Mr. Destructo - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-19-2001, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4 year old son is pushing me to the edge :mad: I am always finding things he has cut up, torn apart, poured on the floor. Get the idea? Anytime I take a little time away from him (such as walking into another room), something happens. Last month he actually lifted a barbell with 70 pounds on it & it one side of it fell off the rack. Luckily no one was hurt, but I was having a breakdown for the rest of the day just thinking what could have happened!

He usually does this when he is tired or bored. He also loves to throw things. He is one of the sweetest, loving little guys you have ever seen. So why is he like this? Is it a boy thing? My other two are girls.
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#2 of 14 Old 12-19-2001, 06:19 AM
 
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Hi gilnikche ,
I don't know if it's a boy thing but just to let you know that my boy (almost 4 1/2) is exactly the same, he allways wants to do what he shouldn't do, if I give him scissors to cut some papers he'll cut his hair, If I give him some paints and papers to paint,he'll do it for very short time and then the paint will end up on his face,hands.
He's so much like your boy, I'm happy to hear that he is not the only one.

Sigal
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#3 of 14 Old 12-19-2001, 11:05 AM
 
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I'm not going to be much help, as I am going through the very same thing with my boys. They seem to seek out dangerous and destrutive things to do when they are alone in a room. Like you experiecned, my older daughter would never have thought of doing such things. I wish I had a way to redirect them....but when I am in the bathroom showering, they know I am not there to stop them. *sigh*
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#4 of 14 Old 12-19-2001, 03:54 PM
 
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I have a 5.5 year old who is the same way. he still rarely uses crayons because he used to either eat the crayons, peel and eat the wrapper or break them into pieces. scissors are for cutting anything but paper. markers end up on the floor, walls, himself, his sister. this is so frustrating!!! asif you dont already know haha I think he really needs to, and likes to, manipulate things with his hands - I have no idea if this has anything to do with destruction. legos will keep him occupied for hours. art must be supervised, and sadly does not happen often enough. I have found that I must take the time to get the supplies out and be there while he and his sister are using them - when it gets out of hand, i put it away. if I had a space I could allow to be trashed for the sake of art, I would do it. alas i do not.
hmmmm, not being very helpful, am i?
thats cuz i have not figured out what to do with my destruction boy either
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#5 of 14 Old 12-20-2001, 01:44 AM
 
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Count my boys in there too! They can't do art either. If they aren't fighting over the markers/crayons, they are drawing "ripes" (stripes) on their legs then pretending to be tigers.

Yes, while this is all good and funny, it's a pain to have to clean up. I hate arts & crafts.

Today I walked into their playroom. Ethan was singing at the top of his voice 'HEY NOW YOU'RE AN ALLSTAR, GET THE SHOW ON, GET PAID, HEY NOW YOU'RE A ROCK STAR, GET THE SHOW ON GO PLAY' while throwing blocks against the wall and watching it rocket back towards him and his brother, who of course got caught in the richotte and got hit

Nothing ever stays put together at my house. Toys are constantly strewn around. They dump out things just to do it. He won't cut paper, but he will cut my recliner.

Ugh, it's gotta be a boy thing because my friends with girls are so nice and gentle with thier toys.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-20-2001, 03:12 PM
 
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oh paulab52, you make me laugh -- here i am feeling all guilty (and obsessive about messes) because we can't do art without strict supervision -- and you just go ahead and hate it. yes, i hate cleaning up after their tattoo sessions too. and i can't stand cleaning up every thing that gets dumped out just for the heck of it. -
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#7 of 14 Old 12-20-2001, 04:54 PM
 
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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!
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#8 of 14 Old 12-20-2001, 05:43 PM
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I know exactly what you mamas are talkin' about! In our house most activities must be closely supervised in order to protect the furniture, the cat, and my sanity!

