|Every single time I fold towels or clothes and he wanders in the room, he immediately has the urge to tear into them and mess them all up. This one makes me insane.
This would caues me to loose it.
I am a little bit obsessive about my laundry folding, an this one would push me right over the edge. No kidding.
When my kids were toddlers, and likely to do this, I'd take the basket with me when I left the room. I guess you could still do this with a 4 year old -- but I'd also have no qualms at all about telling a 4 year old exactly how this behavior makes me feel.
But laundry is definately my vulnerable spot.
I do think being very consistant about calling him back to help you clean up messes all day could be effective. If my kids move on to a new activity and leave a disaster in the next room, I will ask them to "pause" their game or activity, and come back to clean up the other mess first. They get the message eventually, because its easier to do that in the first place than to have their games interupted.
It also sounds like he has a bit of destructive streak too, and I would probably try to find some acceptable ways to channel/honor those impulses, with the hope that it will cut down on the unacceptable ways. Some ideas:
- A pouring/mixing station with basins of water, soap bubbles, etc.
- A basket of old newspapers for shredding or cutting whenever he feels like it.
- A basket of pom-pom balls from the craft store, for dumping/throwing/scattering.
I'm sure others here have ideas too.