My son tears things up and breaks them all of the time...

Crystal - posted on 04/05/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old son is always tearing paper up, breaking his brother's Legos, tearing up his sister's coloring pages, breaking crayons. Is he "asking" for attention or just being a boy?

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Crystal - posted on 04/05/2014

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Thank you for your reply. I am sure that he is just asking for attention...he has 2 older brothers and 1 younger sister. I am a stay-at-home mother, a full time student, and a substitute. This semester we hired a nanny to pick them up from the bus and until I or my husband get home. Not only does he have to deal with these changes, we have had to give our oldest extra attention because she is having trouble at school.

Yes, I put him on the naughty wall when he deliberately destroys his siblings toys, but not when he tears up paper. I guess that I should be using the form of discipline anytime he gets destructive. This is new to me because his older two siblings never acted out like this.

Should I treat EVERY instance of destruction the same?

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Jodi - posted on 04/05/2014

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In addition to what Evelyn has said, he needs to apologise to his siblings when he does this (he is old enough). In fact, depending on what it was, I would have him do additional chores so that he can replace the item he destroyed (or replace it out of his own pocket money). You also need to find more ways to be able to give him positive attention. Try to go out of your way to plan some positive attention experiences with him when the opportunity arises.

Ev - posted on 04/05/2014

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He is destroying something period. If he has to have some paper to tear up give him an old magazine or newspaper. But when he does this is he mad or acting out in other ways because if he is then he needs discipline and at his age the naughty wall may not be working. You need to take his favorite things away and tell him this behavoir is not accepted. He is more than old enough to understand that.

Ev - posted on 04/05/2014

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Are you allowing this behavior to go on? Are you not addressing it? He could be asking for attention but that depends on the type he gets most of the time. If he gets negative attention that is what he will seek. You need to stop giving him attention for negative things. YOu need to be sure he understands that what he is doing is wrong and not nice. You need to put him in his room with no TOYS for a while sort of like time out and make him earn back what he wants to play with. Also you need to make sure all the kids are on the same rules. You then need to praise him for his good actions. No bribing. He will begin to expect it every time. Be the Parent.

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