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Please help with setting boundaries for 18 month old

(13 Posts)
attheendoftheday Fri 04-Jan-13 10:35:06

My dd is 19 months. I do safety rules (dd is a climber) and dd will say please and thank you if prompted.

With things like spreading her food around I tend to just ask her not to and distract, then ask her to help clean up the mess afterwards.

wanderingalbatross Wed 02-Jan-13 21:37:47

I have a 19mo DD so can only guess at the answers, but I try to praise all the good stuff, ignore the bad, and model good behaviour myself. I mostly distract if she's being destructive and doing stuff she shouldn't, but I would say no and move her away if she were hurting others. I see her copying my behaviour already, so I don't think it's too early to start modelling good behaviour for her. I also keep explanations very short, no long winded reasons for anything, as I don't think she'd understand.

As for staring, I'd distract if I thought the person being stared at were uncomfortable, but in my experience most people will smile and say hello if they notice a baby/toddler staring at them.

But, with food, I end the meal if she starts deliberately throwing, and have done since I started weaning. Obviously I don't let her go hungry, and will feed her again after a decent break, but she doesn't throw food now if she's hungry. When she's finished though it's a different matter, and recently I've started trying to teach her to put everything on her plate when she's finished instead of on the floor!

diyqueen Wed 02-Jan-13 21:07:26

I think this is really one of those things you have to work out for yourself, as the rules have to come from you and fit with the way you live your life and your personality. I agree with Chipping about thinking how you'd want them to be behaving at 3,4,5,6. Something that helped me was reading something about discipline that it's not about control and punishment, but about teaching your child how to manage their own behaviour and get along happily with other people.

For my dd (21mo) who's quite a stubborn but sensitive type, positively redirecting where possible works best ('put it back on the plate if you've finished' 'give that to mummy please', 'we don't need onions, put them back, please can you choose some carrots for me?'. But I am firm on stuff that's dangerous/is going to hurt someone or damage something, even though this results in tantrums. I've kind of worked this out over months of trial and error and many pointless stand-offs.

Oh and try and act confident and positive even if you feel you haven't got a clue. If you get it wrong, try and learn from it and move on.

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 02-Jan-13 16:00:08

My DD is 19mo, and I am encouraging her to say please and thank you - "tease" and "ta". Also things like saying bye when we're leaving. She still throws food on the floor but we are trying to get her not to - although with a greedy Labrador looking like he is starving, it can become a game.

I don't bother with staring etc - that's how she learns, and most people don't mind - especially when she starts blowing them kisses.

rrreow Wed 02-Jan-13 15:40:52

DS used to throw food/his cup. Especially if he decided he was done with it. What I did was when I saw he was going to do it I would either hold out my hand and ask him to put it there 'When you're finished please give it to me' or hold out his plate and ask him to put it on there 'When you're done eating please put the food back on the plate'. Then every time he did it, I'd thank him and praise him. If he threw food or cup I'd just not react (I'd completely blank it, I wouldn't even pick it up until later).

It probably took a few weeks after starting the above but he now very proudly puts any food back (including individual grains of rice grin) on his plate when he's finished eating, he then stacks his cup on top of the plate and puts the plate on the table.He's nearly 20 months now.

mindosa Wed 02-Jan-13 10:12:52

Safety boundries should be introduced as soon as they can move and in my opinion, its never too young to start with manners. Say hello, goodbye, kiss relatives, say thank you, pick something up someone old has dropped etc.

It amazes me the amount of parents who dont instill these rules

madwomanintheattic Wed 02-Jan-13 05:37:44

Distract. At 18 months he will have absolutely no clue about social conventions and cultural issues around staring and manners. At three or four, you can say 'no staring, darling', and then distract them, but at 18 mos? Distract, distract, distract. He isn't staring to be rude, he's staring because he wants to learn about the world and everything is fascinating. It's a lot more sensible than the social niceties that he'll get brainwashed into later. He's just being naturally inquisitive.

If he's chucking stuff because he's done, just say 'no, thank you, x. No throwing' calmly, and put the cup back. Ask him if he's finished. Or if he would like more? Even if he is non verbal as yet, you can be giving him basic choices and allowing him to communicate. (The throwing is of course a communication in and of itself - you just need to get him to channel that communication a bit more effectively. For example - you need to notice he has finished his drink before he lobs it, and ask if he has finished, or if he would like some more? Pref with your hand on the beaker.) grin then just move it out of reach. No lobbing involved.

