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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

am I being to harsh?

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

My 4 1/2 year old son keep stealing things of mine and either breaking them, hiding them, or if it's make up, smearing it all over the walls. He steals food from the fridge and tries to hide it, he steal odds and ends out of cabinets, he rips books.

I cannot count how many times I have disciplined him for this kind of behavior. Time-outs don't work. He laughs at me if I spank him. I am sick of it. I am tired of throwing money away because he just ruins everything that he knows I like. Today was yet another time when he went into my room, took my make up and painted mascara, eyeshadow, and everything else on his wall. IMO that is what a 2 year old does, not a 4 year old.

I don't know what to do. I went into his room and filled a bag with his toys to toss. He cried, but I don't care. He needs to learn that you can't just steal and destroy other peoples things.

Am I being to harsh on him? He is 4 1/2 and I expect him to be over the shredding of books and the destruction of things. We currently live in a very small apartment and there is no way that everything can be up and out of his reach. How the hell do I get it across to him that his behavior is not ok? Oh and I wish I could just take him to the Dr and rule out things, but I don't have the money for that. Any advice would be great, I am almost to the end of my rope.

Posted by Anonymous on Jul. 15, 2012 at 1:54 PM
Replies (31-40):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

 

Quoting alwayskk:

I just wanted to comment about the stealing thing. We faced this problem when my daughter was around that age. At first, I freaked out. WHY would my daughter steal? She has everything she needs, much of what she wants, I was flabbergasted. Then I started reading about kids and stealing and took her to a few psychologists who all assured me that stealing at this age is very common. 

There are lots of good articles out there about kids and stealing and how to discipline for this behavior.

GL!

 Thank you! I will have to look up some articles!

neslonturf
by on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

You can call the school district for testing...it's free, and then you might have some answers. My oldest was...a complete nutjob...I had to hide EVERYTHING, and I even had a lock for the fridge, so he couldn't open it. He wasn't malicious...just SO curious, and had absolutely no common sense. I sometimes felt like I was on suicide watch 24/7. I know that there are some normal kids like that...but mine, it turned out, had sensory issues...and was later diagnosed with Aspergers. He is almost 8 now...he's a freakin' genius...and STILL breaks everything...and when he's over-stimulated...he still has no common sense. Sigh...it's a constant battle...but, it gets better. 

anotherhalf
by on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM
I like your idea. I don't do "surprise" consequences. I make it very clear if ds does x then y will happen. I didn't get that OP had warned first that all his toys would go. If she wants to say that next time he steals everything goes, thats fine too.

Quoting areles:

i disagree.  she doesn't get HER things back.

but if she went this route, i'd only do it with the understanding that if he steals even one more time, everything he's 'earned' back will be gone for good.


Quoting anotherhalf:

Just an idea:

Take everything. Each day he doesn't steal he gets to choose what he gets back.


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Momma3830
by on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM
I guess so.
We all have personal belongings. Why should we not? There are things that we like to have just to ourselves.
My make up is not my 5 & 8 yo DDs to use, my SO's laptop is not the childrens, my son's remote cars are not my DD's & my girls' purses are not for my son to get & go through, & so on...

We have things we each like to keep for ourselves. & if it is taken, the other will be punished.
I diagree with making all our belongings a FREE for ALL. Yes sharing is imprtant & enforced in our house but, we must ASK first. Not just take.


Quoting mommy_me:

 I guess thats where I differ in my family.


Anything in our house, belongs to all of us. Including the kids. So no, taking something out of the cabinet isnt considered stealing in my house. (Make-up is a no no to touch, but I still dont consider my child as one who steals for playing in it)


 


Quoting Momma3830:

Empathy.
He will now understand what it feels like.

He will not like having his favorite toys taken & from then on she can talk to him about how it makes her feel when he takes her things.

& yes taking things that don't belong to you is essentially stealing. He is taking things & hiding them or destroying them. Not acceptable for a school age child.



Quoting mommy_me:


 First off, he isnt STEALING anything. He is 4, come on now.



Now how are you teaching him anything when you are doing to him what he is doing? Taking things and tossing them. Doesnt seem like the right way to teach him not to do those things



 


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mrscass0416
by Platinum Member on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

That would be nice if he did have you to himself after baby brother went to sleep. I do spend time like this with both my boys. they both really love it. Usually its out for icecream and to the park or we sit at home and eat icecream and watch a movie. for my 3 y/o its ALWAYS dispicable me. lol. And always icream because thats usually the only time they are allowed to eat it. 

Quoting Anonymous:[-

 

Quoting mrscass0416:

maybe he wants attention. he does this and you get upset and focus on him for awhile. How about giving him his mommy time. just you and he. Go for a walk and icecream or something. Start off doing it small and frequent. So if he is good sunday we will go for icecream on monday.  If he is good monday tuesday then go wednesday. you don't have to do it that often but I am really thinking its a attention thing. He only does it to you and the things you like. Guess who is giving him that attention when he does wrong. You. Good luck

 With his brother I have found it hard to really get one onone time with him. But I get what you are saying. I do think that he feeds off any attention I give him, even if it's negative. I wonder if he could be jealous of his brother since I am having a lot of focus on the little guy's potty training.

