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DS2 climbs EVERYTHING. We have two gates, one above the other, into the kitchen bc we keep (nearly) everything he can't be digging in in there (medications, cleaning supplies etc). We have a picture of him standing on a toy looking over the gates. I literally cannot turn my back without him climbing SOMEthing- including but not limited to bookcases, tables, counters.
If he gets into the kitchen somehow (he's learning how to take the gates down), he totally DESTROYS it- takes things out of the fridge and freezer, tears everything out of the cupboards, climbs the counters. I don't know what to do! I have tried redirecting him, taking him down (repeatedly) from places he can't be and removing things that he can't have.

Please help me, wise mamas!
 

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DS was like that. Sometimes it helped if I took him out to a big playground and stayed for a LONG time, and maybe had him run laps. He has mostly outgrown it-- that is, he channels it into somewhat more appropriate impulses, and he knows which furniture he can and can't climb. Plus now that he is big enough to climb stairs safely by himself, he can do that when he gets the climbing urge.

If I had to do something to turn my back on him when he was still in his suicidal phase, I was able to distract him with the TV or sometimes a noisy flashy toy. Sometimes. Oh, and it got better when we started taking him to Gymboree, too, I guess that helped him get it somewhat out of his system.

Wait, I'm looking at your sig-- so he's 2 1/2? So he's a few months younger than my DS. I started giving mine some mild warnings and consequences for misbehavior a few months ago. Nothing serious, just enough to help it sink in what's expected of him. That has helped too.
 

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DD is like that in the kitchen! You should see some of the backgrounds of my photos haha. She loves to pull out the measuring cups, and get into the rice and beans and pour them everywhere. And she hangs out in the fridge as if she's a penguin or something.

It's something I've tried to appreciate so far b/c it keeps her occupied while I'm cooking dinner/cleaning. And I feel as if she connects more. Like, she is learning about cooking and food and having fun with it.

The bookshelves were a real thorn though. I did something radical, that I didn't really believe would work...and TBH it might not work for most kids depending on temperament....but I took all the things she was trying to get and put them on the lower shelves. It took about 2 weeks of tossing, touching, etc and then...she didn't care. (Unschooling/self-regulation philosophy?) Yes, the betta fish got shoved around a few times and water splashed on the floor. I realized how, well, irrelevant it was. Mr. Betta cost $1.50 and he's still swimming as I type. She knocked down my photo albums daily for 5 days straight. But now, my living room is the only clean room in the house...


I also second the idea of taking him to the park and letting him run around. They change over from making a mess while playing to randomly destroying everything. I think when it changes over, it's a sign that they are bored and acting out.
 

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I think that toddlers have an inert need to climb and jump and slide...I bought my girl a todder gym/slide for the living room..She could climb the little mountain climbing steps..Be higher off the ground and slide down that slide a million times all day long if she wanted..It really helped with the climbing/jumping on furniture and chairs ect...She grew out of it a while back and now the gym is outside on my porch...

I didn't get a huge $$ one either..It was like 68 bucks at wallmart...Little Tikes...
 

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If it's the urge to climb it might help to have a small indoor climbing structure. Then I'd find ways to spare yourself some sanity and invest is some good child locks. It's taken A LOT of experimenting to find locks that my DS couldn't break through, but I had no choice once he figured out how to get over the baby gates. He takes great enjoyment in destroying the kitchen as well. So far this fridge/freezer lock has held up much longer than any other, he has yet to figure out how to open it or break it. The added bonus is that it can be leveled to align properly with the doors, and has a much stronger adhesive than the 3M stuff. Next I'd find some cabinet locks and install them. If you don't mind drilling into doors you can get the type that latch inside the door, those have always kept DS out of things. You can also try the adhesive/magnetic kind but I haven't had great luck with anything adhesive because DS can break through it.
 

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DS is a climber too. We bought a roll of snow fence at the hardware store and have used it to gate off areas/things that a standard gate couldn't do. The bottom half of our shelving is 'snow fenced' so that he can't use it as a ladder. The undersides of some of our furniture is covered with the stuff (usually tacked with zip ties) so that he doesn't get stuck underneath. The place looks like a crazy disco for the time being, but it has helped to focus the climbing to the couch + ottoman. You might consider also hanging a curtain over the doorway to your kitchen--it would be one more thing to navigate before the gate and give you a few more seconds when you turn your back.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
DS2 climbs EVERYTHING. We have two gates, one above the other, into the kitchen bc we keep (nearly) everything he can't be digging in in there (medications, cleaning supplies etc). We have a picture of him standing on a toy looking over the gates. I literally cannot turn my back without him climbing SOMEthing- including but not limited to bookcases, tables, counters.
If he gets into the kitchen somehow (he's learning how to take the gates down), he totally DESTROYS it- takes things out of the fridge and freezer, tears everything out of the cupboards, climbs the counters. I don't know what to do! I have tried redirecting him, taking him down (repeatedly) from places he can't be and removing things that he can't have.

Please help me, wise mamas!

I see our sons are only a few months apart (DS was born 08/07). He is the SAME way. I notice his behavior is excessively, erm... destructive when DD is awake and demanding attention from me as well. Also, he's just so full of energy and maybe he's not getting enough of it out as its winter and wet and cold all the time, i don't know, but I am in the same boat. He's not listening to me, I fear he's going to get hurt. I have moved, removed, relocated, SO much in our house, its ridiculous, and still, he finds things to climb on, break. I KNOW he's curious. I KNOW he does this especially when he's bored, so I try to engage him regularly, but really, there is only so much engaging I can do and still manage to, oh, do anything else?! Sorry, no help from me. Just empathy.
I'm struggling for patience with this, so I'm desperate for advice as well. I hate constantly being a killjoy to his curiosity and yet feeling like I am being completely ignored and every. single. strategy I have tried has failed. It is really getting to me to where I am not always the nicest momma.
 
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