My twins rip up the books we read. How do I get them to stop?


When reading the peekaboo books with my boys they rip the pages or the flaps. Then they say, no no no... They know they are not supposed to rip, but they do it and show me they know it's not right. I understand it's normative behavior for the age, but how do I handle this? I don't want the books ruined, and feel like they need to learn the rules. So... besides remind and repeat, do I physically stop them before they get to rip the page? Take the book away? What are my options?


Your boys are practicing two things in this interchange with their books. Mastering the knowledge of a rule- yes, children their age repeat the "no" deed or get close to it and hold their impulse to break the rule by mimicking the parent. Eventually they stop the behavior. The second thing they are doing is part of early childhood literacy. Early literacy includes the exploration and experience of a book. For some, that includes tearing pages. So yes, Repeat and Remind is the task here, BUT you do not have to let them tear the book. You can stop reading and give them the rule and stop them before they get to tearing. Enjoy them saying No No No while you set the boundary.