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How to teach "gentle"?

(5 Posts)
WonderBundlesMommy Sat 01-Aug-09 00:47:50

In search of ideas that have worked for others....

DS (14 months) adores animals. He is surrounded by cats and dogs and horses and cows. He is also now walking, and as such, has somewhat more free access to things like a sleeping kitty...

BUT, he gets so excited that he ends up flailing his arms around and whacking them! We are fortunate that our animals are well trained and have not reacted as badly to this as one might expect, but not every animal he encounters will be so docile. I have been trying in every way I can think of to teach him "gentle" from the day he was born in anticipation of no avail (ie. hand over hand, practising on stuffed animals, etc.)

Desperately seeking suggestions as I so fear the day that he encounters an animal who is not so patient....any ideas that have worked for anyone?

posieparkerinChina Sat 01-Aug-09 03:54:08

Keep him away from animals, he's only 14 months and 'gentle' is an idea too tough to understand using animals as the practice!! I would make animals a no touch zone like fire at his age, even if he is gentle you have no idea how an animal will react even ones you know.

Spacehoppa Sat 01-Aug-09 22:26:04

Hello-think posie is right. Gentle is difficult. I am trying to get 2 and a bit year old to understand 'gentle' currently as in 'gentle -not hurt Mummy'. aka I am not a trampoline/bouncy castle/actual spacehoppa. Still being bounced on though..though she does sometimes say 'sorry'-as she does it.

Shooflypie Sun 02-Aug-09 12:22:42

Mild success with DS (15mo) by relentlessly showing him what gentle feels like, stroking hand, arm, cheek, leg while saying 'gentle'. It seems to have sunk in and he knows how to touch an animal now. I always have my hand a millimeter away from his, just in case tho..

completelyshotpelvicfloor Thu 06-Aug-09 21:16:45

This is a difficult one - had a similar with my DS. You might want to try a drum (if you can bear it) and animal puppets or toys. Hitting hard makes a big sound (and frightens the animals away). Stroking the drum makes no sound and the animals come back and play. Good luck

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