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Licking the furniture

5 answers
My 3 year old keeps spitting on and licking/biting things in the house then uses his fingers to draw with it on the furniture. Time outs, taking t.v. away, telling him no, and explaining how it's wrong/gross all didn't work does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this.

answers (5)

I would often get triggered when my son played with spit or thought it was funny to pee on the floor. I always have to stop, take a few breaths and try and figure out what his need was. sometimes it's attention and sometimes it's just a need for the freedom to explore. Your son is three so what may be disgusting to us just isn't to him. At this age, it is his job to explore his body and what it can do, his environment and how he affects it. Parenting is hard work, as you already know, and it takes children a while to really understand and process the family rules. It sounds like redirecting him may help. When he spits or licks, firmly but gently tell him that it is not okay to do and you will have to keep repeating it. If he wants to draw with his saliva, maybe say, "I'm wondering if you would like to draw right now. let's get out the finger paints." Punishing a three year old for these kinds of things will only have long term negative effects. 
The bigger deal you make out of it, the more he will want to keep doing it. I agree with the previous poster, calmly redirecting him is the best way to handle this.
My son does the same thing! He licks the furniture, the dog, and my husband and I. He thinks it's funny, and the only way I can get him to stop is to completely distract him with something else. He might do it again in a little while, but they're so young. Lord knows they won't still be doing this in High School. This too shall pass mommy. Not a serious behavioral problem.
have you tried just ignoring him? sounds like he is trying to push your buttons and get a rise out of you. if you ignore him, he may just move on to something else. at 3, it's all about power struggles. pick your battles. it won't last forever. as frustrating as it is. good luck.
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