Why does a child break toys: how a parent should behave and what to do

1. Why does a child break toys?

  • out of curiosity
  • toys not for age
  • such a temperament
  • poor quality toy
  • bad feeling
  • expressing anger and demanding attention

2. What to do if a child constantly breaks toys?

If there are torn off heads of recently purchased dolls, paws of teddy bears donated literally the day before yesterday, or parts from a truck and other toys lying around the apartment, from which, as they say, only horns and legs remain, then this article is definitely for you.

The reasons for such child sabotage are sometimes not as harmless as parents think. Therefore, it is important not just to accept with tenderness or humility a period when a son or daughter literally destroys and breaks everything they see and does not take care of their own and other people’s things, but to try to understand why they do this.

Today we will look at several key reasons that prompt a child to break his toys and tell you how it is advisable for moms and dads to behave in such a situation.

Reasons why children break their toys

A child breaks toys because they are not suitable for his age.

Very often children break toys because they do not understand how to play with them. Parents often make the mistake of buying the toy that their child points out to them. And then they get upset if the baby breaks it on the first day. The right thing to do is to buy toys that are suitable for the child’s age, then he will be interested in playing with them and will not want to break them at all.

You shouldn’t scold your child for broken toys that don’t suit him. The kid doesn’t do this on purpose, he just doesn’t understand what to do with them. Parents simply should not buy toys that are not suitable for the child’s age and are too expensive. Nowadays, it is very easy to choose the right toy, since all of them are marked with what age this or that toy is intended for.

You shouldn’t scold a child for a broken toy, much less punish him. Children very often endure punishment painfully, so this should be done as little as possible. Such actions can develop a tendency towards aggression in a child and cause an aversion to all games. But there is no need to ignore this either. You need to calmly talk to the child and explain that breaking toys is not good.

Parents often have a question: “Is it possible to buy a toy that is not suitable for a child’s age if he really asks for it?” There are two options:

  • You should not buy toys that can harm your child. For example, a construction set with small parts. A child may simply swallow the part. Such toys should not be bought, no matter how the child asks.
  • If there is nothing dangerous for the child in the toy, then the parents must decide for themselves whether to buy it or not. But if such a toy is purchased, you need to immediately be prepared for the fact that the child will soon break it and you should not scold him for this.

The toy did not live up to expectations

There are cases when a child breaks a toy on purpose because he didn’t like it. This often happens when a child in a store chose one toy, and the parents bought another. Then parents can immediately prepare for the fact that the toy they bought and is not wanted by the child will soon be broken and thrown into the far corner. With such actions, the child wants to show that he is not happy and is waiting to buy the toy that he chose.

How to fix the situation?

You need to try to explain to the child that the toy was bought with all his heart and that he very upset his parents with such an act. You should not buy new toys for your child immediately after he breaks the old one. In this case, the child will understand that after a breakage a new toy will be bought and will continue to break toys, expecting that a new one will be bought soon.

There is no need to remove a broken toy; let it be in the child’s field of vision; he will understand that it doesn’t look very nice and should not be done this way again. You shouldn’t swear at your child, you just need to talk calmly with him and explain that breaking toys is bad and if he continues to do this, he won’t have new toys.

During the next trip to the store, the child may again choose a toy that is not suitable for him. In this case, you should not buy anything at all, so as not to repeat the mistakes you have already made. The child needs to be explained and reminded of how he broke a previously purchased toy.

Features of temperament

Currently, a large number of children are aggressive. Such a child’s toys break regularly and this is due to his temperamental characteristics. The child is very active, cannot sit in one place for a long time, is easily distracted and is often irritated. Such children often break toys not on purpose, sometimes they step on them during active play, sometimes they press hard, etc.

What to do?

Not paying attention to this would be a huge mistake. The situation needs to be corrected before it becomes more serious. You cannot scold a child in such a situation. Punishment can only make the situation worse, the aggressiveness will increase, and the child will withdraw into himself. Parents need to talk to the child and explain to him that the way he is behaving is not at all good and this cannot be done.

In order for a child to take out accumulated energy and emotions somewhere, it is necessary to create all the conditions for him and purchase toys that will not break. For example, rubber. For boys, an excellent option would be to buy a punching bag with gloves. Parents need to think about sending their children to various clubs and sections where they will spend their energy usefully.

If the above methods do not help, then it is best to seek help from a neurologist and child psychologist.

Curiosity and inquisitiveness of a child

Very often, children do not deliberately disassemble toys into parts or accidentally break them - this is due to curiosity and the desire to learn new things. They are very interested in what the toy consists of and what is inside it. Most often, the first thing children do is take apart expensive and bright toys. Therefore, parents need to be prepared for the fact that an expensive toy will soon end up in disassembled condition. After the child examines the toy from the inside, he tries to put it back together, but this rarely works.

