(Closed) Hello I need some advice I don't know what else to do

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m not sure what you have tried, but I suppose there are two ways to deal with this.

1. I assume she understands that she is not supposed to be ruining the walls. She needs to be punished each time she does it. I’d liken this to drawing on the walls.

2. The other option is to offer an alternative. Give her something else to do with her hands (if she likes the peeling, maybe peeling tape or stickers off a piece of plywood).

maybe a combination of the 2 would work best.

Post # 4
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Have you taken her to the doctor about it or brought it up during a check up?  It may help to know if its just a phase or if its something that you don’t have to wait out.  Like maybe she’s bored and not ready to sleep.  Or if its a compulsion that you can redirect elsewhere, like crafts.

Post # 6
887 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Does she do it while she’s in bed or does she crawl out of bed to do it? If it’s while she’s in bed, try moving the bed to the center of the room. Also, could you find a dry erase board or chalkboard to mount to the wall? Then she could color away/play with the wall and possibly forget about the whole drywall peeling thing.

ETA: What punishment have you tried? You could threaten her with moving back into a “baby bed” (crib) if she doesn’t stop. Most toddlers I know would be mortified to have to move back into a crib.




Post # 7
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Have you talked with her about why she is doing it? Obviously a 3 year old cannot fully verbalize her motivations, but you could offer up different options and see which one she latches onto as an explanation. Once you figure out the “why”, you can make a more effective plan for deterrence.

Post # 8
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You might want to let her help make it her room, put up new drywall, have her pick ou the color and paint it and maybe put on a magnetic paint so she can hang stuff up on the wall…if she is very proud of what she did in her room she probably will not ruin it.  Also, the magnetic paint will allow her to put stuff on the wall and take it down.

Post # 9
6830 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

One problem I do see is you have let her do this for the last year, it is now a “habit” something becomes a “habit” usually after 20 some days of doing it. If it has been a year or so as you put it you may not be able to break this easily.


I would take her into a doctor, sounds like she may have some kind of OCD? 


Post # 10
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

This doesn’t sound like a “behavior” issue, but instead either a compulsion or sensory issue. I would take her to a child specialist. Best of luck to you or her.

Post # 11
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

It sounds like a compulsion. I’m obsessive compulsive and when I was small I would pick at stuff constantly, even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to. I would even squirt Elmers glue on my desk at school so I could pick it off the next day. Irt made my teacher furious, but it didn’t matter, I needed to do it. If it is OCD, its not a big deal, I’ve managed my whole life with it, and meds can help, but the biggest thing to understand is that she cannot help it. Punishing her won’t work and will only make her feel misunderstood. I’d ask a doctor about OCD.

Post # 12
7673 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MrsSmith13:   “and tried to mess with a light socket the other day

Whoah, this has moved from a behavioural issue to a safety issue. Please, make sure that you physically keep her away from the light socket. Put something in front of it so it is literally not possible for her to reach it. Electricity is deadly and unforgiving.

Post # 14
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@MrsSmith13:  OCD?  I would take her to a counselor that specializes in younger children.  It sounds like she has anxiety, possibly separation anxiety about being in bed alone at night.

What are your rules for when she wakes up in the middle of the night?  Does she have to stay in bed or can she crawl in bed with you?  Also, have you slept in her room recently with her?  Did she pick at the wall then?  Either way, it’s going to take time to redirect this behavior since it’s been allowed to go on for so long but you have to figure out what caused the compulsion in the first place.

Personally, I think she has separation anxiety when she wakes up at night because she is probably not allowed to leave bed or call for you.  I don’t like allowing kids to sleep in your room but maybe a few weeks of this or you sleeping in her room will help reset this behavior.  But I definitely recommend tkaing pictures of the damage to the doctor’s office and then seeking out a counselor for young children to see what they think.

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