Why can’t your toddler be more gentle or play nicely? Within seconds, he turns a perfectly good object into a pile of rubbish, either by tearing, pulling, biting or smashing. Of course you’ll get annoyed when you see the trail of destruction that he leaves behind. But don’t confuse his natural curiosity with aggression.
Your tot is a scientist, by nature. He likes to explore the world around him. That’s partly how he learns about himself, about others and about his surroundings. Through this driving curiosity, he builds up his knowledge of how things work. He can’t think of a better way to discover the inner secrets of toys, books and other objects than to take them apart, piece by piece.
It’s not that he wants to break them up for the sake of it, or because he has an aggressive personality; he just wants to see inside them, to see how they are put together, to see how they work. Unfortunately, that usually means the object under scrutiny is damaged beyond repair, but your little one doesn’t think that far ahead.
While enthusiasm and inquisitiveness underpin your tot’s learning, your challenge is to harness these positive qualities in ways that support his exploration, but at the same time don’t cause quite so much collateral damage.
Here are some strategies you can consider: