My almost 4 year old has a habit of breaking expensive things: Advice?

Hello mamas! I’m hoping to gain some insight. I have an almost 4-year-old son who, in the last year and a half, has broken 3 of our cellphones, one 50in LG TV and one 60in LG smart TV. The 60in was this morning. Unfortunately, he does this stuff without any warning at all, and he doesn’t do it to be malicious, he just gets excited. Both TVs were broken by him throwing buzz lightyear or woody at the TVs. One cellphone he went to grab it off a nightstand and dropped it, one cellphone he was watching the PBS kids app and broke it (not sure whether he dropped it or what, he found the cracked screen later, and the other phone he dropped it on the floor. All of this stuff combined comes to a grand total of $2,800. We watch him always, but these things happen so suddenly that it’s hard to slap a buzz lightyear out of the air. I want to punish him in a way that won’t be traumatizing, but also help him understand that these things are fragile and are expensive. So I sat him down and talked to him about the TV this morning. I told him that dad is at work (he always says he misses him when he is gone) to make money. And these things that he is breaking are a lot of money that dad works hard for. That the TV was dads and that it’s not okay to break other people’s things. I told him that mom and dad are going to be hanging on to buzz lightyear and woody for a white because he has broken two TVs with them and that he will no longer be allowed to watch PBS kids on our phones. I also told him that in order to be able to buy daddy a new TV that he will have to give up some of his toys. Is that too harsh? I’m really at a loss here. I’m not sure how to handle the situation. I explained to him he needs to start being nicer to his toys because he is always breaking them because we are going to stop replacing them. I didn’t yell. I just sat him down and talked to him nicely. He is pretty upset, but I think it is just because he can’t get his PBS videos, and he is going to have to give up toys. (Backstory: he has a lot of toys, and with Christmas coming, I was going to try to get rid of some of them anyway. The one I’m thinking of selling is the train table that he enjoys, but it’s in his room, so he doesn’t really play with it like he does the toys in his playroom). I understand he is a little boy, and they can be destructive without realizing it, but we truly need to put an end to this because it’s not something we can keep affording. But at the same time, keep in mind he is only three years old, and although he is smart, he is also a pretty fragile little boy who aims to please and gets really sad if he thinks you’re mad at him. Any ideas, pointers, or advice? - a desperate momma


Tell him you love him and your teaching him that if we want nice things we have to be gentle with them.

He needs discipline. And more than no more toys. I’d spank him. Bet he never does it again. Children act like ass holes when they don’t get proper discipline. It’s not about being their friend. It’s about being a parent and knowing when to discipline.

No toys in living room for sure give him a play roim pr throw toya in his room.


I’d say the above sounds reasonable. And talk to him and ask him what makes him excited and if he can tell you then you can teach him to direct his excitement elsewhere

Give him a hug and a kiss and tell him how much you love him and that’s why your talking to him to teach him.


My question is, why was woody or buzz lightyear given back after the first tv was broken, and why continue to let a 4 year old use 1,000 dollar phones. You do realize they make tablets for toddlers, under 100 dollars if you feel he needs to use technology. It’s discipline, obviously he needs it after the 1st tv or phone. That’s a lot of money thrown away, I wouldn’t be concerned about hurting my child’s feelings. He needs to learn it’s absolutely not okay.


You should designate a play area for him that’s not around your “expensive” stuff cause accidents happen.

Wall mount your tvs, get the kid a tablet and no more toys in the living room if possible. Teach him not to throw his hard toys or expensive electronics that I personally wouldn’t allow him to have. Get lifeproof cases for your expensive phones. There are so many solutions that you could do to help him besides just taking away his stuff and telling him his dad has to work more because of accidents.


Yes…taking away what is being thrown is a good start. He needs to learn there are consequences to unacceptable behavior. Keep your phones out of his reach, I’d say also. If this continues, maybe do time-out for 3 minutes in addition to confiscating whatever is thrown.


My 3 year old was in that stage and I am a single mom so I understand the struggle! But when he does things like that he gets put in time out and I smack his hands! (Standing or sitting in the corner not aloud to move out of there for 20 min! And I take his favorite toys from him for a couple of days! After he gets out of time out I make him sit on my lap and we talk about the bad thing he did and I tell him that it isn’t nice to break stuff or touch stuff that isn’t yours, but I also explain to him that I still love him and I ask for a hug and a kiss and he knows that he won’t be aloud to watch or play on his tablet for a couple of days! Yes at first there was kicking and screaming when he had to go in time out but after 2 weeks of continuous times outs when he misbehaved like that he had learned to be careful with toys and he knows he isn’t aloud to touch the tv!

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Make rules about appropriate indoor play and areas in which to play and stick to them.

Maybe I’m not getting that buzz lightyear for Christmas… :thinking::thinking::thinking:

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I’d be getting a so many year warranty on all electronics or maybe homeowners insurance add them to make sure they are covered. I’d also say no toys in the living room but that doesn’t sound realistic probably take the toys he throws and keep them he can learn to earn them back.


No toys in the livingroom, you said he has a bedroom with toys and a play room with toys. No more viewing on expensive things like phones or tvs, get him a $90 kids tablet from walmart and make sure he only watches it under your supervision.
Don’t cave, he has 2 rooms full of toys so he doesnt have the same sense of loss when something breaks that you have, because he has so much. At almost 4 he is allowed to feel a sense of loss over toys breaking or being taken away, it’s called consequences for his actions. Set boundaries and keep them. Hes old enough to be in preschool so you know he is old enough to understand that throwing toys is not okay.


Do not let him have your phone,If he has a play room then that is where he needs to play with his toys.Make sure there isn’t a tv in there,and no toys outside of the play room.At 3 his control isn’t going to be great,Taking away Buzz and Woody is good.He needs to learn consequences.At $2,800 for all the stuff destroyed I’d take it easy on toys,as you said he already has a lot.Instead invest in books,and maybe one of those tablets that has a warranty if your child breaks it.He can watch pbs on it.Keep letting him know it’s not okay to throw stuff around,as it can also hurt some one.Above all just keep doing your best.

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Keep it in high places! Hello. Kid is pain in…

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My son did this at two. He is three now and there was consequences as far as taking toys away he did it with and I’m careful about the toy choices I choose now. Be strict on the no throwing rule. Throwing should be outside or with something soft not around electronics. If throwing is his thing maybe balling up dirty clothes to throw it in the hamper at a reasonable distance. My son has a lot of energy. Most do around this age so any positive things that you can do to get that energy out would be helpful. Play time outside is the best because it’s free and they still have fun. 30 minutes a day can make a big difference. If it wasn’t so a cold in the state I live in it would be longer. Helps tire them right out and sleep better at night as well. We do more outside in the summer, spring, and fall but still try to get out in these winter months when it isn’t too cold.

My son did this. After the third hole in the wall I put every single toy he owned in in trash bags, put them in his closet (they were stacked to the ceiling) and locked the door for three weeks. He had coloring books/colors and story books only for those three weeks. His behavior changed drastically during that time.


Get him a cheap tablet…his PBS…no phones
TV room is off limits for toys.
Keep ur phones out of reach.
Keep those conversations rolling…if it doesn’t work yall may need some therapy.