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Can I ask for some advice from all you sage and experienced parents? 13-month-old...

(13 Posts)
Woodlands Wed 07-Sep-11 20:10:42

My DS is a delightful child (well, I think so, anyway) and seems perfectly normal etc behaviourally. I am just a bit uncertain about how to deal with some aspects of his behaviour. I know where I am with slightly older children with more understanding, but not with this age group.

I just don't quite know how consistent to be. If I tell him not to do something (such as go through the open baby gate into the kitchen) and he does it anyway, I would pick him up and try to distract him with something else. However, he is now of an age where when he wants to do something, he really really wants to do it. He will keep on and on going back and trying to do it, and gets REALLY cross when stopped. Often it's not actually something that i really mind him doing, so the temptation is to let him do it anyway (such as go into the kitchen and open and close the washing machine door a zillion times) rather than fighting an unnecessary battle. But then i worry that I'm not being consistent, and then the next time I'm cooking in the kitchen with the grill open and hot liquids everywhere and I don't let him in, he won't understand why not since he was allowed in before.

Can anyone give me any advice on this?

FoxyRevenger Wed 07-Sep-11 20:21:27

Hmm as the sage and experienced parent of a 15 month old I say....I dunno. grin

I guess if there is something you really don't want him to do, you just have to keep removing and distracting.

I'm a bit more 'meh' about it lazy and will generally let her do something if it's not dangerous and it will just create a pointless battle with someone who has almost no idea what I'm talking about. hmm

Woodlands Wed 07-Sep-11 20:40:39

Well exactly. It's not really a big deal or anything. I just wondered if anyone had some sort of magic solution to avoid creating a toddler who will tantrum until they get their own way every time... or maybe that's just every toddler?

I agree about avoiding pointless battles. But having read the thread about fexasperating parents, I don't want to be the one who flaps around their PFB saying "darling, don't do that... oh ok, if you really want to". But maybe I shouldn't worry about that just yet.

Earwiggy Wed 07-Sep-11 21:40:01

Decide what you really don't want her to do (i.e. Things that will kill her) and turn a blind eye to the rest. She's just too young to learn bad habits and things like washing machine doors are fascinating at that age.

marzipananimal Thu 08-Sep-11 08:12:51

sounds very similar to my DS woodlands. I don't know what the best approach is but I generally try to let him do as much as possible within the bounds of reasonable safety. I just found myself saying 'no' too much otherwise (and yes it is his first word). I do worry a bit though about the inconsistency of letting him play with the oven door sometimes, but not letting him near it when it's hot, and other things like that.

DecapitatedLegoman Thu 08-Sep-11 08:21:15

You won't create a tantrummy toddler. They're born grin. You can make them worse by handling it wrong but you're a way off that yet. Pick your battles etc.

ThePosieParker Thu 08-Sep-11 08:24:43

Distraction works better than NO, you can reinforce with No. But children if that age hear/understand less than us, so put on the floor works better than not on the table. Let's watch the washing machine works better than don't touch the buttons.....

13 months old, this is the time for constant watching, playing and distracting. This is merely the beginning of the next 15 years of telling your child what to do, some things take months to sink in. Best thing is to remember at this age nothing is naughty just learning, you don't have a naughty child you have a bright child testing out the world. And good luck, it's bloody hard but very worth it.

ThePosieParker Thu 08-Sep-11 08:25:44

And rules are rules, stick to them, this prevents confusion. Not touching the TV, washing machine, grill etc are good rules......

StrandedBear Thu 08-Sep-11 09:57:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Earwiggy Thu 08-Sep-11 13:17:50

Actually I agree about consistency, so would say no and move away from things like the oven even at rhis stage. Having said that don't expect her to stay away from the oven and don't tell her off or shout, just say no move her away and distract her with something else.

TheSkiingGardener Thu 08-Sep-11 13:32:32

We went through exactly this. DS is only 15 months now but I remember having exactly the thoughts you describe! He seemed to take a leap a few weeks back and things became easier.

I concentrated on the consistency of Mummy saying no. I also had one phrase which meant he wasn't to play with it, which was "Not a toy". Now I just have to say that and he looks at me and leaves it alone but I was tearing my hair out 2 months ago.

If I think he's going to want to play with something that I usually wouldn't let him, but I'm ok with it today, I'll go up to it and start the game myself and say DS help? Then he is ok with me saying "finished".

I used distraction, and move away but I also used withdrawal 2 or 3 times. When he was really pushing it I walked out of the room and shut the door. It is really upsetting for him and for me when I heard him running up to the door saying " Mummmmmmyyyyyy". I only needed to be out of the room for about 10-15 seconds and then went back in and praised him for stopping whatever it was. That seemed to get the message over very quickly. I wouldnt do it often though!

Good luck

spongefingeranyone Thu 08-Sep-11 13:52:32

skiinggardener thank you for that advice. Been tearing my hair out over my 16mo DS and worrying that I'm getting too shouty at him when he constantly goes back to items in the home that I've told him not to play with (TV, lamp, fireplace, dog water bowl, vertical blinds, huge vase of pine-cones). He has no interest in his toys and just wants to touch and play with everything I don't want him to. I will use a calmer approach and say no, remove and distract, and use the 'not a toy' line. Glad i'm not the only one, but I'm still learning too!

Woodlands Thu 08-Sep-11 21:56:22

That is really helpful, theskiinggardener, thank you! Glad to hear it's a phase.

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