advise/thoughts/tips needed on 'disciplining' a 16mo..

(35 Posts)
HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 13:22:26

16mo dd is a live wire.. she's feisty, strong willed and know's what she wants! She's very mobile, into climbing, rolling, bashing things and throwing things (including herself!) on the floor, on the table on everything..

Don't get me wrong (most of the time) I adore all these characteristics in her but I have a strong feeling we're going to have to fight some 'battle's' soon as trying to get her to do things she doesn't want / or shouldn't be doing is already turning into a bit of struggle.

I want to nip this in the bud - without being constantly shouting no, grabbing her or things off her etc, etc.

I'm clearly aware of 'picking the battle's' discussions but there are certain things I know I want to install in her - eg: holding hands when crossing road - given she's only just out and about walking, I'm a big fan of allowing her to do this but as I say, wish her to have a good sense of this installed into her - my recent attempts to hold her hands get greeted with a very firm and grumpy 'NO, mine' and hands thrown across her chest, resulting in me having to just grab her and then if road quiet she has walked but thrown herself in tears into middle of road, with me hanging on - not good as you can imagine!!

She's great at grabbing things I know she shouldn't have and certain items I do just grab back - eg: glasses, scissors, knives - mainly things of danger - other things I'm not fussed about, as I say, I don't want to constantly be saying no or doing this.

Anyway, as always I waffle - but I did read about someone before and 'cooling off spot' or something similar they were already using on a 12mo - I wondered about that? And as I say, in title just wondering what I can start doing...

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 18-Apr-12 13:30:18

TBH i don't think there are many strategies (time out, positive rewards etc) that work on under twos. i think all you can do is try and make things as fun as possible, use distraction if you need ("yes I know you want the scissors back but OOH look at the cat by the window"), and grit your teeth and bear it if these have failed. And get some reins grin.

whatwhatinthewhatnow Wed 18-Apr-12 13:34:10

I don't say no very often because i dont want to sound like my mother.

Instead I make a reward of not doing the bad thing. Ie DVD's being pulled out of the shelf, I say, come on, lets put them back, wow! Isnt that great that you are tidying up!

If DD runs off, Come on lets see who can walk alongside mummy the best!

Sometimes you cant do that though, and in those cases I do say no very firmly and pull her away.

5madthings Wed 18-Apr-12 13:35:02

i have a 16mth old also and yes they can be stropppy and fiesty but they DONT understand why they can or cant do or have things!

best thing at this age is distraction tbh and if she wont hold hands then get reins or one of those back backs, i have a little life? one, its a turtle and she will where that.

time out etc doesnt work for this age, they dont understand it at all, they are not in control of their emotions and are just learning about the world and how it works. its a case of gettin got things before she does to move them out of the way, my dd has suddenly got taller and can now reach more things than before so am having to remember and keep things back from the edge of tables and workktops, she is a brilliant climber as well and will move chairs about to climb on them to get things so i have to distract her or i put the chairs up on the table so she cant get them!

and dont say NO unless you really have to ime or it looses its effectiveness,i tend to only say no when she is in danger of hurting herself, the best thing is to physically move them and distract, its hard work!

FirstLastEverything Wed 18-Apr-12 13:36:41

Proof the house or supervise more. I am shock that you have knives in reach.
Remember she's not 'being naughty' she's learning about the world and has yet to develop impulse control.

FirstLastEverything Wed 18-Apr-12 13:37:17

I have found 'Stop' to be more effective than 'No'.

cory Wed 18-Apr-12 13:40:45

I don't think there is any point in behaving in a certain way round a 16mo in the hope that this will instill habits for later: they simply haven't got that kind of attention span. Whatever teaching you will need to do will have to wait until she is old enough to understand and remember.

In the meantime you need to concentrate on keeping her safe and your life bearable.

Reins are a good idea for taking her out (and great when they do that throwing themselves down thing, you simply hoik them out of danger in mid-air).

Your job to keep knives and scissors out of her reach for the time being. Child-proof cupboards and cabinets if she is that kind of child, and think carefully about where you put things down when you are working.

Try to keep one room absolutely safe and put a gate on the door so you have somewhere you do not have to exercise absolute vigilance.

Otherwise- afraid it is just absolute vigilance for now.

Cv Firstly get her back in her buggy and secondly You need to seriously baby proof your house because let's face it at just over 1 that is what she is - a baby- I know I sound sharp but you don't want to be in a and e explaining how your 16 month old has cut off a finger - or worse.

My 2.6 year old is in his buggy until we get to park/enclosed area - if we do walk he has a wrist strap on and if he doesn't hold hands he goes back in the buggy - it just is not worth the risk. Try again in a few months

Rubirosa Wed 18-Apr-12 13:43:12

Put unsafe things/things she can't touch out of her reach.

If she won't hold you hand to cross the road, pick her up.

