Help my 6 year old is destroying things

Lindsi - posted on 07/30/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Help me please!!! I don't know what to do! My 6 year old daughter has a terrible habit of destroying things. Two summers ago she poured a bucket of water on my $700 camera. a year ago she threw my smart phone in the toilet. She is constantly writing her name on things all over the house. She laughs when I scold her...I seriously have to hold back from losing it on her when she does this. She doesn't wear the clothing I lay out for her (for example she had an art camp today and I put out dark clothing so that if paint got on it I could easily get it out. When I picked her up she was wearing a beautiful WHITE church outfit and it is completely ruined. When I talked to her abuot it she just started laughing. Im at a loss for words. I don't know what else to do. PLEASE HELP

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Chet - posted on 07/30/2014

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It's possible your daughter doesn't actually think it's funny. It's possible that she is very uncomfortable and doesn't know how to react. Kids (and adults) often laugh at extremely inappropriate times because they don't know what to do.

We have four kids and you really need to be proactive. Put things out of reach. Dress clothing isn't stored anywhere our kids can touch it. We buy stuff with the credit card specifically to have the accidental damage insurance. Our youngest will attempt to take anything apart he can get his hands on, and we store electronics, appliances and tools accordingly.

Our oldest is a doodler and was constantly writing her name and drawing smiley faces on everything. She'd promise not to do it any more WHILE she was lightly dragging a pencil along the table. It scaled back to a reasonable level by the time she was about eight. She's still a doodler, but she doesn't write on walls, furniture, clothing or electronics any more.

Really though, one horrible incident a year is typical for kids under a certain age. If you went a year between the wet camera and the smart phone in the toilet I would describe your child and more average than terrible.

Understand too that she's a child. She doesn't know what stuff costs. She can't tell the difference between a $700 camera and a cheap camera, or the difference between a smart phone and a cheap electronic toy.

One thing I have done is give our kids a few very simple rules that are non negotiable, but not overly restrictive. No art supplies on the bedroom level of the house. No water play outside of the backyard or the bathroom. No books in the bathroom ever. If you ever find a box cutter you must give it to a grown up immediately.

Rules that reduced the opportunity for disaster have helped us a lot, but we still have a lot of stories that will become super funny once enough time has passed.

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