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Stopping an unwanted behavior

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  • Stopping an unwanted behavior

    I need some suggestions desperately please

    DD is 16 and a half months old and has figured out how to get on everything. Originally when it was just the couch I posted to my old San Antonio group and got some helpful feedback. One of hte things suggested was to keep reinforcing that couches were for sitting and not standing.

    Well it doesn't work any more. And neither does catching her standing on the rocking chair, couch, her little chairs etc and saying sit down. She just looks at us and giggles and when she's ready she plops down on her butt. If I remove her from the couch she simply goes back to it climbs up and then stands up and starts bouncing on it.

    I'm not sure what I should try, I'm just terrified of her falling and really hurting herself. Any suggestions?


  • #2
    We have a space and a toy (that I didn't want but has been very helpful) specifically for jumping (that plastic zebra thing that lights up and plays music when the child jumps on its back) and standing (her stool). I moved the toy into the living room, where the couch is, and every time she jumps or stands on it I tell her "sofas are for sitting, zebras are for jumping" and remove her and place her on the toy and say "let me see you jump!" works most of the time. She is now 19 months and we've been doing this since she was about 16 months. It's getting better but I think it is just so much fun for her to jump on the sofa and see what kind of reaction she is going to get from me. As for the standing on things...we have two stools. one that has one step and one that has two. I let her climb and stand with supervision on it to assist either in the kitchen with meals/dishes or to brush her teeth or wash hands at the sink in the bathroom.
    Hope this helps some. I'm sure other Moms have more suggestions. This is just how I've dealt with her strong need to climb, jump and stand on top.


    • #3
      one of the things i have read is that if you tell a toddler "dont do X"..all they hear is "do X"...and apparently our looks of worry and concern are just amusing to them (hence the laughter).

      i try to work really hard on reframing what i say and do. my 26 month old will continue to do whatever it is if i say "dont do X" but if i simply go to him and say "lets go get Y" or "lets go play in your sand box for a bit"...then the thrill is gone...and both alternatives are pleasant and positive.

      its more work certainly and i dont always feel like doing it, but it does dispense with teh inevitable power struggle and tears that will ultimately flow at having something taken away or ultimately getting me more and more stressed out, yk?

      good luck!


      • #4
        oh! i remember those times too well. we were so stressed w/ds2's climbing, too. one of the best moves we made was to bring one of those little climbing/slide cubes into our family room. whenever he climbed on the couch, we put him there. we also removed all other chairs/potential dangers to the garage.

        hang in there! it is sooo tough to have a climber. i know there are those who say 'just trust them, they know their own bodies and what they're capable of'; but after a trip to the ER w/a cracked skull, i just don't buy into that.


        • #5
          find a compromise. My DD likes to stand and jump on the couch and bed. I basically say, "one the couch and chairs we are on our bum or knees" (sometimes followed up w/ "We don't jump on the couch")

          Then I ask her if she wants to jump. It is always followed by a "YES!!!". So I say, "let's take the mattress off of your toddler bed, put it on the floor and then you can jump!" This works quite well.

          If I wasn't afraid of what was under my couch cusions, I'd probably do the same thing to the couch cusions!


          • #6
            I'm going to post using something someone else posted recently on another forum. Conductists think of behaviours as things to accept or reject, to allow or ban. AP sees behaviours as signs of underneath changes that need to be adressed by adults.

            I believe some children are more physical than others. My DS (8yr now) was a climber, and we offered, as many have suggested, an alternative to couch or matress for jumping and climbing. He NEEDED to climb, so I offered alternatives... I don't know english names, but in some parks we have jumping games available, some with little charge, some for free. He liked inflatable jumping games. Also another one is like a bungee, but with elastic "matress" underenath and bungee ropes tied from his waist, not feet, so he jumped on the elastic and held from ropes to swirl.

            Nowadays we're thinking about climbing lessons on one of those artificial walls with plugs screwed allover... he gets to climb, and now with the chance of taking it to the next level... litterally!

            As PaxMamma says... patience! If it's just "a stage" it'll fade out smoothly... if it's in your child's nature, offer both safe and politically correct options to keep on doing it.

            Hope it helps...
            Last edited by cmicher; 05-18-2008, 12:21 PM. Reason: adding detail