I have a 2 year old that will be 3 in August and because of the way he acts we are having money go down the drain right and left because he refuses to listen. We will put him to bed and while we are sleeping he will come out of his room and get into anything and everything he can get his hands on. He has wasted almost a whole bag of sugar a full container of coffee creamer, a whole box of cereal. He has gotten into omodel paint and got it all over our cream colored couch the walls, the window sill, the counter, our eentertainment center, the floor, we had to throw away two glasses and some silverware and what makes that so bad is the house we are in, we do not own, it is a rental house so we are going to have to repaint a lot of things before we move out to try and get our deposit back. He will take whole brand new bottles of shower wash and pour them out. We have spanked him, put him in the corner, taken everything out of his room except his bed, banned him to his room until he stops screaming but he just does it again the minute he is let out of his room. We even gott the child proof door knob covers and he has figured out how too get it off the door and to just plain open it up. There is much else that I see I can do but to put a hook and eye lock on his door at night so he can't come out. Does anyone know of anything else I can do to teach him to not come out of his room? I have even looked up boarding schools but I didn't find any in my area. WHAT CAN I DO??!!??
I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have to clean up those messes and see all that stuff wasted. It seems like your son must be acting out for a reason that he's not able to communicate to you since he's so young. Have there been any big changes in your son's life recently, like a new baby or a new daycare? I think I would ease up on the harsh discipline and punishment and instead give your son lots and lots of love and positive attention. Definitely let him know that you are disappointed in him for making a mess but use a neutral tone, don't yell, and don't let him see how much it really is upsetting you. I'm sure you're going to get plenty of other great advice here, so I just want to emphasize the need to create a positive and loving environment for your son, not one where he's on lockdown. Hang in there :)
Also, I agree w/ Katie on easing up w/ the discipline. It's not the disclipline that is lacking, it's the understanding. He knows during the day that you are the one that is gonna stop him from getting into things that are within reach or accessible to him... but when you aren't there at night to do so it's like a green light to him. I honestly think the only thing your son needs is boundaries by making sure he cannot and will not have access to these things.
Put a gate at his door... if he can jump it, double gate it one on top of the other. He doesn't need a boarding school, or at least not at this age lol. Just because he is showing no boundaries or fear for what he is getting into, I would also suggest putting a latch or chain lock on your front door (at the very top) just to be extra safe. At this age, children are curious... and it's up to us parents to limit their access to things and make sure they don't take their curiosity too far. So that he knows the cabinets are off limits, put locks on all of them (except maybe 1 you could put safe things like plastic bowls so he can be a little curious). So that he knows paint, liquids, or chemicals are no no's, put them in high places or locked away. Maybe buy one of those wired baskets that can attach to the shower head to keep all the shower/bath soaps in there up high away from his reach.
I always thought my children should know things are bad because I tell them or I say "no", but I learned this is not so true. You have to keep things out of their reach or locked away b/c sometimes their curiosity gets the best of them... it's like waiving a big steak in front of a dog.
If the gates fail, you could try puting the inside lock of his bedroom door on the outside so you can lock it... just be careful not to give him the opportunity to lock you in (this happened to my childrens pediatrician... and she was stuck in her sons room for about 2 hours!). I know it might seem a bit cruel to have to lock your child into his room, but ultimately his safety is what is most important, and if that is what it takes don't feel bad... just do what you have to do :)
If this behavior continues to no avail, I would suggest talking to his pediatrician.
I'm wondering why this is happening in the middle of the night--is he acting out during the day?
Thank you for your help. I tried the whole if you do this ___will happen and he does it any ways. I have figured out that sometimes when he is whinning for no reason if I ask him if he wants to go to bed and he says no. I say well stop whinning and he usually does but that's the only thing he listens too. He goes to bed around 10-1030 every night unless it's a college night for us then it's just a little later and he usually doesn't take a nap during the day because if we put him in bed he just gets right back up and plays (he is in a twin size bed no crib he just climbs out out that). We took the VHS player and TV out of his room because he shoved all kinds of stuff in it and messed it all up and then he tried to climb on top of the TV and stand and it fell over almost on him. We can't do a stand up towards the top of the room that bolts to the wall because we are renting the place we live in. I would put electrical tape on the knob protector but he knows how to open it regardless of whether it's on there or not. I tried the hug thing and he would just scream louder and squirm till I let him go. I know he will grow out of it eventually but I am getting so fed up with it. We (TRY) and play with him as much as we do our daughter so he doesn't feel left out but he whines at every little thing we do to play. We tickle play games try to read books to him but he just won't have it. I just wish there was a much easier way of going about this. It does't help that when his grandparents (my husbands mom and dad) are around he thinks he can do what ever he want and if my husband or I aren't there with them, they WILL let him do just about anything he wants. He then usually comes home worse then ever. I will admit thoough his grandparents are getting a little bit better since I have gripped at them a few times. If anything else that you think could be helpful comes to mind don't hold back on mentioning it to me please. I could usee all the feed back I can get. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
I would definitely talk to his Doctor. Not to say that something is wrong, but sometimes kids get hyper even from certain diets. My nephew is like this, and he is on a strict gluten free diet. It has made a world of difference in his behavior. Here is a short article just to give a little insight on it-
Your son may also think just because he's woken up in the middle of the night that it's 'time' to wake up. So, you could try explaining to him that unless he sees light through his window, he is not allowed to attempt to come out of his room. For my nephew, his parents got him a digital clock for his room and said he was not allowed to leave his room until the clock hit about 7 (otherwise he was trying to come out of his room at 3-4am and waking up the whole house). They did this when he was around 3-4 yrs old. I know your son might be a little too young for that just yet (it might end up getting destroyed just like the vcr...) but it might be a good idea for later down the road.
Anyway, I think it's worth it to at the very least get your Dr's opinion on it and see if they have any ideas for safety during this phase. Again, there might be absolutely nothing wrong at all... but pediatricians have been working w/ kids for years so at the very least he/she may be able to offer you some ideas to try at home.
BTW, my brother was just like this at that age. We just had to do whatever possible to keep his surroundings safe for him (blockades, locks, bad things out of reach, etc.) until he grew out of this phase.
I know it's yet another expense but there is a clock that you can set that changes color when it's ok to wake up: http://www.amazon.com/Wake-Childrens-Alarm-Clock-Nightlight/dp/B002.... It doesn't ring, it just turns from red to green at a specific time the parent has chosen to tell the kid "it's ok to get up".
To address your main concern, I found that praise works really well. Give the child some positive reinforcement when he does something that you want or that you expect of him and not only give him negative attention when he behaves badly. Praise him when he plays nice with his sister, when he picks up his toys, etc. Give him a reward or something. We work a lot with stickers in our house. Also, he might associate nighttime with "the time my sister sleeps and I can get my parents all to myself and the only way I can get their attention is to make a mess", so i'd make sure he has individual time with both of you during the day, make special playdates with him, take him out for ice cream or to the park or something. I know it's tough with another little one in the house but the point is to make him feel special and not feel like "mommy and daddy are only playing with me because sister is sleeping"... Best of luck!
When your son gets up and does that stuff at night have you ever tried to talk to him and see if he actually responds to you or looks at you? If you talk to him at night and he has a blank stare on his face or doesn't respond at all he could possibly be sleep walking. And if he's sleep walking he could be getting into all that stuff unknowingly. I would look a little further into that and see how he responds to you during the night because everything during the day more sounds just like him testing his boundaries as a 2 year old.