My son is 3, and I can tell him all I want that he shouldn't write on the tabletop with a marker pen, and he can quote to you that a person only writes on paper or cardboard boxes, but he still writes on the tabletop sometimes, and on his trucks, and on the sofa (thank heavens for washable markers). He simply does not process the "no" when he is in the throes of doing it. I just have to face facts and not let him have access to the markers except when I am standing by to watch. In other words, if I can't police it, I can't let him have access to them.
I'm glad your son's room is so truly amazing, and it's neat that you had fun putting it together, but he's just a toddler. 2-year-olds don't understand the concept of "for looks." Getting fingernails under those seams and tearing off strips, that's fun. (Maybe this is related to the universal human impulse to pick scabs or scratch at paint drips to see if they come off.) You've provided this fun, he'll probably do it, especially when he's bored. [Please don't tell me that this area is right by his bed, and he can see it when he is lying there, not asleep, at night.] At age 2, he won't understand why you are punishing him over aesthetics. Asking a child to restrain himself from immediate satisfaction for the purpose of having his room look nice in the future makes no sense to someone that young.
You could cut the wallpaper off with an exacto knife at about the three-foot level and paint the wall below that point, or you could cover it with clear vinyl "contact paper" (though he might just try to peel off the clear vinyl too) or you could find an alternative wall cover for the area he likes to peel the most, such as tacking up cloth on the wall by his bed. (Though he might start to pick at the cloth, too.)
When I was pretty small, I used the pull the stuffing out of the bed above mine when I slept in a bottom bunk. Really entertaining at night! The resulting holes looked like birds' nests! Cool! Our family moved when I was in 6th grade to a house with a lot of old wallpaper. It was shabby already and going to be removed over the next couple of years, so we kids peeled it absentmindedly where there was already a start, especially near our beds or by the telephone. Have you never peeled the nail polish off your toenails in a bored moment?
Anyway, cut him a little slack. It might be a comfort behavior or just an impulse, but you're not going to get very far tsk-tsking a 2-year-old in the name of home decor. To prevent the problem, remove his ability to get at it, at this age.
Lol that made me giggle thanks annie. I see your point it's just horrendous having the room look scabby with the wallpaper half off. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question, thank you
Cheaper and more practical to take it off where scabby than to try to put on more. Do the three-foot-down-painted thing, and you will at least prevent him from tearing the sheetrock after he gets done with the wallpaper. :)
And keep in mind, it's more for Mommy's fun than it is for the kid's, when we set up these lovely rooms when we're expecting a child. It's just our excuse that it's "all for him." We wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun for us. :) So you already got what you wanted from it, which was the fun of doing it and the admiration of your friends when they saw it. That's all good!
Of course it's fun for us to do it but the room was done for my son and no-one else.
Thanks for your advice though.
I loved doing my son's room, and spent many hours at it. But I have to admit that at least until this point (my son is 3) and certainly when he was younger, he would be equally as happy with a bare space and a cardboard box and some toys. LOL Though I went to a lot of trouble to make sure it was child-friendly and appealing to a toddler, if he didn't like it I would still feel like I got a lot out of doing it. That is what I meant.
I'm sort of glad we are not the only ones although my son is a lot older, he is 12, I've googled behavioual problem as in autism and adhd etc. I'm sure I've heard something on the tv about a boy peeling wallpaper off his walls, any advice would be most appreciated as not sure what to do, doctors seem to be ignoring my concerns......... My son is obsessive about certain things also ie pokemon, go go's, xbox. Somewhat ocd with his bedrrom being in order although messing up the walls??? He is getting in a lot of trouble at school. i'm so worried. Would be so grateful for any feedback, thank you. Carol
My son is doing this right now and it’s driving me crazy! Have you any advice?