Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Shoes | 2011-10-24


Destructive boys

Hi Professor,

I have 2 year old and 4 year sons who seem to break everything they touch. Is this a phase or bad parenting? Every new toy they get has to be pulled apart. We have a sprinkler system in our garden and the top sprinkler parts have been taken off and scattered around the garden. Perhaps they are just inquisitive and I should be grateful for that. My 4 year old went into my make up box yesterday and decorated his face with my lipstick........ The 2 year old climbed up the shelves and pulled his piggy bank onto the floor so it smashed to bits and the money flew everywhere. I try to put valuables high up, but they climb and sniff out everything.

Thanks for your time.

Expert's Reply



This is certainly not due to bad parenting. Your son's seem to be two very inquisitive little boys who want to find out how everything works.Many young boys are like this and they often turn out to be great inventors and brilliant engineers. The younger one may also be going through the terrible two's and may be getting up to a bit more mischief than is usual.

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user comments


Posted by: BMJ | 2011-10-24

Shoes it is probably curiosity but it can lead to destructiveness for the sake of it and the 2y old will copy the 4y old. I have 3 boys and my one sone particultarly seem to make things fall apart in his hands - often not trying to be destructive. So with him I give more grace. I have one rule that is unmoveable: If it is not a (your) toy - you may not touch it without asking permission. So you might have to take your sons through the house and ask them to point out what is toys and what is not. You will also do well to occasionally give them a ''non toy thing'' to take apart with permission )make sure they understand it is special permnission, the rule still applies and that you dont want it back). Everytime they play with things not toys, there must be a punishment. Like having to clasp their hands together for 5 minutes and sit still etc...but also a rewards for doing as you asked and allowence to ''break'' toys.

Reply to BMJ
Posted by: ANRE | 2011-10-24

I remember my brother at that age would take apart most of his toys... after Christmas, usually a couple of days later, the toys would be in pieces all over the place, especially the electronic kind, he loved taking them apart - maybe to see what is inside? I don''t know... but he kind of kept to his own toys most of the time...

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