Maybe you can do this kind of stuff outside or in the basement or something or on the porch. and limit his access to the stuff he can't touch (like taking scissors to the armchair, etc)
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#9 of 14 Old 12-20-2001, 06:21 PM
 
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You know, peacemama....That is a very good point! While my daughter would never have thought of such things when she was three years old, we had a friend whose little girl was into EVERYTHING all day long! So, while this topic isn't really a sex thing, it certainly is an individual little person thing! LOL
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#10 of 14 Old 12-21-2001, 06:25 PM
 
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I'm so glad I read this thread !!!!!!
I've have considered myself fairly lucky with Ds#1~~~~~ he is so neat, and very calm! We have been doing art things since he was about 11/2! I mean, playdough, painting, crayons, markers,.....even glitter! I can even leave the room with him in charge and feel perfectly fine with the whole thing! He can even be left with scissors.....NO problem!

But WAIT..........enter ds#2!

I only had it good for a short time! Ds#2 is now 16 months and I can tell he is a different boy! He is going to be just like what you ladies are describing. Now all the art stuff has to wait until ds#2 is sleeping!
So i am reading ya'lls advice with a smile b/c as the months pass I'll need to know what to do!
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#11 of 14 Old 12-21-2001, 08:15 PM
 
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I just automatically inserted my boy (2 1/2) into your boy's singing/throwing frenzy. That is so easy to picture! Except he mostly knows nursery style songs...so he'd probably be screaming/singing something along the lines of "She'll be comin' 'round the mountains when she comes BEEP BEEP!" you get the picture. This is of course done primarily when his sister is sleeping (8 months, so not sure yet how she'll be). And his absolute favorite phrase appears to be, "Mom! Watch This!" this is generally followed by a leap from some altitude in the house (I didn't even know he could climb that!) that I would consider unsafe. So, no good advice, but my empathy is with you all.

Leah
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#12 of 14 Old 12-22-2001, 12:35 AM
 
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My son definately fits in here. I have tried everything to get him to help clean up after his hurricane frenzy but he refuses to help...sometimes I know it's an attention thing because he knows how exasperated I get during the power struggle that ensues. I have been making all of my Christmas presents this year and have had to focus my energy in other directions other than him and it's making him pretty looney! One of the most important lessons I am teaching him is responsibilty, so when he flat out says "NO MOM DO IT" I feel all of my motherly authority drain out my toes and merge with the mess that he's made on the kitchen floor. I am just too damn tired sometimes to exert the energy by trying to approach it the "emotionally mature way." I wish he would just clean up after himself.
My goodness do I ever relate.

Peace,
Amie
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#13 of 14 Old 12-25-2001, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is wonderful to read the responses & know it is not just ME! BTW, one of my best stress relief items (believe it or not) is a shop vac. It makes it so much easier to clean up the messes. Now if I can just figure out where to constructively divert some of that energy to.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-02-2002, 12:36 AM
 
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I have the same experience as Missgrl. My first ds who is now 3 1/2 was a wonder with the craft stuff from as young as 18 months. He especailly loves to cut and glue. DS #2 who is now 19 months is a whilrling dervish!: i cannot leave out ANY art supplies and have to supervise almost every second with things.He thinks it is all a game and gives the most devilish laugh when "caught" I feel bad for my older son because I often have to say no because of the baby. I did try the gate thing but ds #2 is also a climber and he would climb over to be with big brother while having a tantrum the entire time. DS 2 is getting better and now they can watercolor for a while with no issue. DS 2 even likes to just paint with air and this makes him happy.

I have found though that one thing they love and that keeps them happy and quiet for LONG periods of time is our Oatmeal sandbox. I filled a plastic rubbermaid container with a fitted lid and filled it with cheap, warehouse oatmeal and measuring/pouring tools. They love it! I admit that it does get messy, but I put it in the kitchen and all I do is vacumm and done. I replace the oatmeal every couple of months, that stuff stays good forever if the box is sealed right and we have never had any problem with bugs. My DH hates this thing because it is messy but i think so easy to clean and they love it so much why not. Plus if the baby eats any, he puts everything in his mouth still by the way, it won't hurt him.

AS for advice, I would take him with you whenever you can. Praise him for playing nicely and maybe have one of those reward charts. Find something that he loves to do:like go to a movie, museum, play, recreation spot and tell him that if he can get through so many days without incident that you and he will have a special day and do that special thing, just the two of you, or with dad if there are no siblings. My ds 2 is still to little to really reason with, so I try really hard to redirect him while older brother is doing things that are messy. Hope this helps and sorry for going on so long.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
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