Advice on entering the toddler rein of terror!!(7 Posts)
DS1 (my first dc) turns 17 months tomorrow. He is a lovely little boy, but can now say 'no' and is definitely enjoying exploring the world around him and testing his boundaries!
He can say a few (not many words) but seems to understand quite a lot. However, I'm a bit unclear as to the best way to stop him doing stuff i don't want him to do. For example, both front and back gardens have gravel which he throws about (and brings in the house given the chance) and I don't seem to have a clue how to stop him and don't behave consistently towards him when trying to stop him [this applies to all stuff I don't want him to do].
Don't get me wrong, I know this is totally normal and I'm not stressed about this (although I look forward to that first glass of wine each night!!), I'd just appreciate some guidance as to how to introduce some gentle discipline (otherwise I think I might end up a shouty but no follow through mummy) and possible recommendations for any books that people have found useful - obviously would find my own way through but it would be a starting point.
Well DS is 22 months and I know the feeling! We have to distract if he does something we don't want him to. Also show him how to do things. And praise praise if he does it right. Saying "no" doesn't work that well...!!
I have 26 month old twins who still stop to collect stones, and whose throwing has recently escalated. Very confusing for them mostly - I stop to point out interesting plants and rocks, but collecting pocketfuls of gravel (or posting it into local bins - has he started that yet?) is frowned on. Throwing balls, good, throwing wooden blocks, or even golf balls, bad.
Repeat, ignore when possible and sensible to do so, decide boundaries and try to stick by them. We let throwing slide mostly - pretend not to notice or ineffectual "don't throw, you might hurt someone", but throwing at people, animals, windows gets a more determined reaction.
You will know when he starts to be aware that he is crossing "the line" and that is when you need to stand firm against all the toddler wiles. At the moment he will just be determining what is allowable and what is not. At 17 months just be strict about what will hurt him - gradually over the next few years you can work on improving his behaviour till he has fully developed all the social skills.
Oh, yes, praising the good stuff!! I do that too really!
Thank you - all good advice which I will try to implement :-)
Rattling - actually tormenting [usually an attempt to be loving - but did catch him throwing the stones at the cat] the animals (dog and 2 cats) is my biggest head ache.
My DS is 21 months and loves collecting gravel among other minor annoying traits so i know where you are coming from.
I'm trying to reduce my number of 'No's' because it was DSs first word which was highly embarrassing. But also because i read "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk". I must have recommended that book on about 5 different threads but i was very inspired by it - and when i actually remember the techniques it certainly makes me feel better even if it doesn't instantly show results with my DS.
So for gravel i would try "ok now please put that back" and then "No DS it goes over here, look" [show him where i want it to go]. And finally "I know you want to play with the gravel but it needs to stay in the path - no more playing with the gravel, lets go and do X".
Of course thats on a good day, but often i only manage "NO DS stop aaaaaaagh!"
Is there a place where he can play with the gravel? A couple of buckets might help.
In general the best thing for discipline is to remember that you are helping toddlers with their behaviour. At the beginning of toddlerhood they want to please you and to behave well and you are helping them retain control. The 'testing boundaries' thing is much misunderstood - it's not about seeing how much they can get away with, it's about making sure that the boundaries are still safely in place. It frightens them when rules are inconsistent because it makes the world far more confusing - something they thought they could rely on has been pulled from under their feet. So you really do have to be consistent. At 17 months it's not deliberate defiance or naughtiness, they may just simply forget!
Also well worth remembering that they understand miles more than they can say.
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