Eric - posted on 05/14/2014 ( 9 moms have responded )
My Fiance and I live together. She has a son that is 4, almost 5. For the last 2 years, and even before, he writes on everything. He writes on the walls, the doors, the counters, the floors, the furniture, etc.
I have seen this topic over and over, we have tried all of the suggestions. He has full access to paper, but even when he has paper in front of him he writes on the table. He has been punished by making him clean up his graffiti. he has been given time-out after time-out. He has lost "outside time" and has lost favorite toys.
We have put up all writing utensils. But we have other children who need them, and arent as good as putting things up as they should be. We have had everything from pencils on the wall to sharpies and scissors on the new $1800 couch (ruined by the way). As diligent as we try to be, he always seems to find some thing to write with. This morning it happened again, fabric paint all over the couch... His punishment is another time-out.
I feel like with continuing behavior punishments should increase, following the theory that only an insane person tries the same thing over and over expecting a different result. My belief is that we should be teaching our children to live in the outside world, where one day they will hopefully end up. In society, if you have behavior that is unacceptable, and the first punishment does not cease your behavior, the next time the punishment increases, and so on. Let say this child is 18 and he decides to go spray paint a wall, his first punishment is probation and community service. If he does it again they dont give him the same punishment, the next time he might see fines and a little time behind bars. If he is still doing it after 20 offenses he will definitely not still be getting probation and community service.