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ripping off wallpaper 2yr old boy

My 2 year old son has taken to ripping the wallpaper off of his bedroom walls. We moved house about 2 months ago and he seems to be really settled and happy here but over the past 2 weeks he's started ripping all of the wallpaper off of his room walls. I spent a lot of time, money and thought to ensure he had the perfect novelty room it is (or was) truly amazing lots of sensory equipment etc. I'm a single mum on a low income and can't afford to be redecorating his room every other month. I have tried explaining to him that it's bad to rip it off in a stern tone and he seemed to really get it the first time and was obviously upset about it. He kept on saying every time he went into the room "wallpaper me bad" But tonight I went into his room to find yet more of it had been ripped from the walls. When i spoke to him about it this time he just laughed at me. I explained that he was going directly to bed without a story instead of the fun movie night we had intended on. He didn't bat an eyelid, he just laughed, rolled over and was asleep within 5 mins.
Has anyone come across this problem before? How do you deal with it? I need to nip this in the bud but really don't know where to start, any advice would be much appreciated...
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134578 tn?1614729226
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.
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Avatar universal
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
x
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134578 tn?1614729226
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!  
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Avatar universal
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.
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134578 tn?1614729226
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.
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Avatar universal
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
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Avatar universal
My son is doing this right now and it’s driving me crazy! Have you any advice?
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