For things like hitting, I either say no and demonstrate "gentle hands" or walk away.

Iggly Wed 18-Apr-12 13:46:09

As previous posters have said put the knives out of reach. And anything else. I have a 2.6 year old and looking back, 16 months is tiny. No sense f danger, no common sense grin

You distract. And tell them what they can do in simple terms. Eg come and play with this, help mummy do this etc etc. long winded explanations or "thinking corners" or naughty steps just won't work.

Also I didn't let ds walk properly in the street until he was 2 and even now I'm nervous. Yes fine in the park but not anywhere else. Honestly when they get past 2 you realise how young they were even when walking!!

loveisagirlnameddaisy Wed 18-Apr-12 13:56:04

I think this age is too young to start using discipline/consequences etc. They just don't get it. It's hard enough at 2.5 but at 16 months...? No way!

I also have a very feisty daughter but I just didn't put her in situations that required her to be a grown up at that age - it didn't work and was stressful and pointless for us both. If she wants to walk, let her do it somewhere safe but on the roads she should be in a pram or on reins (and only on reins if she's willing to walk beside you).

loveisagirlnameddaisy Wed 18-Apr-12 13:58:17

To qualify what I wrote, I don't mean that you shouldn't be instilling a sense of right and wrong in her through your actions - that's a given. So if she's being very rough at home, you can distract her or gently remove something from her. But out and about, you can't expect her to understand road safety and modify her behaviour at 16 months - too soon IMO.

HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 13:58:20

Brilliant stuff, great tips already !!! Many thanks.

Yes need to keep on encouraging the positives
Am liking the stop too and will try and pick up on using distraction technique more

FirstLastEverything, no need for horrified look and calls for more supervision and am well aware she's not being naughty - I don't deliberately, (I would have thought kind of obvious) keep knives in reach - apologies for not being clearer but was referring really to her grabbing them when we're having dinner in restaurant or something. Though I am 'against' total fussing and baby proofing things to the extent toddlers are wrapped in cotton wool - but clearly that's another thread!

Reins for sure - though do know many anti them ?! I guess again a whole other subject and I'm with those suggesting them - off to google little life.. I like those rucksac type thing's

Rucksacks are great I got mine from Argos for less than £15 and it's great - although a bit of a pita if she is in and out buggy as they're quite bulky

HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 14:05:52

Goodness, a few poster thinking I'm into leaving knives etc around ! not quite how I intended it to read - I'm not stupid honest !

And yes totally agree that they don't understand consequences etc and perhaps discipline was wrong word..

Was just thinking out loud really about how I want to do start these things and what to do in the future really and what I can do at what age as it's first child wet behind the ears..

Iggly Wed 18-Apr-12 14:11:08

Your method of parenting will change as they get older I think?

I found the backpacks useless. Reims are much better - who cares what others think grin

BertieBotts Wed 18-Apr-12 14:12:59

I had a rule with DS - hold hands when crossing roads or you get carried or have to go in pushchair. I also found that giving him prior warning helped, such as "we're going to get to a big road in a minute, and I'll need you to sit in the pushchair then. Okay? " - when we got to the road, he'd happily get in because he was expecting it,despite having a raging tantrum at the very idea before then.

Also I found with knives and scissors etc it was better to say "can I have that please? " rather than panicking and grabbing them, seemed to make them seem less exciting. Also let him know they were sharp and let him touch the edge of a fairly blunt knife to feel for himself. Obviously under close supervision and would remove immediately of he looked like he might hurt himself or run off with them.

HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 14:20:16

loveisadaisy.. that's it installing a sense of right and wrong.. I've seriously spent too long hanging out / watching a friend and her dd who is now 3 who seems to have no sense of this and it's stressed me out and made me doubt myself - she has a 'style' of parenting that doesn't appear to work - not using word 'no' at all.. anyway, asides. Thank you for wise words.

Iggly, haha, I agree - don't really care what other's think when it comes to reins/bacbacks - will be trying both seeing what suits.

bertieBotts.. yes, I do try and not grab - and like you say ask for these things.. as in soon as I want it of course she wants it more !

prior warnings is something I must remember too.. I know the childminder does that..

angelpuss Wed 18-Apr-12 14:48:51

Little Life do some reins

www.littlelife.co.uk/html/toddler_daysacks/safety-harness.html

We got ours from Amazon and they are good because the parent strap is detachable so you can leave the harness on while you put them in the pushchair, and then just hook the strap back on again. Invaluable when we were walking around Chester Zoo!!

loveisagirlnameddaisy Wed 18-Apr-12 15:16:20

I also have a friend who thinks being a laidback parent - which she is always telling me she is - also means letting your toddler control every situation. I can't actually bear her little boy which is awful because he's only 3, but he's just rather unlikeable.

I've always considered this age to be a huge learning curve for children which needs gentle but firm guidance, clear boundaries and tolerance. I don't fight every battle presented to me because life's too short and I want her to have her own spirit/personality etc, but I am a stickler for certain things and these are the battles I fight.

