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To not 'push' my 18 month old

(43 Posts)
AliceInHinterland Thu 04-Feb-16 17:28:07

I really see DS as a baby still, but I sometimes wonder if I need to start making more of an effort to help him get a head start on things.
He seems pretty average (in a good way) with walking, talking (in words only we understand!) and happy to feed himself (messily).
But I don't enforce strict table manners, not started potty training, generally cart him about in the pram rather than letting him walk (work FT so no time for dawdling), and definitely don't try to teach him anything beyond what naturally comes up in the course of the day.
So - do you think that he is still young and we should just carry on as we are, playing, reading easy books, weekend trips to the park, soft play or the farm? Or have you successfully challenged your little one with the result that they have become an all round over achiever?! Should I be teaching him his colours, alphabet and numbers in more than a half-hearted way, encouraging excellent table manners, and toilet traing him now? What amazing things could your little ones do at this age?!

Muskateersmummy Thu 04-Feb-16 17:31:26

I am not a big one for teaching but I do think some things need encouraging like walking, and we did do some flash card bits. If you work ft is he in nursery? Because they will no doubt be doing some teaching through play with him.

0hCrepe Thu 04-Feb-16 17:31:30

What you're doing sounds great. Interaction, play, talking and singing are the main things.

Pipsqueak23 Thu 04-Feb-16 17:36:21

What your doing sounds fine. Don't feel the need to push them along.

They will do things in their own time. My DS is 2.3years and I have only just started potty training. We read and I sing songs (he doesn't copy these yet)

When we are out walking or driving I point out the colours of the cars we pass or things we see such as flowers, vehicles, animals etc just so he has a visual for the word being used and this encourages him to try and say them as well.

When walking down the stairs with him I count them so he is hearing the numbers in order but he doesn't count by himself yet.

Just keep doing what your doing and your DS will pick things up as he goes. smile

ceeveebee Thu 04-Feb-16 17:36:47

He's 18 months. There's plenty of time for letters and numbers. Just talk incessantly when you are with him, point out all the colours, birds and cars etc, and he will learn from you!

We taught our twins numbers and the alphabet using those stick on letters that you can get for the bath, but I think they were around 2 then (and in fact we got told off by nursery for teaching them the letter names instead of the phonic sounds, ah well!)

Heatherbell1978 Thu 04-Feb-16 17:38:03

My Ds is almost 18m and I wasn't aware he was meant to know colours, alphabet etc....? He walks, babbles (no clear words), eats messily and generally prefers to be carried rather than walking. He's at nursery 3 days a week so I'm assuming he gets some education there. Most of the books we read and toys we play with are 18m or 2 yrs plus though but only coz I think he's grown out of a lot of his baby stuff.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Thu 04-Feb-16 17:52:24

No need to worry about potty training! Talk to him, point out things like the blue car etc but I wouldn't be drilling him on things, he's still a baby! Learn through play, you probably teach more than you realise with games and songs and general chat.

Don't panic! Average is FINE! Encourage him to talk by chatting with him, encourage him to walk around your home, don't even think about potties yet!

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Feb-16 17:56:30

I thought this was going to be about a swing.

I was going to say it's cruel to let him sit on one, but not push him grin

Yanbu OP. There's plenty of time for all that. I'd just go with the flow.

Terribleknitter Thu 04-Feb-16 17:56:39

It's fine. You're doing fine. Talking, playing, showing him new things, singing are all a great start in life smile
They're in school for long enough!
Fwiw, as far as toilet training I didn't even go there until way past 2 years old with any of mine and they all made it in their own good time.

Stillwishihadabs Thu 04-Feb-16 18:00:53

The only thing I would say is that at 18m they are (relatively) compliant so getting in to the habit of walking instead of being carried/going in the buggy is easier now than in a year's time.

Ameliablue Thu 04-Feb-16 18:02:11

It depends what you mean really. I don't think toddlers should be pushed into learning but that doesn't mean you can't actively encourage learning for instance if you are going somewhere with toddler in the pram, and the toddler is awake but you aren't engaging with them, they won't learn much but if you engage with them, talking about colours, numbers etc. this can aid their learning in fun rather than pushy way.

Ameliablue Thu 04-Feb-16 18:04:48

Also some people feel toddlers are too young to teach so just let them get on with things and develop bad habits, but right from an early age you can start to encourage good habits which makes it less of a jump later when bad habits matter more.

RumbleMum Thu 04-Feb-16 18:12:10

It's useful to encourage walking when you can so you don't end up with a bad back like me when they're older and good to drop colours and numbers into the things you're talking to him about but I wouldn't try to 'push' learning if you see what I mean - he's still very little. As for potty training and manners, it's far too early IMO (unless he's shown great interest in the potty).

What you're doing already sounds great to me.