What should I do?

Parents need to purchase more toys that are fairly easy to assemble and disassemble. The child will be interested in playing with them. When a child grows up, he should be given educational books to read and educational cartoons to watch. This will satisfy his curiosity.

Baby attracts parents' attention

Very often, a child begins to regularly misbehave, be capricious, break toys and constantly play pranks. This may be due to a lack of parental attention. In this way, the child wants to at least somehow draw the parents’ attention to himself.


The most important thing is to talk with your child, find out what exactly he wants to play with you. Maybe draw, read or just talk? You need to go for walks with your child more often. Build a snowman, ride a slide, play football or play in the sand. Organize theatrical performances or just quietly watch cartoons together. The child will definitely like all this, and he will be very happy about such a pastime. Thanks to such games, the child will be with his parents more often and the atmosphere in the family will be very good.

The child just wants to break everything

There are situations when a child breaks his toys simply out of anger or resentment. Having broken a toy, he throws out all his negative emotions and feels better. Most often, a child takes this example from his parents when, when angry, they throw things, scream and make many other movements that the child remembers. After such parental actions, the child begins to do the same during aggression or anger.

What should I do?

You need to allocate a place for the child and equip it so that the child can easily disassemble and break something there, and then put it back together. Boxing gloves and a punching bag are very helpful for boys, and darts is perfect for girls.

Kid playing superhero

If a child throws toys around and spins everything around, and then walks around as if he has done a good deed, then most likely he imagines himself as a superhero. He needs to destroy the villains and during the game he simply does not notice how he breaks his toys.


In such situations, you definitely need to talk to the child and explain to him that the toys he breaks are not villains, and by breaking them, he is not doing a completely heroic act. The best option would be a corner in the children's room where the child can turn into a superhero and fight villains.

Some more common reasons

  • Excessive guardianship of the child. Some people are too obsessive about how the child plays with his toys. This begins to irritate him and he breaks toys.
  • The baby is sick and very tired. When a child is sick, he quickly gets irritated and becomes impatient. Because of such irritability, the child very often breaks toys unintentionally.
  • Expression of anger. Very often children blame their toys for their failures, not themselves. For example, the car does not fit into the built garage. The child does not think that he made him small - he breaks the car, thinking that it turned out to be too big. All the child's anger is poured out on the toy, the baby throws it and this causes it to break.
  • Buying a new toy. Sometimes children think that if an old toy is broken, they will buy him a new one, which is why they break them.

Find an opportunity

The child rejoices at the collapse of the tower no less than at its creation.

Why not give your doll a crew cut? We are very sorry for the beautiful curls, but for her this is an important stage in realizing herself and her capabilities. Having changed the doll the way she wanted, the girl felt like the owner of the toy. Children often feel the power of adults, and such manipulations with their toys allow them to some extent compensate for their dependence on us. If it seems to you that the toy is hopelessly damaged, do not rush to throw it away; the child will be happy to use all these debris and parts in games. And don’t worry if your little one tramples sand pies with joyful cries or brings down a beautiful tower made from a construction set that he spent hours assembling. For a small child, destruction is an integral part of creating something new. And we, adults, often restrain the child’s destructive impulses. In the safe space of play, he gets the opportunity to express his emotions without causing our censure. The endless repetition of building something and subsequent destruction can symbolize separation and return for the baby.

How to stop a child from breaking toys

You should not buy toys that are inappropriate for your child’s age, no matter how much he asks. You need to play with your child more often and just spend time together, but not impose your ideas of games. If a child does break a toy, then punishment will not help; you need to talk to the child and explain that his actions are bad and do not carry anything good. For a very active child, you need to make a special corner where he can throw out all his emotions and spend energy. Or send your child to various sections that he or she will like.

Joint fun and active games with parents will allow the child to be calmer and observe how mom or dad treats the toy. We must remember that children always imitate their parents, so it is necessary to be a good example.

Attention please!

Sometimes broken toys can tell us that a child feels lonely and needs confirmation of our love. Children attract our attention in the way that turns out to be most effective. And if you are especially upset by clutter and broken things, then when you hear cracking and rumbles at the moment when you need to cook dinner or check the homework of older children, rest assured that in this way the baby is reminded of his existence. He does not want to upset you, but only tells you that he himself is suffering. If you remember this, it will be easier for you to remain calm the next time he knocks over your jar of priceless cream or rips the arm off his sister's favorite doll. You should not see any malicious intent in this - he is jealous and would like to own you completely. Show your child that you are unhappy about the damage caused, but also allow him to express his feelings: “Are you angry with your mom or your sister? I think about you, even if I'm busy. I’ll be free and can play with you.” There is no need to make the child feel guilty; his feelings are quite natural, and he expresses them according to his age.

Natalia Bogdanova, psychologist Article provided by the magazine

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