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I don't know if this belongs in the GD forum but I think it's particularly applicable to toddlers, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
My DD loves books and prefers them to every other toy, but she has also become quite destructive with them. She eats them (she's still very oral at 20 months), bends the covers back to break the spine and rip the covers off, and of course rips off peekaboo flaps and such. We mostly put board books at her level so she isn't ripping pages.<br><br>
My DH and I are both book lovers and have great respect for books. I do write in my books on occasion, but we tend to use bookmarks and handle them gently, so it really bothers us when she is so hard on her books. It's a hot button issue you might say. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Our strategy for the past several months has just been to keep an eye on her with them and if she starts being destructive, take the book away and say "ouch, the book hurts when you rip/stomp on/chew it" but she doesn't seem to be getting the message. I think that she might be more likely to stop if we ignored it, but then she'd probably destroy 1/2 of her library before she got through the phase?!<br><br>
The other things I've thought of have been to put her library up high and only give her access when we are reading to her, but that bothers me because she is very independent and I want to encourage her love of reading to herself and not make reading something that she can only do with an adult. Another idea is to pare down her library to just 10 or 12 books so that she might be more careful with them because she can see that they are a limited resource.<br><br>
Any advice from BTDT moms?
 

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What about just leaving cloth books/bath books for her to get to and putting all but a few of the restup where you can only reach them? My son is about the same age are your DD and he can be rough on them but modeling seems to have helped quite a bit. He still rips at the flaps but I try to remember that it will get better as they get older.
 

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I was in your boat. I don't think you can teach a toddler to have respect for books. Developmentally, they just aren't there. After our son ripped a bunch of our books, we simply boxed up all the books on the reachable shelves and left the boxes on the shelves. After a year we took them out again.<br><br>
But it sounds as if the problem is more her books than your books. I guess in that case I would just dole them out until she outgrows this phase.
 

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Oh yeah, we definitely keep our books out of her reach! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The cloth books and bath books is a great idea, but they seem to all be too young for her stage right now...she is starting to be interested in books with 5-10 words on a page and the plastic and cloth books are mostly still 1-5 words per page. But I suppose that I can just save the more advanced books for times I'm reading to her and leave the others at her level. Thanks!
 

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My son is a little younger - 17 months, but he is also pretty rough on his books. What we've done is bought a whole shelf's worth of second hand board books, and those are his learn how to respect books books. His favorite thing in the whole world is being read to or "reading" to us, so I wanted to make sure he still had full access to a bunch of books.<br><br>
I try to let him flip the pages quickly, accidentally bend the (board) pages as he turns them when it's obviously a mistake etc. because I don't want to in any way make him not love books! That's why we have the "learning" books. But when he starts pulling out the binding or being too rough, then they get taken away. He gets so frustrated when we take a book away. Now he is much better than he used to be, it seems like it's working.
 

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We love books too (my partner is an academic and I work in book publishing), but took a different approach with our now 7 year old (who has read on her own all of Harry Potter, most of the Lightning Thief series and is now well into the Chronicles of Narnia, so a definite book lover too!). Basically we gently redirected book destroying behaviors when we were reading together, but still gave her unfettered access to most of her books. And yes, a fair number of them were chewed, ripped, written on or otherwise destroyed, but she did grow out of those behaviors as over the years she noticed that the books were not as nice as they once were (stickers over words, pages missing, etc.) We repaired the ones that we could, and only did generally give more unsupervised access to board books until we could trust her not to rip pages (though of course they were still chewed, or had the flaps ripped off)--early on we kept any ones with pages that could be ripped out of reach for the most part. A surprising number did survive, and now we have the same approach with our 17-month-old.<br><br>
I'm not sure if our professions have anything to do with our approach (most academics write all over their books, and both of us did, while my professional life is entirely comprised of books in various stages of existence), but allowing access (and some destruction) didn't prevent our daughter from developing a love and respect for books when she was old enough, and we really wanted books always present, available, and not something "off limits" in any way.<br><br>
We also really appreciated second hand books and hand me downs! And I got a fair number of kids' books at an annual industry trade show. And many of our kids' relatives are librarians and elementary school teachers, so there was always a steady supply at every holiday...
 

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My son is also an avid lover/destroyer of books. He's 21 months, and you can tell which books are his favorite because they are the really raggedy taped up ones. He only gets board books, or cloth books (but he's not as into those) and I just try to repair them as they get torn up. We've only had to throw away one or two so far that were beyond saving. I do try to model gentle play, but he has no interest in being gentle, he's incredibly rough with all his toys.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lyra1977</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Our strategy for the past several months has just been to keep an eye on her with them and if she starts being destructive, take the book away and say "ouch, the book hurts when you rip/stomp on/chew it" but she doesn't seem to be getting the message. I think that she might be more likely to stop if we ignored it, but then she'd probably destroy 1/2 of her library before she got through the phase?!</div>
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DD (15 mos.) loves them too. I like your strategy.<br><br>
That being said, she gets 5-10 on "her" shelf; the others get rotated through. This way there can only be 10 books on the floor with pages needing to be reattached/taped. If she has a special book that she really loves to read (rather than eat or hit), I buy a backup copy. [Right now this is Ed Emberly's "Where's my Sweetie Pie?"] "Special gift" type books go on the shelf for when she's supervised. I also give her magazines/catalogues to rip up for fun, because it brings such joy.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
For the most part, I try to remember that they're just books. They're replaceable. DD uses them in the way that pleases her, which is fine with me, although it does make me cringe to see her flapping a book while the binding cracks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 
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