Terribleknitter Thu 04-Feb-16 18:15:43

Actually I agree with the walking. We had a little life backpack which somehow worked wonders!
<also have a bad back>

UmbongoUnchained Thu 04-Feb-16 18:16:29

My 18 month old is quite ahead of her peers but I put it down to the fact that her bestfriend has just turned 2. They spend almost everyday together and she definitely watches what he's doing and learns.
She knows all her body parts, eats with a fork and spoon, walks everywhere and can dress herself. None of these things were promoted by me though, i didn't even know she would do some of the things she does until I was watching her play with her friend.
They all learn at different speeds! My friend has a daughter same age as mine and she is a lot more advanced in terms of speech.

catkind Thu 04-Feb-16 18:23:08

How do you "challenge" a baby? They just do what they're going to do don't they? They start taking an interest in colours, you chat to them about colours. They start taking an interest in letters or numbers, you chat about those. They grab for your pen, you find them some crayons and paper.
You read whatever book they're waving in your face. Over and over again smile actually if you're thinking ahead to learning to read, probably the simpler the better.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 04-Feb-16 18:30:55

I'm a bit on the fence but for the most part I do agree with you. You shouldn't be pushing him as such. But on the flip side, "they'll learn in school" isn't a great attitude either.

Learning through play is how I do it. And DD chooses what we do in a sense...if she's showing no interest in something we do something else. You are playing with him so he will be learning through play, even if it's not specifically numbers, colours and letters. Also, that messy eating? That's sensory play. 18mo isn't really the ideal age to try to instill table manners. And I've seen people many dozens of times saying that with potty training, you should follow the child's lead.

However, I do agree that now is the ideal time to teach him how to behave outside of the pram. DD only started walking at 16mo but by 18mo was very steady on her feet so we started taking short journeys without the pram. She's 22mo now and she can go a good distance (probably good for about a mile walking to the village and back) without messing about. That's purely my experience obviously but I'd be concerned that being too reliant on the pram would cause him to not know how to behave once he's out of it...and the bigger he gets, the faster he'll get! smile

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 04-Feb-16 18:42:03

YDNBU. Children will do things in their own time. I never pushed my DD.

JessicasRabbit Thu 04-Feb-16 18:42:32

If you push a toddler he will fall over.

School will deal with formal learning, toddler is the time to get behaviour (relatively) under control. Not running off when walking, for instance. Not table manners as such, but sitting while eating. Really, really basic stuff which I'm sure you do already.

Counting in as interesting one. Loads of very young children can recite the numbers 1-10, but have absolutely no concept of counting or what numbers mean. In which case, reciting the numbers is about as useful (learning wise) as reciting a nursery rhyme.

AliceInHinterland Thu 04-Feb-16 18:59:12

Thanks everyone - I just want to do the best for him, and not underestimate what he's capable of, but equally teach him that life is for enjoying!

Janeymoo50 Thu 04-Feb-16 19:11:46

Sounds like he is doing just fine to me. I wouldn't start thinking about a potty until nearly two which is when I started reading them the I want my potty book (Can't recall the author now). Reading, talking, engaging etc is key now. He'll learn "table manners" from you, messy eating is fine (he's eating so great). A lot changes between 18 months and two, they kind of, imho, change from babies to proper toddlers.

catkind Thu 04-Feb-16 19:51:25

Jessicasrabbit, I don't think that means reciting numbers is worthless - it's just a stage that comes before actual counting things. Not that we should be drilling them in reciting numbers or anything else.

PenguinsAreAce Thu 04-Feb-16 19:57:51

As long as you talk to him loads and he gets 3 hrs or more per day of pottering around without sitting down then all will be well.

JessicasRabbit Thu 04-Feb-16 21:47:32

cat, I meant that reciting numbers is only as valuable as reciting anything else. As a precursor to maths it is useless because until a child grasps what numbers actually mean, the words 'five, six, seven' are equivalent to training a child to say 'tabby mctat was a buskers cat'. Probably even less because toddlers often know what a cat is, and recognise that pets have names. The leap in development is when they recognise counting itself. The numbers themselves mean absolutely nothing until they reach an understanding of what is actually the difference between 5 and 6. I could train a child to say onomatopoeia, but it'd be pointless if they didn't know what it was. The same is true of numbers.

ElderlyKoreanLady Thu 04-Feb-16 22:33:15

Being able to say the words is the foundation of being able to understand numbers in my experience. DD was starting to count (up to 4) from 14 months with no real understanding of numbers at all, just getting the sequence of the words. Fast forward to 22 months and she can count up to 15 and backwards from 10 and can tell you those numbers if you write them down randomly and ask what they are. She can also tell you how many fingers you're holding up and counts things spontaneously before proudly announcing how many there are. Some studies of cognitive development suggest that very small babies are far more capable of gauging approximate quantities than we previously thought. Not in terms of being able to count but more in terms of deciding whether there's a lot of something or not and noticing changes to that, so understanding whether there are more or less of something. Some might argue that once a child understands numbers as a language it's only a very small step to actually being able to count things.

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