture - total destruction. Even after the terrible consequences of that day (loss of television, toys taken out of his room, etc.), the next day he started to do the same thing to the basement. 

He is always breaking things, has absolutely no care for anything, and never has even a spot of remorse. He is truly apathetic to the whole thing.


Is this normal, or at least semi-normal behaviour for a 3-year-old? I'm at wits end with him. 



post #2 of 7

What do you think is behind it? Is he curious?  angry? trying to do stuff but clumsy?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure. He gets angry a lot, but his destruction seems more in play than anger. Sometimes he hits things or people. If you ask him to stop he'll just keep doing it. He really doesn't listen at all. He'll rationalize everything. He is definitely not clumsy though. He is very coordinated, for example today he climbed up on the end of his bed and jumped out and broke an ornament that was hanging from the ceiling. He is very curious about the world around him, but I don't think him breaking things is out of curiosity. Maybe if he did something once and saw what happens, but he'll do the same destructive things over and over again.

The weirdest thing is that sometimes he is so loving and so calm, but it seems like more often than not lately he is misbehaving.

post #4 of 7

I personally wouldn't tolerate any of that behavior and if DD ever did that and I would watch her like a hawk to stop the acts before they start. Thankfully she is very dainty and girly, thus far.


It sounds like this behavior has been progressing in a negative direction to the point that there may have been cues that you missed, which happens, but we, as parents, are responsible for letting it get to that point. At 3.5, it's going to be harder, you have to reverse his carless behavior that has been done. As far as him needing to learn to care about the effect he has on you and inanimate objects, that's a personality trait that needs to be learned and firmly understood.


You need to take a couple days, stick to a routine and give him 100% of your time. 


... just my honest advice, good luck mama!

post #5 of 7

How does a 3.5 year old tip over a crib??  If he really did that, it's more than just a respect for property issue - it's a safety issue.


I wouldn't leave a child like that unsupervised.  I don't think that is normal behavior, honestly, though it's not abnormal for kids to be destructive at times.  That kind of rage, however, we warrant me to contact my pediatrician and perhaps a therapist to get to the root of the issue.



post #6 of 7

Honestly, it just sounds like he needs more attention.  Spend some more time playing with him, and keep a closer eye on him when you are doing other things.  He's probably also figuring out what pushes your buttons.  Try to keep your cool and help him ask for your attention in more appropriate ways.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

It's hard to give him the attention I'd like to - I'm a single mom and I'm trying to do school full-time online. I'm just about done my school and I'll be able to spend more time with him. I know he wants attention, he is constantly asking me to come do things with him and I try to take a few minutes here and there to go read with him or go outside or whatever. And though I'm doing school, he is supervised pretty much all the time. My parents are very, very supportive and help out a lot and he spends a lot of time with the rest of our family as well. We are very close knit, but I think sometimes that makes it harder - there are too many people disciplining and being "in charge". I'm hoping when my schooling is done things will settle down.  



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