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My sister said my nearly 2 year old needs boundaries but I disagree who is right?

(92 Posts)
somanyquestions2018 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:05:23

Yesterday my very nearly 2 year old (1 months time) sat down in a muddy puddle.

My sister laughed but said I shouldn't have let him do that and told me I need to give my child boundaries.

I only stop my child doing something if it's going to hurt him in some way.

This approach has worked for me so far and may change as he gets older.

So who is right? Does a child this young need boundaries? If so how do I even enforce boundaries on such a young child?

All comments welcome smile

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Sat 01-Aug-20 12:13:16

Could you have stopped him sitting in the puddle?

Pantheon Sat 01-Aug-20 12:15:28

I think kids that age do need boundaries - not hurting themselves or others, avoiding danger etc. But I don't see the issue with a kid sitting down in a muddy puddle.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 01-Aug-20 12:17:26

Well yes, you should set boundaries for your child. All children need boundaries. But I wouldn't necessarily think that particular boundary was the one to worry about. I'm with you - sit in a puddle, you get wet. That might mean we have to go home, that might mean you have to get changed and help mummy put your dirty clothes in the washing machine, but I wouldn't have stopped the puddle sitting.

Ladedada Sat 01-Aug-20 12:17:28

Thy definitely need boundaries but it all depends on the situation.. they should be allowed to have fun too

Looneytune253 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:20:21

Well there's nothing wrong with sitting in puddles if that's what you're out there to do (not specifically sitting in the puddles but exploring etc) but I do agree that even young children can start to cooperate with boundaries. We do a lot of exploring but still get the younger ones to try and steer away from the puddles if they haven't got their wellies and I think I'd usually say no to sitting in the puddles but we do do a lot of messy exploration generally

OverTheRainbow88 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:20:30

All kids need boundaries, of course they do. I’ve got some non negotiables... brushing teeth, wearing suncream if super hot, saying thank you and please, not hitting others etc
Kids can’t just do what they like whey they like... they’ll become Totally unrulely.

LightDrizzle Sat 01-Aug-20 12:21:18

Only if he is going to hurt himself?
What about if he might damage property or annoy other people sharing the same space?
If you really only intervene when he might hurt himself, then I think you’ve set him up for a very difficult period of adjustment when he has to interact with his peer group and other people more. You haven’t been helping him to self-regulate and control impulses which is very important developmentally.
Boundaries aren’t just for adult convenience. Consistent boundaries make children feel safe.

icedaisy Sat 01-Aug-20 12:21:28

I think I'm more a "pick your battles" type of mum.

So boundaries for danger etc. A puddle would depend upon where we were going. All dressed and ready to go in car. We don't sit in puddles. Day to day playing, fine sit in it if you must.

SandieCheeks Sat 01-Aug-20 12:22:15

Yes they need boundaries, you've said so yourself - you have to stop him hurting him.

I'd add breaking things, hurting animals or other children to that.

You enforce them by watching them, preventing them doing dangerous/harmful things, redirecting, moving them away, saying no, modelling the behaviour you want, demonstrating when they have hurt someone else etc.

Sitting in a muddy puddle may or may not be an issue depending on the circumstances. On a country walk while wearing a puddle suit - fine. On your way to a wedding when you've just called them away from the puddle/said no - discipline grin

Gingerkittykat Sat 01-Aug-20 12:23:15

Are you serious? Of course a toddler needs boundaries.

Do you let him choose what to eat, whether or not to bathe and when to go to sleep? What about if he doesn't want to go to nursery? What if he is rude to people?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 01-Aug-20 12:23:26

I agree with Overtherainbow's list, with the possible addition of turn taking and waiting for others to stop talking before you talk (in an age-appropriate way). Not damaging property or people, including themself. Apart from that, they can get on with it!

somanyquestions2018 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:23:39

@dementedpixie yes I could have stopped him sitting in the puddle if I wanted to but thought "it won't hurt him" so did not.

