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We don't smack, but does this behaviour warrant it for his safety?

(25 Posts)
hippmummy Fri 23-Feb-07 15:56:45

DS2 is 16 months, he understands 'no' and 'don't touch', but very rarely responds to them and will repeatedly go back to the same thing time and time again.
We are learning to be patient and cope with this.
However, his latest trick is turning the hob on the cooker on. We have one of those flat electric hobs and sometimes place things on it. Also he is tall enough to reach the heat rings.
I have gone in the kitchen to find a melted plastic container on the hob before.
When he touches, i say 'no' and move his hand away - a couple of times I've batted it away in a sense of urgency.
Do you think I should give him a firm enough smack on the hand to deter him. I'm only suggesting it because it's dangerous.
But in true mummy style, feeling bad for even thinking it..

What do you suggest?

airy Fri 23-Feb-07 15:58:19

Could you not just keep the kitchen door closed when you're not in there, or get a stairgate on the doorway?

kittypants Fri 23-Feb-07 16:00:29

dont put stuff on hobs.and keep him out of kitchen.

Mumpbump Fri 23-Feb-07 16:00:58

My dh is very anti-smacking; I would hope not to, but don't think it causes long-term problems (I am talking smacking as opposed to thrashing the bejeezus out of a child). We have both agreed, though, that a smack is justified if it is in the interests of safety. So, imo, if the message isn't getting through to him, I would warn him that if he does it again, he will get a smack and then follow through if he still doesn't listen. A small smack is worth it if you avoid a potentially life-threatening situation...

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 16:01:47

I would continue as you are doing - say no and remove, not just his hand, but him rgiht away. I don't think a smack on the hand will be any more effective to be honest.

At 16 months he won't remember your reproves,e tc regards what he can and can't do. So consistent removing and sayign no is all you can do. He is still a baby.

I would try and avoid the situation if at all possible - a hob guard is available, we had one on our electrical hob hwen DD was same age. Or make the kitchen unaccessible with a stair gate or closed door.

KathyMCMLXXII Fri 23-Feb-07 16:03:35

You can buy hob guards that you attach to the front of the cooker - maybe get one of those?

Personally I do think smacking is occasionally justified if the child's safety is at stake, but only when there are no other options, and there seem to be lots of other options in this case - only letting him in the kitchen under supervision might be the easiest.

Also, he's at the age where he's probably quite fascinated by you being cross with him so he may not be teachable yet.

Winestein Fri 23-Feb-07 16:06:03

Agree with Hula - my HV said he is really quite unusual, aged 2, for his understanding of the word "hot" (he moves his hand away and won't touch). She said that it is usually around the age of 3 that children start to understand such concepts.

He's not being belligerent and won't remember a smack any more than a "no!"

I found it helped me to think of him being like a goldfish (memory of 11 seconds!)

Olihan Fri 23-Feb-07 16:06:07

TBH, I'm not sure if he'd even understand the concept of danger at 16 months so it wouldn't make much difference. I think you'd be better off finding a way of stopping him being able to turn it on for a while, then work on him responding to 'no'. He's still very young to really understand that he's not allowed to do something and probably sees it as a good game that gets a great reaction from mum and dad.

ThisFrogIsGonnaWhoopYouAss Fri 23-Feb-07 16:06:42

In those circumstances I personally would administer a slap on the hand - would prefer that to him getting burnt.

harpsichordcarrier Fri 23-Feb-07 16:07:09

good grief no. can you raise your voice enough to make him realise that hyou are worried?

Winestein Fri 23-Feb-07 16:08:17

by "he" I meant my DS btw

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 16:08:41

I really do think prevention, rather than punishment, is going to be most effective as your DS is still so young.

This is the hob guard] we had from Mothercare, It is very easy to fit and is adustable depending on size of your hob. Just £15 too. They have ink{ one here also for same price.

Winestein Fri 23-Feb-07 16:09:56

From a safety point of view, if you can;t barrier him out of the kitchen, can you just not switch your cooker off at the wall when you aren't using it as it is electric?

Crocky Fri 23-Feb-07 16:10:23

We used a stair gate on the kitchen door for a while.

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 16:10:41

He really won't understand a smack more any more so than a firm no and removal, so think punishing him with a smack is really not necessary and ineffective. A consistent approach - so no and moving seems much nicer than several smacks on hand - and preventing access really would appear to be more effective way of dealing with the situation.

Hulababy Fri 23-Feb-07 16:11:28

We also did what winestein suggests - we would flick the electric switch to off for the hob when not in use.

KathyMCMLXXII Fri 23-Feb-07 16:13:23

Childproofing definitely a lower stress option than disciplining, IMO.

Saturn74 Fri 23-Feb-07 16:16:02

No smacking.
Don't let him in the kitchen alone.

hippmummy Fri 23-Feb-07 16:16:06

Thanks for quick replies, and great suggestions

I will try to be more careful about putting stuff on the hob - it's so tempting with that extra metre of worktop space to dump stuff though!

I'm so dense! The though of a stairgate for the kitchen didn't even occur to me! He'll hate being shut out, but that's the least of my worries!
Keeping the door shut is useless, as he can open it anyway - very dextrous hence the skill with knobs

Thanks mumpbump, but he is nowhere near ready for the warning and following through stage yet...

Harpsichord - raising voice is useless to him, doesn't even cause a bottom lip wobble - he is a stubborn little so-and-so!

Thanks all, I think prevention is the way to go

Mumpbump Fri 23-Feb-07 16:49:24

Sorry - overlooked his age! I probably wouldn't smack at this age because I don't think they understand cause and effect enough. From two onwards, I think they probably do so if he is still persisting, would smack as described before.

ratclare Fri 23-Feb-07 17:38:21

i would scream no as loud as you possibly can next time he trys it so he gets the idea that this no is a definate no

lizziemun Fri 23-Feb-07 17:40:56

I would put a gate at the door, we did this for dd to stop her going into the kitchen.

But on the other hand at this age i did tap her hand saying in my "mummy voice" NO when she kept touching the radiator when they were on she hasn't touched them since, although i have to say my health visitor told me to hold her hand on the hot radiator.

Greensleeves Fri 23-Feb-07 17:42:19

Your HV should be banned from going within 20 yards of small children and new parents. Bitch.

lizziemun Fri 23-Feb-07 17:50:20


yes hence why i never saw her again. I hoping as i have noved doctors that i will get a different one this time.

piglit Fri 23-Feb-07 17:57:09

He will grow out of it. In the meantime, there should be a mains switch on the wall you can turn off when you aren't using the cooker. That way, it doesn't matter if he plays with it and he'll get bored because you aren't getting uptight about it.

We switch our dvd player off at the wall because when the tv is on ds2 (1.3) stands there and presses the dvd on and off and on and off and on and off. It is so annoying. He's lost interest since we turned it off at the wall. Thank god.

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