Kids are miraculous, magical and beautiful — but they are also tiny terrors. As soon as a baby starts to learn how to move, you need to protect your home and belongings. Toddlers and young kids are agents of chaos; they might know that there are rules, but as soon as your back is turned, they have no law but their own.
Okay — that might be a bit dramatic.
But in truth, kids can do some serious damage to your home and belongings. It isn’t exactly their fault — but that doesn’t mean you should let it continue. If you are constantly dealing with damage from your little ones, here’s a brief guide to why it’s happening, how to stop it and where to find affordable, handy help.
Common Childhood Damage
As much as you might suspect that your kid is unique in the cruelties they commit on your house and home, the truth is that most kids do the same type of damage to their environments. Here are the most common forms of damage you’ll find in a home ruled by a tiny terror:
Things ripped off walls. Younger kids are especially guilty of grabbing anything they can and pulling — which includes wall hangings, towel holders, shelves and more. Most often, this damages the item grabbed and pulled, but it can scuff and dent the walls, too.
Holes in walls. due to the grab-and-pull method, accidental roughness or intentional childhood rage, holes often appear in homes with kids and teens.
Drawings on walls. You can draw on paper — why can’t you draw on walls? Some families allow kids to paint and draw on certain walls and tables, but if you don’t want childish markings on your walls, you need to make some strict rules.
Things flushed. The toilet is a fascinating appliance in the home, and kids often have access to it well before they know how it works and why. Perhaps in scientific endeavors, kids will flush their toys, clothing or an overabundance of TP with disastrous effects.
Torn window screens. It is kind of funny when pets and kids careen into screens without knowing they exist; it’s less funny when their antics rip holes in the screens, requiring expensive replacement.
Often, this damage is a result of growing up. Kids learn largely by doing, and an education is never free. If your kids don’t seem malicious in their actions, it’s wise for you to have a local Denver sheetrock repair specialist on speed dial and continue to communicate openly with your kids about actions and consequences. However, if it seems like your kids are being destructive on purpose, you could have a big problem.
Why Destructive Behaviors Develop
Most kids will grow out of their destructive phase as they gain coordination and become more aware of their surroundings and the house rules. Unfortunately, some kids don’t. Destructive behaviors typically develop in children as a coping mechanism; they aren’t sure how to react to their surroundings, so they break and smash to release their emotions. Just as you might feel an immediate release from throwing your phone across the room, kids feel better when they knock a vase off a bookshelf or smash a toy to smithereens.
While other children are learning safer, healthier ways to cope, your kid might be destructive because:
They have a low frustration tolerance. Most kids eventually age out of their low frustration tolerance, but some who lack the skills to handle frustration continue to lash out into their teens (and even adulthood). You should try to teach your child patience from an early age and avoid surprising your child in any way.
They are trying to be intimidating. Kids lack a significant amount of power over their lives. In a bid to regain some control, they might be destructive, attempting to scare you or others into doing what they want. You shouldn’t allow this tactic to work. If you are frightened of your child, you should seek professional help from a child or family psychologist.
They want payback. This is the other side of the intimidation coin; feeling powerless over what has happened to them, kids break things — especially things they know have a significance to those who have wronged them. Again, you cannot let kids feel success after this behavior; stay calm and keep them accountable for their actions by garnishing allowance or grounding them.
If there is one golden rule for parenting, it’s this: Communication is key. When a child is being overly destructive, you need to talk to them about their behavior, communicating calmly and honestly about established rules and consequences. You shouldn’t be afraid to seek out professional help if you are overwhelmed.