Maybe we can do something together after the little guy is in bed for the night.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:34 PM
1 mom liked this

 I am going to try and avoid putting up a lock for now. If the need arises, I may have to. He is currently scrubbing the wall where he smeared everything, once done with that he will clean the carpet (well, if he is physically capable of cleaning it. black eyeliner + carpet, not easy to clean).

I do give out different colored stars for good behavior. Blue for taking a nap, yellow for getting along with siblings, silver for helping out around the house, and so on.

Quoting jonnlilithsmom:

can you begin with a lock on your bedroom door so you can keep it closed when you are not there?

from there, move on to taking everything of his away, and having him earn them back... 
also, have him clean up his messes... let him scrub the walls or carpet, or whatever is necessary... 

he needs definite rules to follow, and consistant punishments, which need to be administered as close to immediately as possible

perhaps a behaviour chart where he can earn stars for good behaviour, leading to other, pre-determined rewards like getting his toys back...

good luck

 

Momma3830
by on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM
You keep on rollin momma!
Kids have phases & stages. It'll pass & it'll get better.
You seem to really care & are really trying.
Good luck & think you are doing great. :)

Quoting Anonymous:

 Oh yes, you are right! I truly think is just a phase, and he is just testing his boundaries...again. Thank you for the support, sometimes it's just nice to hear that it's ok to keep on rollin.


Quoting Momma3830:

Well keep doing it. When he gets to the point where he has no toys I'm sure he'll be willing to listen.

Discipline is harder on us at times but it's worth it. You do t want him to get older & start taking things from others. KWIM?



Quoting Anonymous:


 



Quoting Momma3830:

No. What you are doing is good. Showing him empathy skills. He will now know what it's like to have his loved things taken from him.
Maybe you can talk to him about that.

Keep doing it till he gets it. Even if he has nothing left. That behavior is unacceptable from a amost 5 yo. A toddler yes, not a school age kid.


 I have tried talking to him. He just fidgets and either doesn't understand or is jut trying to ignore me. I am hoping it is just a phase and if that's the case I have no choice but to keep doing what I'm doing until he is over it. It just wears me down :(



 



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mommy_me
by ~The Three B's~ on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

 Of course in my house everyone has personal belongings. And must ask permission to use someone else's belonging.

But its not STEALING if you dont ask first. To label a child a thief because they took food out of the cabinet or a toy without asking is...so beyond wrong. They are misbehaving, acting out and need discipline. But to me a 4.5 year old is NOT a thief for doing what the OP is saying. And IMO its so sad that people would agree with that term for this behavior.  

Quoting Momma3830:

I guess so.
We all have personal belongings. Why should we not? There are things that we like to have just to ourselves.
My make up is not my 5 & 8 yo DDs to use, my SO's laptop is not the childrens, my son's remote cars are not my DD's & my girls' purses are not for my son to get & go through, & so on...

We have things we each like to keep for ourselves. & if it is taken, the other will be punished.
I diagree with making all our belongings a FREE for ALL. Yes sharing is imprtant & enforced in our house but, we must ASK first. Not just take.


Quoting mommy_me:

 I guess thats where I differ in my family.


Anything in our house, belongs to all of us. Including the kids. So no, taking something out of the cabinet isnt considered stealing in my house. (Make-up is a no no to touch, but I still dont consider my child as one who steals for playing in it)


 


Quoting Momma3830:

Empathy.
He will now understand what it feels like.

He will not like having his favorite toys taken & from then on she can talk to him about how it makes her feel when he takes her things.

& yes taking things that don't belong to you is essentially stealing. He is taking things & hiding them or destroying them. Not acceptable for a school age child.



Quoting mommy_me:


 First off, he isnt STEALING anything. He is 4, come on now.



Now how are you teaching him anything when you are doing to him what he is doing? Taking things and tossing them. Doesnt seem like the right way to teach him not to do those things



 


 

MistyMoo
by Ruby Member on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM
Nope. I have to do the same with my 4 y.o. Except this time I am actually going to throw out some toys because he has way too many anyways.
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CABZS
by Emerald Member on Jul. 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Ever consider that his acting out is bc of his 2yr old brother?

Maybe he feels the only time he gets attention from you is when he acts out.

Spend some one on one time w/him.

Make a chart & give him stickers for when he BEHAVES but have him lose a sticker for when he acts up.  Make a goal, every 6 stickers he gets a reward of some sort.

Quoting Anonymous:

 

Quoting anotherhalf:

Just an idea:
Take everything. Each day he doesn't steal he gets to choose what he gets back.

 I want to, but I literly have no place to put anything that comes out of his room. Plus he shares a room with his 2 year old brother. That said, I have still considered just tossing EVERYTHING, just to make my point loud and clear. I just don't like the thought of "punishing" my youngest for the oldest's behavior.


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