Child Behavior Community
14.2k Members
Avatar universal

My son is cutting up his clothes

My son will be 6 in April.  He began to show strange behavior when he started Kindergarten.  It has become more clear now that this needs to be address with a physiologist.
He started with cutting up his clothes just a little bit, and now I find more and more every week as I do laundry.  He denies doing it, but under a pressure he admitted that he has done it.   He also was smearing his boogers on the wall, but I quickly fixed it by making him wash the wall every weekend.  But the clothes cutting stays.  I am beginning to think that something is going on at school and he is not telling me.
He does not show any other abnormal behavior, even though he is known for lying and "forgetting" to do what he is asked.  Otherwise he is a very happy, funny, talkative and active sweet boy.  He does seam to have mood change here and there, but I don't see a major problem here.
Any suggestions?

16 Responses
Avatar universal
The psychologist seems like a good idea. Does he have a lot of "sensory" issues - such as avoiding certain textures and being drawn to others? For example, does he frequently tear up tissues and paper or play a lot with sand, mud, dirt, etc? Some kids exhibit unusual behaviors associated with sensory issues, but this is usually evident beginning when they are young 2-3 and continuing into later years, as opposed to beginning at school age. That latter fact, makes it seem as though he is reacting to something stressful and disconcerting and he is exhibiting it in his behavior. Definitely seems wise to consult with a professional.
Avatar universal
No, no other issues.  My natural reactction was actually to just punish him for this, but my mom said that this may be phsycological.  He is a happy kid with a pretty strong will that makes it hard to make him do somthing, but he does not have any issues in shcool.  He does great academically and has had only one note send home during this whole school year for goofing off.  This is what throws me off.  Does he cut his close (at school) simply to be "cool"?
Avatar universal
It is unlikely at his age that he would be cutting his clothes to be cool. Does he say what he likes about cuting his clothes?
Avatar universal
Honestly I did not go as far as asking him how he feels about it.  I was happy to pick up from his reaction to my "interrogation" that he is doing it himself verses someone is doing it to him.   I actually want to go to school and ask why his teacher is not aware of the fact that child has an access to scissors and doing what he is doing without her even knowing it.
Avatar universal
OK, just had a conversation with him and asked if he likes to cut fabric....  He said no, he just didn't like the clothes that he cut (!).
I don't buy it a 100% as he cut a couple of things that were his "favorite".   Now what?
Avatar universal
What didn't he like about them? How did he like the way they looked after he cut them? How about the things he cut that were his favorites? Does he know how you feel about him cutting his clothes? How does he feel when he's cutting them? What does he think you should do when he sees you cutting his clothes? let m e know what he says if you can get a conversation going with him. If he answers honestly and makes an effort to converse with you about it, it may shed light on what's going on. Try to get him talking about it. Be neutral curious and tell him that you will not get angry bout anything he says.
Avatar universal
Thank you, I will try.  
Avatar universal
The things that you said here sound a lot like my baby sister she is 4 and has had a really hard upbringing, recently her mom even considered giving custody to me, but then changed her mind. I love my sister more than anything and know that she would be more stable and better attended to with me as well as get any medical attention that she needs, but since she is only currently with me for a while, is there anything that I can do for her, or tell her mom that would help. Basically she has cut her clothes a couple of times and the problem to me is that she has also gotten herself a few times, but she also has the sensory issues you were asking about.
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem with my 6 year old. He is cutting up cloths and then the other other day he took a screwdriver and made x's in my van door. When ask why he said that it was not him and then when he know that I know he qas lying to me he told me that he did it. He will try to blame his brother or Sister first be for he will tell me that he did it. I am so lost and dont know what to do with him..... Can someone please help me with this one......
Avatar universal
My child is 8 and he has the same issue. He cuts my things instead.. Leather things.. Such as the sofa... My bar stool. My ottoman an necklace case all leather. This is weird.
Avatar universal
My 10 year old son also cuts things.  Living room chairs and sofa, leather seats in the car, bedspread, lampshades.  He will also shred his clothing if there is a hole or rip anywhere.  In addition, he hides things everywhere (kind of like hoarding).  Hides knives and scissors under his bed or the couch, hides food under his bed, hides the TV remote control.  We are currently seeking psychological help.  He is on Concerta 27 mg for his ADHD - switched from Adderall due to severe anxiety.  Not sure what to do anymore.  Very sad for my poor son.
My 8 1/2 daughter cuts or ripped her clothes up, she ripped her books and toys up.  When asked why she did it, she just lies and lies or, she will try to blame someone else or, her famous words are! I don't know .  I am at my wits end with her. I used to replace these items but now I am going to let her wear the ripped clothing.
Avatar universal
My 8 year old deliberately cuts something every few months. Clothes,  including  her school uniform,  bedding, curtains,  tablecloths. She usually  stares at me silently when I ask why or punish her. The only answer I ever got was when she was 5 years old... "Mommy,  you know I have a scissor problem. " I am now making her save her pocket money to replace items. I also said that if she cuts anything else, I will cut her hair. I don't know ehat elae to do.
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments