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  • Going Nuts with a Toddler

    Deleted Message.
    Last edited by tkfour; 06-16-2010, 04:39 PM.

  • #2
    Sometimes I 'use' my child's natural tendencies for my benifit. That sounds really bad I know-- but let me explain!

    For most of my older son's life he has not wanted to be alone in another part of the house.....If I needed to go downstairs and get ready to go I would tell him that I was going to do that. I didn't need to insist that he came along now, he would just do it because he didn't want to be upstairs by himself. This trait can be very annoying because he will beg me to go upstairs so he can play in his room even if I wam very involved in something downstairs...but this trait can be used for 'good' too.

    Maybe you can use your son's want to be in the room with you to help him stop something? Maybe if the other things are not working to stop something you can tell him that you are going into another room to put dishes away etc...... NOT in a mean voice or in retribution or punishment but an offer and invite for him to come along.

    Often when my own kids, sometimes with kids that are over for a little babysitting, get 'out of hand' I decide we need a change of venue and we go to another room/backyard/walk to reset everyone's moods (especially mine!) Maybe you can do that too. I know there is something that could be done in everyroom of your house if you are trying to do housekeeping or something!

    Try to remind yourself that persistance is a good trait...but difficult to manage in a toddler!

    Comment


    • #3
      I wanted to reply and just share my experience with my daughter as a toddler. She got her first time out (1 minute in her crib door open) when she was about 18 months or so. She was walking by then and displaying typical toddler behaviour. It was at that point that I decided that she needed to be treated more like a toddler and less like a baby. I have to say that the crib wasn't for sleeping, I co-slept. The crib was the time out spot and it was good for laundry too.
      I was EXTREMELY consistent with the time outs and sometimes she would get 1 or more a day. At the age of 2 the time outs went to 2 minutes and because I had switched to a toddler bed, it was 2 minutes in her room with the door closed. I stayed consistent and by the age of 3 I was no longer giving her time outs. As a matter of fact she didn't have another time out until she was 5 and has had only one additional one since then, and she is now 6 and will be 7 in March. Now I'm at the point where I'm simply watching for nasty behaviours that she brings home from school and we fix those up as they appear.
      I only ever had one goal with my toddler, and that was to get her to listen to me. When I said stop I wanted her to stop. I didn't expect her to remember not to throw things, but when she did and I told her no, I wanted her to listen and not do it again right away. I tried taking the toy away but of course she forgot about it after it was out of sight for 30 seconds, so that wasn't effective. Redirecting with a different toy never worked because she'd throw that one too. I needed her to listen to me when I told her or asked her to do something. The easiest and most effective way to get that with her was through the use of time outs.
      Time out was about controlling the behaviour. I know some parents use it for "calming down". My daughter always nursed to calm down so time out was strictly about discouraging a certain behaviour and after it was over I would work on calming her down and she would nurse. I would also tell her why she got the time out even though I knew she was still a little young to completely understand, I wanted her to see the example of me using my words. I also wanted her to know that if she listened and used her words she wouldn't get a time out. I have never given my daughter a time out for being mad (as long as she didn't throw a fit) nor have I ever told her not to cry. She is completely free to express emotion and talk to me, which she does a lot. "You made me mad Mommy." is a common refrain from her. But she knows that if she says that I'll ask her what made her mad and then explain why I did what I did and make sure she understands.
      As a teacher I've been taught that if the discipline you're using is working then you should be able to stop disciplining at some point because the children should naturally follow the rules without assistance. I achieved that goal. I have not enforced very many rules in the last 3 years. My daughter knows I mean business and she doesn't very often test the limits.
      Anyway, that's how I did it with my daughter. I'm intent on using similar methods with my new baby when he/she comes early next year. Being very strict at a young age seemed to pay off so I'm hoping to be able to do it again and achieve similar success.
      Good luck to you!

      Comment


      • #4
        Just a little API principle reminder here!

        Practice Positive Discipline
        http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/disc.php
        Respond with Sensitivity
        http://www.attachmentparenting.org/p...es/respond.php

        'Time Out' within the API framework links-
        http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/...nsitive-child/
        http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/...-in-technique/
        http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/...unting-to-ten/

        Comment


        • #5
          Your little one is still pretty young and may be having some difficulty controlling his impulses. He may not be able to curb the impulse to touch an attractive object or stop his body from doing something that feels really fun. He may need you to sit next to him and tell him over and over and over again not to touch something or stop doing something. I think some kids really need to learn things with their bodies and sometimes this means they have to perform the behaviour or an approximation of the behaviour and actually practice stopping their own bodies.