If you pre-empt the action that you know is coming, he'll pretty soon forget it and learn a more appropriate method of ending his meal. The lobbing stage doesn't last long. It's even shorter if you get to the plate/ beaker/ hand and remove it from the equation. Distraction is your best bet.

I didn't ever give mine random food during the day. They had three meals, and they had two snacks. Snack time was always seated, not during play, at this age. Finding half chewed cookies in the duplo isn't my idea of a good time. Later on, when they are old enough to understand rules (and not so liable to stand on it/ choke on it) then fine, whatever. That way they know that the table/ highchair is for eating, the floor/ playroom (or indeed the table with no food on it) is for playing.

Because there was such a short time between meals / snacks, I didn't ever worry that they were going to be hungry. If he lobs his food and you take it away, it's only an hour and a half until snack. He won't die of starvation.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 02-Jan-13 05:34:05

I let mine get away with some things on the basis that he was too you g to understand and now regret it a bit. When I did come to introduce new rules of behaviour they took a while because I'd changed the ground rules on him.

So I would say, have rules, say no and then change how you deal with it as they get older and understand more. At 18 months I would say no to things like throwing food but I wouldn't punish, just distract and then introduce more consequences type stuff as he got older.

NewYearNewHat Wed 02-Jan-13 05:19:18

So if he throws food or his cup dinner is over? Does that mean I should give him food later, like a peice of toast while he is playing. Sorry I am confused about. He is not a very good eater and would always prefer to play than eat, so I do tend to give him just one piece of food at a time to reduce the chances of him throwing it. But still he sometimes does throw it and he always throws his cup when he has finished drinking.

Also what do I do about staring? Do I say to him not to stare as its rude or should I just keep distracting?

Bonsoir Wed 02-Jan-13 05:11:31

Definitely model please, thank you, hello etc. Do it yourself systematically when speaking to him ("Please could you hold my hand") and ask him to eg say hello to people you meet etc.

madwomanintheattic Wed 02-Jan-13 05:08:12

I think I'd just stick to safety and distracting him tbh. Remove him if his behaviour is inappropriate. He's too little fr explanations and he on't understand them anyway.

Modelling appropriate behaviour will do fine for manners. And if he throws something, pick it up and put it out of reach. Dinner is over. You don't want to enforce eating nicely. Eating will do at this point. grin same with breakages - he should only be playing with stuff that can't be trashed, but if he's destructive, just take it away and redirect. 'No thank you, x' and distract with something he is allowed to do.

Mine never wrote on walls, for example, and it drove me crazy that they would parrot 'where are we allowed to draw?' 'On paper!' Better than actually having them draw on the walls, I suppose, but crazy making in and of itself.

Boundaries? Nah, just living. You'll redirect naturally, if he's supervised.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 02-Jan-13 05:00:47

The safety rules are good - but don't expect him to understand/obey them for a long time to come.

The other things - yes, all of those, without the expectation that he'll actually do them yet, but you have to start somewhere! Don't let him do things you don't want him to be doing at 2/3/4/5/6 ie ripping books, throwing things etc - just say 'No DS, don't rip the book' and stop him doing it, 'No DS, we don't throw cups' - then next time (2 min later!) 'No' then next time (2 seconds later) remove it. He will come to understand that 'No' means if he does it again he will 'lose' the thing he has. Of course, you need to keep doing this, he's too small to expect him not to do those things!

You are quite a way away from time outs. It's not really an age thing, as much as a development thing and if he doesn't understand what is good behaviour and what is bad - time out is absolutely pointless.

NewYearNewHat Wed 02-Jan-13 04:46:41

I feel really silly asking any in real life about it as it seems like a silly question but what sort of boundaries should I be setting for my 18 month old?

Is is only safety rules like not running near roads, not touching power sockets, no playing with cords etc.

I also remove him when he hurts others and tell him no.

Or should I be setting boundaries like manners (he doesn't say anything yet but should I model/speak for him 'please' 'thankyou', not breaking toys/books, eating nicely (not throwing cup/food). If so how do you enforce these sorts of boundaries?

At what age would he be ready for time outs?

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