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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So DS (almost 4) is doing a lot of perfectly normal and aggravating stuff... but for the sake of an example, he goes around turning the fans on and off. He burned one out the other day--a nice one--by switching it on and off and switching it slow. I am concerned for our fan supply, and also about him getting shocked if one shorts out while he's doing it.

And I am doing a lot of learning right now on discipline and parenting....but I am not at a point where I can get my head around this. What can I do in this situation? Today I put the fan in the laundry closet--but on a hotter day I am going to need it out. I can't get them out of his reach without creating dangerous unstable towers--one of them in particular is big and heavy.

So I just wondered, does anyone want to just brainstorm a few ideas for me, to get my head unstuck. I keep ending up trying to intimidate him into obedience
. Some perspective would be really helpful.
 

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Can you get a cheap-o $10 fan that is his alone? Obviously he is working something out by messing with them all the time. I would tell him that his HIS fan and that if he breaks it, then that is it. The other fans belong to the family and are necessary to keep everyone cool, so he may not mess with them.
 

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It sounds like he's experimenting with how things work, unless he is also smiling devilishly at you and going "take THAT mom!"


What would happen if you gave him a broken fan and a screwdriver? Or a radio? Or some other appliance? What if the two of you made your own fan of some sort (pinwheel fan, etc)?

It's funny how so many of the traits that can be absolutely bothersome in children end up being completely necessary as adults...if there is some way you can nurture that curiosity without it driving you insane, there might be winners all around? There's also a cool book called "How Things Work" at the library, probably, that he might like just flipping through. It's for adults but has all sorts of neat diagrams of the insides of mechanical devices.

My daughter likes to make art out of found objects. Needless to say I find a lot of objects throughout my house, underfoot...embedded in my foot... that cannot be thrown away because "MOM THAT'S MY ART!" And scraps and scraps of paper...everywhere. In my bed, in the pantry, in the laundry...
 

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Okay the pp's gave you some good ideas.

But what do you do if he keeps going for the fans?

Don't let him. If he touches the fan say calmly. "You can't touch the fan. It might break and we need it."

AND then gently move him away from the fan each time he touches it. After the first time there is no explanation. No discussion. Just move him away. It's best if you do this with as little talking as possible "no touching the fan" in a bored voice is good so that it does not become a game in his mind.

Try your hardest NOT to seem aggravated. That may only engage him. Just gently move him away while seeming kind of bored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, that's helpful. I keep forgetting to be boring. Intensity is more my style...


I am working on a birthday present (2 weeks) that involves a toolbox with screwdrivers and pliers, and an old machine of some kind to disassemble. I had no idea I was addressing this problem--my subconscious is smarter than me.
I will definitely look for a fan, in my appliance search.
 

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I am not even sure I would tell him not to touch the other fan. I would take all the focus off of it and put it on his. "Where is YOUR fan?" spoken with great enthusiasm. All said while guiding him toward it. Also, when I got the new one, I would make a big deal about how much he seems to loves fans, so you got one of his very own.

We recently went through a similar thing with cameras. I have a stash of disposable cameras that he is using until the thrill is gone.
 
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