OP’s posts: |
somanyquestions2018 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:24:31

@Pantheon that's what I thought!

OP’s posts: |
ScrapThatThen Sat 01-Aug-20 12:24:54

Kids feel safer with boundaries. Imagine being in charge at only 2. How scary.

Puddle not an issue.

Apolloanddaphne Sat 01-Aug-20 12:25:08

Yes of course a 2 yo needs boundaries. They just need to be ones which relate to their age and stage of development. So for example, you wouldn't let your child throw food around at mealtimes I assume, or do something to hurt you or a pet etc? You would say 'no' and stop them. That is setting boundaries.

If you weren't bothered about them being in a puddle then that is fine. If you were on your way to a wedding you would have probably been firm and steered them away from the puddle. These things are situation specific.

ArriettyJones Sat 01-Aug-20 12:25:32

I only stop my child doing something if it's going to hurt him in some way.

Really?! What about hurting other people? Or breaking things?

All DC need boundaries. The ones that don’t have them, or have inappropriate ones, or they aren’t enforced grow up to be unpleasant adults. I’m not sure puddles would worry me but your approach that unit his safety and feelings matter is batshit too.

Toomboom Sat 01-Aug-20 12:26:09

Yes, even at this age they need boundaries. But sitting in a puddle is fun. I imagine that he thoroughly enjoyed that smile

somanyquestions2018 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:26:16

@LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett well we were at home so i didn't see the harm. I thought that too. Mid comes out of clothes!

OP’s posts: |
somanyquestions2018 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:26:45

@LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett *mud

OP’s posts: |
tiredanddangerous Sat 01-Aug-20 12:27:35

A child of any age needs boundaries. I wouldn't have stopped either of mine sitting in a puddle though unless I was far from home with no change of clothes.

nasiisthebest Sat 01-Aug-20 12:27:53

I absolutely believe that children need, and crave, boundaries. Sitting down in a muddy puddle however is playing in my view. It was probably fun and children should get dirty now and then.

Elieza Sat 01-Aug-20 12:31:13

Her boundaries and yours are different. That’s ok. She says no puddles. You say yeah puddles, I’ve got a washing machine. She might say no chalk scribbles on the slabs you might say fine. There’s no laws against the small fun stuff.

You already have boundaries. There must be boundaries. Otherwise how will dc know their behaviour is good and how would you know to praise it.

Crazyprojectparent Sat 01-Aug-20 12:31:15

I definitely had boundaries when our DC were two. At first it won't make any difference, but eventually it will. I might have more gone along the lines of explaining that if you sit in a muddy puddle we will have to change your clothes (which mine hated), if you do it again we won't have any more clothes so you will either be uncomfortable, or we might have to go home. More like natural consequences. I would remind them of this before going out e.g. to the park or to meet people.

On the other hand we sometimes went out specifically with the intention of splashing in puddles and that would be explained too! They do get the hang of it, but it does take time, you dont want to treat it in the same way as you treat road safety- it isn'tlife or death, but it is still worth doing. I would decide what your boundaries are and start explaining them even before they really understand. You dont have to get cross, just explain the consequence (e.g. oh no, we have to sit on this bench now to change your clothes because you are all wet and cold). I tended to use the same words each time to explain before we went out (I would often invoke Peppa - It's not a puddle day because we aren't wearing our boots etc.) and after a while they could finish off my mantra for me!

It can also be a game. We live on an unmade road with no pavement so there are lots of very deep muddy puddles. I would point them out and say "is it a puddle day?", and they could nod or shake their head. I might pretend I was going to jump in it myself and they would pull me out of the way while laughing. It can be fun!

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Sat 01-Aug-20 12:34:50

Yes they need boundaries. What those boundaries are are up to you (or whoever is caring for them at that time).
If you're happy for him to sit in a muddy puddle then he can sit in a muddy puddle. My DS would have been allowed to!
He's 13 now and knows how to behave appropriately for the situation

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