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Posted 15/12/2011 3:29:32 PM
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Please please I need tips on helping my 18 month old in learning how not to do certain things.  Before I start I do want to just preface this by saying I am completely aware that at this age it is a normal exploration stage and I am also not talking about your everyday oops you shouldnt do that kind of activity but more the poterntially dangerous kind such as touching a hot oven, extreme climbing, running on a road, not holding hands etc etc.

My daughter as amazing as she is, is exhausting me and that makes it difficult to enjoy our time together.  She is a very very strong willed child, I would almost go as far as to say she is almost physically stronger than me and while that might sound impossible I mean it in that if you try to cuddle/hold her back from doing something she wants to she will wildly thrash about, kick, punch, bite until you cant hold her anymore.  She has the most full on squealing meltdown tantrums I have ever seen in my life.  She is an adventurous child which I dont really want to hold her back from being but for example at the minute she is a climber.  Now we have babyproofed our house as far as we can and beyond.  All our cupboards have child locks (but she can break them and can also slide her hands in even with the lock - skinny minnie)  I have taken to having to duct taped up my draws to stop her climbing on, have now had to put my dining table chairs away, have had to confiscate the high chair and now have caught her climbing on our entertainment unit which I cant physically put away short of gutting our whole house.  She understands when you are asking her not to do something but will do it anyway.  For example she will walk up to the oven (switched on) and put her hand near it and go "oh, hot!" and I will be like yes its hot - dont touch and then she will touch it anyway.  She will go to do something she is not allowed to do and will actually look at you and go nooooo and then laughs and does it anyway.  Even going out in public is a handful as she will not go in a pram (she will climb out of a moving pram) but doesnt want to hold my hand to walk alone and will literally sit in a carpark and have a meltdown because of it.

I do realise this is just her starting to assert her independence and like i said I am happy to ignore certain things but this dangerous stuff I feel like I dont know how to teach her that it is potentially dangerous to do these things.  I have done the no, stop, I've tried loud noise  eg uh uh!  I've done ignoring bad behaviour,and overly praising good behaviour,  I've done a smack when its really bad.  Distraction does not work at all in this house.  I've tried yelling.  I've tried peacefully talking and explaining it to her.  It does not matter at all, she will just carry on again and again.  I uderstand she is so young but because of how adventurous and no fear, its just getting to me.  It started at about 10 months and has no sign of abating at all.  I spoke to some girls from my MG and they said oh yes we had that but we told our kids repeatedly for a few times and then they just got bored and stopped doing it, but that doesnt happen here.  I am at the point where I dont want to go out because its just easier/more stress free to stay home. And at home I dont do anything except follow her around taking her away from things she shouldnt be doing, instead of actually enjoying being with her.

Please any advice or other suggestions.  Or is it just something to wait through and "one day" she will just click?

Post #65222
Posted 15/12/2011 10:06:28 PM
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Oh I get you.. my DD is 2.5. She was/is the same, although, somehow, the really dangerous things like 'hot oven' have clicked with her somehow.. But even since she was 1 month ols she refused to go in a pram, and for walking beside us hand held - that is still a dream that did not come true. she would run away happily, scream and laugh, and have a tantrum if I try to keep her safe.

But for the rest of the tantrums she used to have - and they pretty much stopped - I can tell you that yes - one day it will 'click'. You have a little adventurous child on your hands - and there are plenty of kids like that. It is only that people with kids like ours chose to be more home based, and do not go public much. I am pretty sure that your daughter is a handful, and that is ok - this is who she is, and will be for ever, I think. But this is good ! She is curious and full of life, and these are big qualities.

As suggestions, try to redirect her somehow - this works well for me - and if we have to go out shopping, then her dad is the horse and carrier her and she sits on his shoulders feeding him 'grass' and water from her sippy cup. This is the only way she rides, as the pram is boring and hand holding even more boring. Maybe try be a horse, as silly as it sounds.. Also, maybe bring a doll with you and put doll in the pram - maybe she will climb in with the doll.

As for the oven - for example - I did let my girl touch a hot oven, as this is the only way she learned. Your dd will not learn from you - she is a doer, and needs to experiment in order to believe. What worked for us - with the hot kettle for example - was when she tried to touch it, I would say 'bring a pen' ! I will make you a kettle! what colour do you want '? This worked really well and we still use this method as my dd is obsessed with drawing. Same I did with power points and with the hot hair dryer - I drew one, and said 'you can touch this, but not the real one. you touch the pretend one'. Or even buy a fake one, a toy - at Kmart they have all house toys for $5./each.

I use another thing which is NOT NOW.. THEN. Which is YES, you can touch the oven. But not now when it is hot - later, when it cools down. This works really well too - she still  has the occasional tantrum because toddlers have no concept of patience, but 6 times out of 10, it works fine. She waits and makes me check on the progress of the oven. in the mean time, i redirect her with a doll, and the matter is forgotten.

Now your dd is too young - these things worked for us from 2 years onwards. For now, just wait - and one day, she will listen. honestly, I think a child under 2 is too young for reasoning. I would concentrate on keeping her safe, and in 6 months or so, I would try redirecting or offering alternatives as I said. Never say plain NO to such child, it only aggravates them . Anyway, there is hope - my dd was like yours and has changed heaps (after she turned 2). Listens when I say NO to the big things and is happy to do so - and she even comments 'Me not allowed, but mama is. Why ? Because she is now and me, later )

Good luck and keep strong

Post #65225
Posted 2/01/2012 10:43:45 PM
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Last Login: 2/01/2012 10:35:47 PM
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Most kids go through the stage but there are only two things I know about managing that kind of behaviour, hopefully it might work for you.

1. Don't make it adversarial, or at least try really hard not to. Its not you vs them, its a "universal rule" or whatever, 'not now but later' is another one, anything to avoid the "because mummy said so" dynamic. As one friend said, her daughter would look at her as if to say "challenge accepted mummy" and would proceed to ignore her.

2. Divert divert divert. My neighbour is a legend at this. Her daughter is really clever and adventurous and while she admits its hard work mentally, she agrees its a lot easier than arguing. Rather than saying "No" or "can you please do ...." she'll say "I bet you can't do X by the time I do Y" or "How fast can you do ....", I bet you can't reach, what do you think that cloud looks like, etc etc etc. You get the idea. Rather than go for the confrontation, which the child knows is wrong / naughty, change their attention, engage them in a game, race, description anything. Child combat and boundry pushing is in part due to them wanting stimulation, they want the battle so they can do something, give them something else to compete with you over.

Hope that makes sense, its the only thing I've seen consistently work with active, intelligent kids. Bribery and all the easy things work with the more compliant, risk averse kids (such as my boy) but you gotta pull out the parental creativity for the clever kids.

Good luck, and remember they WILL grow out of it, at some stage
Post #65496
Posted 15/03/2012 11:21:21 AM
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You sound like a great mum with a really smart toddler.  My mum said we were just like this and swears all really bright kids are and the ones who just go along quietly and do what they are told are just dumb.. not much comfort i know.  I think distraction is a good idea.. even if its just "was that a dog i heard?" "lets look outside for the dog" or "that cloud looks like a monkey can you see it?"  She needs to go out to kindergym, swimming lessons or playgroup or the park a lot.  Lots of physical challanges. I remember putting my toddler son in the bath with lots of toys and sitting in the door way reading (and keeping one eye on him) while he played for half and hour or so..  bliss. I think childproofing you house is a great idea but where do you draw the line?  A few half days of childcare could be good or her and yourself but do warn them about the climbing etc.  She sound like a great kid.  Good luck and remember "this too will pass"
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