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How do you handle a toddler who keeps touching things they shouldn't?

(26 Posts)

DS is 21 months and I'm struggling with how to handle his behaviour at the moment. I'm not sure if it's got worse because we have a new addition (DD is 3.5 weeks) or just normal for his age but basically any time I'm not able to give him 100% attention he's switching the lights on and off, climbing on furniture, pulling my books off the shelves etc.

He's able to play by himself at times but not all the time and I'm not being consistent at all, sometimes I shout, other times I try and ignore. I know that DH and I need to decide on a tactic and stick to it but I don't know what.. Nothing works! What do you do?

Iggly Sat 17-Nov-12 13:58:42

This is normal for his age plus magnified for you have a little one.

Try and give warning. So say "I'm going to put your shoes on in one minute". Repeat a few times then do it.

Give the illusion of choice. Eg should I put your left or right shoe on first? (he won't know left from right, just hold them up). Aim is to get the shoes on, he thinks he has a choice. Choices must be simple.

Use snacks when you can. So when I had to feed dd, I'd get out some snacks for DS which kept him still briefly. This was very handy when out and about.

Keep everything dangerous out of reach.

Tell him what he can do, not what he can't. Eg if he's jumping on the sofa, tell him to roll about on the floor.

Have a bag of small surprise toys to get out for feeding times. Those matchbox cars are great and sainsburys had them for 80p each the other day. Just get out one at a time and put away/rotate to keep his interest.

Good luck! It's hard work but will get easier.

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