Experience is a wonderful teacher and in the past year (DD is 2.5) I've learned so much about how to get the results I want. E.g. my DP will 'negotiate' with DD because he thinks that works when in reality she doesn't have a clue what's going on and it just leads to a tantrum. I give her 2 choices in any situation and if she doesn't choose, I decide for her. But at 16 months, I wouldn't have known that this was the best way to behave.

Every parent is different and you'll decide along the way how you want to raise her and what sort of parent you want to be.

HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 16:02:03

Loving that harness.. think that's for us! Thank you. I don't want to limit her walking - she absolutely love's it (and personally I'm all for it as we're also into country walks etc) but as everyone says safety does need to be a feature if we're not in the countryside etc

loveisagirlnameddaisy. Thank you for the much needed reassurance - learning curves and experience!. As you say, what I'm trying to achieve is this approach - firm, but gentle, guidance and clear boundaries to me are important (and am also as stickler for specifics like manners). Lol, I hate to admit it but I can't bear my friends little girl which is awful thing to say (don't flame me others please) and being with them/her is rather hard because it makes me cringe and flinch as it's all about what the child wants so you can't actually ever do much or have a conversation due to a highly strung, demanding child slapping mum in the face at every opportunity to get her attention or a long winded negotiation process of making her do something.

cory Thu 19-Apr-12 08:59:21

HappyJoyful Wed 18-Apr-12 14:20:16
"loveisadaisy.. that's it installing a sense of right and wrong.. I've seriously spent too long hanging out / watching a friend and her dd who is now 3 who seems to have no sense of this"

I'd say if a 3yo has no road sense or is very demanding this is not necessarily a sense of poor parenting- it may just be developmental and that you are expecting too much of this little girl because she is so much older than your own.

I wouldn't trust any 3yo to have reliable road sense: though some are better than others, they all need careful watching ime.

In many ways the age of 3 is far more demanding than that of 16 months: I found dd totally unpredictable, had to be watched like a hawk even though she seemed so mature because she could hold a proper conversation; also, both mine were more whiny and demanding at that age than they have ever been before or since. It wasn't that I was a better parent at any other stage of their lives: it was just the way their development worked.

So don't judge your friend too much.

beela Thu 19-Apr-12 12:54:03

DS is 18 months and I have been strict on the holding hands to cross the road rule. We are lucky that we live in a village with quiet roads to practice on, but he is getting to understand that if he is on the road he must hold my hand until we reach the other side. If he refuses then I pick him up and carry him and hope my neighbours are out and can't hear the squeals of protest. He does now hold my hand all the way across (usually), and then snatches it away when we get onto the pavement again, so that suggests to me that he understands the rule.

I totally understand where you are coming from re scissors, knives etc - DS has just realised that if he drags a chair across and climbs onto it then he can reach pretty much anything in the whole kitchen. So we are becoming much tidier than ever before and installing more child locks!

The prior warning thing has worked for us too - e.g. 'when we get to x then you need to go into the buggy' or prior warning plus distraction 'we're going in the car in a minute, look there it is, can you help me drive?' (cue car noises and driving actions, instead of huge tantrum).

Now if I could work out a way of getting him to stay in a high chair in a restaurant for longer than 5 minutes then I'd be laughing....

HappyJoyful Thu 19-Apr-12 15:39:34

brilliant beela, you made me chuckle, yes how to get them to sit still in highchair in restaurant would be a good one!
yes, I'm thinking prior warnings like you say, and we've been doing some car noises, driving actions too - only thing I suddenly (naively) sussed was use of 'later' obviously completely goes over her head so eg; when she see's her trike - which I must say - recommend that to everyone as away of being able to combine walking / riding instead of always having a pushchair. If she wants to go in it and one says 'later' then of course we get a minor screaming session! so must remember to only refer to things if they are to happen 'in a minute'

cory, just for clarification - I could 'rant' / 'debate' this subject all day and don't want to bore you with the minute details and 'style' of parenting that friend is using - but it's quite frankly left a very sullen, antisocial and timid child who whilst is developed in speech (I do admit that) and is fine on road safety etc she lacks in things I find I would be a stickler for eg; basic please's and thank you's or any form of routine / discipline and embarrassingly demanding as it's something her Mum doesn't wish to insist on or adopt as what child wants child does or gets. And honestly, I'm not alone in my view that is it totally down to ''bad'' parenting.. bad obviously been a loosely interpreted word perhaps ''unusual'' would be a better term.

sc2987 Sun 20-May-12 19:15:38

I suggest reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. It's about how conventional carrot (including verbal praise) and/or stick methods might work (in the sense of getting the desired behaviour immediately) but aren't helpful in producing well-rounded motivated children (backed up by plenty of scientific research). He does explain alternative methods.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now