          Thinking that your child is "testing things" or "testing you" might be an unhelpful way to think of the situation. I personally don't think that children at this age "test things" in the way that it is usually meant in our culture. That they are trying to see what they can "get away with" or that they are challenging our authority. I generally think they are just trying to do their "job": explore, learn and have fun. Also, describing a behaviour as a testing behaviour prevents a parent from seeing other motivation behind that behaviour (Which in my opinion would be the true motivation). I remember once I was with a friend and I was trying to get my son to leave the park (he was probably around 2 years old.) He was ignoring me and continuing to play. My friend said: "Boy he is really testing you!" And my response was: "This has nothing to do with me, he just REALLY wants to stay at the park!"

          I know that if I view my child as testing me it sets up a pretty antagonistic scenario between the two of us but if I look for other motivation behind his behaviour we are better able to come to a peacful resolution. And best of all this process allows me to get to know him a little better and makes it a bit easier to help him the next time something comes up.

          I remember some tough times with my son at this age. I think by the age of 2 he was able to control himself a lot more and I could ease up on the extreme babyproofing in our house!

          Good luck. Keep us posted.

          Comment


          • #6
            I remember once I was with a friend and I was trying to get my son to leave the park (he was probably around 2 years old.) He was ignoring me and continuing to play. My friend said: "Boy he is really testing you!" And my response was: "This has nothing to do with me, he just REALLY wants to stay at the park!"
            That is great. Well said.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
              I'm confused by a couple of these links. I thought time outs were not considered part of gentle discipline, but in two of the links the person talks about how time outs worked for their children. I figured you posted these links to discourage time outs.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was clarifying the range of 'time out' 'time in' viewpoints used/discussed/spoken of within the org of API. Yes, there is a range and it is a very debatable concept for sure. API is a large group of parents and professionals and sometimes the range enlarges to encompass more people.
                The article that takes priority is the principle “Use time-in rather than time-out “ http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/disc.php

                The blog is written by guests- not usually certified leaders of API -but none-the-less a view of ‘time out’ in an area closer to general AP ideas. API also recommends not having your child in full time childcare with a non-relative until a child is 33m old. Can you still have other parts of your parenting in line with API? Of Course!!
                API does want to be more inclusionary, I believe. Like any other group, those of us that do not agree with any usage of ‘time out” feel like maybe they should be more hard-line about it!
                I was actually surprised to see those blog posts about using ‘time-outs’ but I feel like I should be honest that it was posted on previously and not skew my post and represent API not just my personal view.

                But I digress, dialogue is good. Let’s talk about it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
                  I was clarifying the range of 'time out' 'time in' viewpoints used/discussed/spoken of within the org of API. Yes, there is a range and it is a very debatable concept for sure. API is a large group of parents and professionals and sometimes the range enlarges to encompass more people.
                  The article that takes priority is the principle “Use time-in rather than time-out “ http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/disc.php

                  The blog is written by guests- not usually certified leaders of API -but none-the-less a view of ‘time out’ in an area closer to general AP ideas. API also recommends not having your child in full time childcare with a non-relative until a child is 33m old. Can you still have other parts of your parenting in line with API? Of Course!!
                  API does want to be more inclusionary, I believe. Like any other group, those of us that do not agree with any usage of ‘time out” feel like maybe they should be more hard-line about it!
                  I was actually surprised to see those blog posts about using ‘time-outs’ but I feel like I should be honest that it was posted on previously and not skew my post and represent API not just my personal view.

                  But I digress, dialogue is good. Let’s talk about it!

                  Thanks for clarifying.

                  You are right that we can't always live AP to the ideal. For instance I work 30 hours a week and even though I dropped my hours from 40 to 30 and my son is taken care of by my mom and MIL, I would still prefer to stay home with him all the time. Also I have to work on not yelling when I get upset, but it's something I work on. I also know that we don't all choose to participate in all aspects of AP such as cosleeping and babywearing, but it seems to me that using time outs goes against AP principles though just like yelling and other negative forms of discipline and therefore should be avoided. I don't think we should be judgemental towards people who use time outs, but should inform those people of the negative consequences and why it isn't considered to be AP. I know you were doing this, I'm just agreeing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll admit, some of the blog posts were confusing to me, too; but API wants to invite everyone into the discussion. the bloggers do not represent API and there is a disclaimer to that effect.

                    API does not endorse any methods that involve disconnection, whether it be time-out, grounding, yelling, etc, but actively promotes discipline that involves connection through relationship. does that mean that you have to be perfect to practice AP as defined by API? of course not! it is not API's role or desire to be the ultimate judge of what parents do. what that does mean is that we want to promote healthy bonds between parent and child and realize that parenting is a journey, not a state of arrival.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by connerleesmom View Post
                      I don't think we should be judgemental towards people who use time outs, but should inform those people of the negative consequences and why it isn't considered to be AP.
                      I agree completely!

