Children need to be taught how to play constructively and creatively with their toys instead of breaking them. It helps to discipline the child. This process can start when the child is as old as 9 months. Here are some tips to effective discipline and help to prevent children from breaking things.
Offer toys like Lego, blocks, stacking and nesting toys to the child. These can be pulled apart and put back together. They are not breakable, at the same time, they offer opportunities to explore, open, and dismantle stuff to satisfy their curiosity. Creative play helps stimulate the brain and prevent kids from getting into mischief.
Teach the child about the uses of his/her toys. If a child is taught that books are not meant to be torn or that chalk is used to write on a board but not on the wall, he/she understands their uses and is less likely to misuse the toys. These rules help the child navigate his/her way around the toys.
Set limits for your child. As early as 9 months, teach the child through reinforcement that there are items in the house that are beyond limits for them. Constant reinforcement allows the child to understand that things like a VCR or other such similar gadgets are not playthings.
The child learns to respect the value attached to things around the house. It helps to supervise the child at all times and gently guide him/her when there is a likelihood of destruction.
If by chance, any precious household item falls prey to your child’s hands, do not fret. Be patient with the child. However, make it clear that you’re unhappy with his/her behavior (not with them). Use this, as a teaching opportunity. Explain the importance of caring for one’s belongings. This will make him/her realize that this deed was not appreciated and that it is imperative to be careful around one’s belongings.