Okay, the gender police in me are going to come out first...IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SEX!!!! For every girl who is gentle with her toys, there is another who acts just like the boys described above. Just as for every destructive boy, there is a boy who is careful and gentle.
Okay, I can breathe now, sorry
The nice helpful person in me can come out now...maybe your ds does this because he knows it's a surefire way to get attention? You did mention that these behaviors occur when you are not available. After all, he knows you can't ignore him if he's about to break a lamp or pour maple syrup all over the cat. I'm absolutely not insinuating that you do not give him lots of attention, but maybe he needs more at this time in his life. I find my dd goes thru stages where she needs me so much, and stages where she doesn't need as much attention. If you think he is doing it for attention, try not to get bent out of shape and simply react to the situation with a, "Oh, you poured paint all over the floor. I don't like having paint on my floor. Help me clean this up." Then put the paints away and tell him that he must not be ready for painting yet and maybe when he's a little older, he can try again. Try to keep him out of situations where he can do damage - keep the scissors, permanent markers, etc. out of reach (gee this is all about those damn art supplies, isn't it?
). Also, praise him for the times you leave the room and come back and nothing has been destroyed!
Hope this helps - it's a little disconnected and rambling because I'm on allergy medication!