Some children are destructive
When things go wrong in the life of a little child he may try to meet it, not by fear, but by taking out his feelings in destructiveness. The child who must hit back at the world by bullying and dominating other children has already been mentioned. There is also the child who hits back by destroying property.
Not all destructiveness means that something has gone wrong in the youngster’s life. There is the destructiveness that comes from curiosity. All children like to find out “how it works.” Many children will take a toy apart with no desire at all to destroy it. They just do not realize that it cannot be put together again.
Often toys are destroyed because a child has too many. They accumulate in the toy chest or nursery closet in such confusion that the child cannot really use them for play. He must turn everything upside down to find what he wants. If his parents would provide better arrangements for his property the youngster would have a chance to learn to take better care of it. But if his parents value his toys so little that they allow them to be jumbled in a closet or toy box, they cannot expect the child to take care of them. An assortment of boxes of various sizes and wide shelves upon which to keep them gives a child a chance to care for his toys as he helps to put them away each night. He will take better care of his toys, too, if his father helps him mend the broken ones, or decides with him to throw away those that are beyond repair.
Also, destructiveness often begins because toys have not been bought wisely; money has been spent for those that are attractive but will not stand up under the wear and tear of everyday play. Such toys may have a part in the play life of the child, but they can be kept apart and brought out when he is sick or bored on rainy days. The proper choice of toys and their care will lessen this form of destructiveness. (Continue below to page 6)