                      But of course this is easier said than done and I can see how people might feel judged when the topic comes up.

                      For me it's important to bring the topic up because:

                      a) Time-outs are so commonly used in our society and so highly endorsed.

                      b) It's hard to intuitively see any risks with time-outs. Contrast this with hitting children, most people sitting under the AP umbrella intuitively feel that hitting their child is wrong.

                      c) I want APers who do use time-outs to do so with "informed consent" ie. I don't have any problem with a parent who knows the theoretical risks associated with time-outs but still chooses to use them. (Or doesn't believe the theoretical risks.) However, I do have concerns when a parent has not heard the downside to time-outs because how, in that situation, do they make the best decision for their family?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have had some discussion about 'time out' in our local group and you are right, Jessica, that it is the common go-to for ANY problem with children at practically any age. Many new parents are simply never presented with other ways to manage behavior or approach their child’s emotional and physical needs.

                        My 25m old son and I are taking a toddler exercise class together and one child was crying and fussing and refusing to participate and requesting to be held. The mother repeatedly threatened a time out and demanded that she snap out of it.
                        Here is my intrepretation-
                        She wanted her 2 ½ year old to behave in a emotionally less intense way, listen to her requests for behavior and respond quickly to those requests. The mother was feeling embarrassed, helpless and judged by the other mothers. The child was feeling strongly about being in a new place with new people and unusual expectations.

                        I think that ‘time out’ for emotion communication (tantrums, crying, fear, and distress) is a biggie for most mainstream parents. I also think that is the most confusing and unhelpful usage of it.
                        The child wants to be comforted, listened too and to feel safe. I think a lot of parents are afraid that ‘coddling’ them would create an overly dependant child or would count as giving in and make them seen like they are being ruled by their child.
                        I think parents should know about appropriate developmental expectations and fostering emotional intelligence in themselves and their children.

                        Anyway, just talking about stuff!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Deleted Message.
                          Last edited by tkfour; 06-16-2010, 04:40 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tkfour View Post

                            Maybe it is just symantecs but I don't think saying that he is testing me is unhelpful. I like to view it that yes, he is testing to discover the reactions to a situation (like a little scientist) and it is my job to respond sensitively and/or with the appropriate discipline.
                            I think it is semantics. When I wrote that I meant testing in the sense of "jockeying for power" not in the "little scientist" sense.

                            Though, now that I've thought about the topic, I don't really think of my son as a CONSCIOUSLY testing scientist. I tend to think that the "little scientist" inside of him is more of an unconscious drive. That his more conscious/deliberate/immediate motivators are curiosity, communication and exploring. (Okay, I know exploring sounds the same as testing but I think of exploring as more unstructured and less deliberate than testing.)

                            So, if my son was acting out the cereal scenario you mentioned, I would probably not see his actions through the little scientist angle. (And to be clear, I'm not trying to say either of us right or wrong. And, obviously, I never witnessed the the incident so I'm just thinking about similar things my son has done)


                            Originally posted by tkfour View Post

                            For instance, my son will have a bowl of dry cereal and he starts to take one by one out and throwing in on the floor. He is testing the cereal to see what happens. Throwing cereal is fun so he keeps doing it. I come up and ask him to stop or tell him cereal is for eating or something like that and ask him to pick it up. He laughs, sees my response, decides throwing it is more fun than picking it up, wants to see what I will do if he keeps throwing them (which tests my response) and decides to keep throwing them. Etc, etc...
                            This is how I'd view the same situation:

                            -Boy throws cereal because throwing is very fun. And throwing new things is very, very fun.

                            -Mom explains to him that cereal is for eating and asks him to pick it up.

                            -Boy laughs in order to show mom that cereal IS for throwing. Boy wants to share throwing game with mom.

                            -Boy keeps laughing and throwing cereal in demonstration of all the fun to be had. Boy keeps looking at mom for her reaction waiting for her to "get it" and to communicate to her with his laughter and his actions that throwing cereal is indeed SUPER FUN.

                            -Boy cannot even think about the subject of cleaning up as he is so focussed on throwing the cereal and trying to get mom involved with him.

                            Anyways, that's what I imagine is going on inside him.

                            And now I'm curious about what other parents think is going inside their children in these situations!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And now I'm curious about what other parents think is going inside their children in these situations!
                              I always try to imagine it too, very helpful!

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