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Coloring on the inside door of my car-Discipline ideas for this if it comes up again in the future

My 4 year old son found a crayon in the back seat of my car. Because he is in a booster seat and no longer located in the middle of the backseat and I was driving, he colored on the inside door of my car. Now he knows better and that he is only to color on paper, but he was also mad that we were going home. I gave him a spanking when we got home and I saw what he had done. What would you have done? He likes to clean things off, and when he drew on the walls at home when he was younger, I had him help clean it off and he acted like it was a reward, so just having him clean it off was not an option. He has plenty of paper and coloring books.

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crystaljedi

Asked by crystaljedi at 9:56 PM on Jun. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I would have figured my child was 4 and found a crayon so he colored on something...it's what kids do. I would have just reminded him we only color on our paper and gotten on with my life.
    aurorabunny

    Answer by aurorabunny at 10:20 PM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • My kids have done that too. I would make him clean it up and let him know that its not acceptable. I might would have spanked depending on the exact circumstances or attitude that was involved. Meaning if I knew the child was angry with me and did this to spite me, then a spanking would be in order, but my kids always did it out of curiosity and just being kids. I let the first one slide because it does come off it with magic eraser, but after that...no excuse.
    momofsaee

    Answer by momofsaee at 10:37 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Well, first off it sounds like he needs to be taught how to sit properly in the vehicle in a booster, and if he can't, then he needs to go back into a five-point harness.
    Second, you shouldn't have HELPED him clean it. My kiddo likes cleaning too... until it's difficult, takes awhile, etc. Once it's not something he's doing because he likes it, but has to do because we say so, it starts becoming NOT so fun.
    Third, I would never have spanked, ever. Instead, I would have removed "crayon privileges" for however long I felt was necessary.
    RanaAurora

    Answer by RanaAurora at 10:41 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • I would make sure I didn't have any crayons laying around in the car... I agree with aurorabunny - child is 4 yrs old, found a crayon, and decided to entertain during the drive. I also agree with ranaaurora in that he could have cleaned it up all by himself. There's no sense in getting too mad, but let the punishment fit the crime... I call these natural consequences, and they usually work pretty well.
    mamaD2008

    Answer by mamaD2008 at 5:39 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Yeah, I make my 3 & 4 year olds clean up when they draw on floor, walls, table, etc. YES - he 'knows' better but they can't predict the consequences of their actions at that age. I don't generally spank for things like that.
    Even if he likes cleaning, cleaning is not fun when forced to do it and made to do it all. Cleaning will certainly take longer than the coloring did - and he might just think of that next time.
    And -- duh -- make sure the crayons are not loose, I know they escape at times -- they'll melt into your seats in the summer sun in your car too!!
    oporb

    Answer by oporb at 8:32 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Friday I had a few minutes to work on cleaning out my car. I got rid of the boxes of crayons from gift bags, etc. Especially with crayons melting and warm weather coming. I had a cardboard box that I tried to put together next to him with a few toys, planning on getting a plastic box or something from the $1 store. He had several warnings and a couple time outs at the store (one that he gave himself) at the store that next day. Then I had to carry my 45lb son out of the store & to the car with him throwing a tantrum all the way. We were headed home, which made him mad too, He was going to be sent to his room, which he knew. He threw the toys from the box on the floor. Then he found the wayward crayon and colored. Yes, he might have done that out of boredom, curiosity, being 4. But it was just the last straw for me. So I gave him a rare spanking.
    crystaljedi

    Answer by crystaljedi at 9:50 PM on Jun. 7, 2009

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