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screaming 15 month old - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 

Before having my dd, I thought I would be a tough disciplinarian and will be able to control undesirable behavior. But when watching dd grow and explore, I find it very hard to restrict just because it's convenient for me. For example, I don't want her to throw food on the floor because I don't want to clean it up. But there's nothing inherently bad in that, just part of her play and exploration. It's a constant battle these days. My husband also says we need to 'train' good behavior in her, but he's first to say that we can't restrict her and should allow her to explore as much as she wants and allow development.

 

We're both just taking each day as it comes now!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post

 

Yes, your 15 month old is on a rampage to learn how to exert control on the world around her, but you get to decide how to create the boundaries.  I think that we as adults can be quick to dole out restrictions or punishments because of our fear of loosing control.  Sometimes being in control is learning to let someone else take the reigns long enough for them to realize that they need your guidance.  Which in a toddler, doesn't take much.  usually.  Life is short, childhood is shorter.  I prefer a more lighthearted approach to things for sure, but if I can help my kid enjoy life's lessons, then I also live a more fulfilled life. 

post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

Oh...if you were referring to me, I'm not offended and took nothing personally.  I do have a very different parenting philosophy, which I tried to express in my post.  I do think it's a shame that children, generally speaking, are seen as manipulative and bad by nature.  But there are as many different ways to parent as there are parents, and everyone has to figure out for themselves how they go about it.  

I'm sure you're familiar with MDC enough to know that corporal punishment is not condoned.  Perhaps that is why you haven't been finding much support on these threads.  I think in the Gentle Discipline section there is a long, enlightening thread titled "Why no spanking."

Glad I was wrong about people being offended. smile.gif

I'm not looking for support or approval of my spanking, nor do I encourage others to follow suit. Just sharing!! smile.gif
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 

I am learning now the magnitude of adjustment needed to raise a child! The other day she took a pen and put big scratches on my laptop, as well as a few dents on my phone. Luckily, they were secondhand, although in flawless condition. This made me think more about making our home more child-friendly, because I don't want her to be so limited due to us. But I wonder how it plays out when we go over to other people's houses. I know my family thinks I'm really spoiling her by not disciplining her (like spanking her when she throws food or breaks a cup).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post


I see so many families where a baby or young toddler is expected to fit seamlessly into the adults' lives. I may have been naive as a FTM but I never expected my life to be the same after baby. I'm happy to make changes and give up things I used to take for granted because to me that's part of being a parent. I can wear nice things or have a nicely decorated house once DD is older. In the meantime I will focus on meeting her needs including teaching her why some things are just absolutely "no" and have been since she could crawl.
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks, luckiest, for putting in perspective what it's like as a toddler. I really need to be reminded of that!

 

So many times it has happened that I've planned to do something in early mornings before she wakes up, but she wakes up and wants to nurse, and I felt so.... trapped. I totally understand that feeling.  

 

Doing things differently from the traditional way of parenting requires quite a lot of trust in gentle discipline, especially when your kid's behavior is not exactly stellar. 

 

Sometimes when I am harsh, I recognize it more of an outlet for my frustration. It doesn't work to discipline her, only makes her cry and go to her father. She doesn't associate it with the action. 

 

I'm so grateful for support from MDC. This situation is not something I can discuss easily with real life mothers. 

post #25 of 32
It's interesting to read all the different perspectives for sure!!

See, I'm teaching my youngest to NOT throw food on the floor, not because I'll have to clean it up, but because what he does at home, he will do out in public or at a friends house. In my mind, good manners start at home.

I believe that toddlers are smarter than some people give them credit for. They are always watching and learning from the adults around them.

You say it doesn't work to discipline her because she runs to her father. In my mind, that is proof that it is working. (but only if your hubby backs you. If she runs to him and he cuddles her, it won't work.) the very fact that she goes to her father, means she knows she did something wrong.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by girlspn View Post

Before having my dd, I thought I would be a tough disciplinarian and will be able to control undesirable behavior. But when watching dd grow and explore, I find it very hard to restrict just because it's convenient for me. For example, I don't want her to throw food on the floor because I don't want to clean it up. But there's nothing inherently bad in that, just part of her play and exploration. It's a constant battle these days. My husband also says we need to 'train' good behavior in her, but he's first to say that we can't restrict her and should allow her to explore as much as she wants and allow development.

 

We're both just taking each day as it comes now!

 

 



I think a lot of people parent differently than they imagined they would - it's amazing the way instincts kick in! It's really interesting to think about all of the behaviors we want to create in our kids and why, and how we get it done.  I was a super spirited child, and out of love (and fear that I would kill myself!) my Mom did train me and "broke" me, and I became a much easier child to parent.  However, it changed me.  I was taught that I needed to obey, and I did that to a fault.  I ended up being raped because I always second guessed what I thought and did what I thought others wanted me to do, and because I thought that I needed to obey.  It took me a long time to find my self worth, and an even longer time to find my voice. 

 

It hit me when I took my first real psych class and learned about Pavlov and Miligram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment).  I decided that using Behaviorism is a harmful way to raise our kids.  Instead I use natural consequences; it teaches people to think for themselves and consider their actions, and it requires an understanding of the consequences of each action, both positive and negative. 

 

I agree with Shanesmom that good behavior starts in the home, and I believe that behavior is learned through modeling.  In terms of your DD throwing food on the floor, I wouldn't make a big deal of it.  What I did was say "Ooop! I guess you are all done! This is how you tell Mommy "all done" (and show him).  Now it's time to clean up!".  Then I would take him out of his seat and give him a napkin so that he would help me clean up the mess.  And explain "DS threw food on the floor, that makes a mess! Time to clean up the mess".  From this DS learned that if he wasn't done eating that he shouldn't throw his food on the floor, because he couldn't eat it.  He also learned that when he makes a mess, we clean it up.  And I never make a big deal of it because I don't want him to associate cleaning with being a negative thing.  Cleaning is just something we do...we make food, we clean up the dishes, we take out our toys to play, we put them away.  There are a thousand reasons we make messes during the day, and cleaning up is just part of the process.  If you start making a big deal out of it, so will she (i.e. when you ask her to clean up toys when she gets a little older).  I would do this at a friend's house too, or when we were out to eat.  It's a phase that EVERY child goes through.  Really! Do you know of any toddler that didn't throw their food at least once? So doesn't that make you think that there is something in particular that is going on in their heads that they are trying to figure out? The phase will end, sooner for some and later for others only to be replaced with a new fixation that will probably require cleaning up.  winky.gif

 

In terms of your DD running to your DH, she does know that she disappointed you but she isn't going to understand why.  Even if you say that it makes a mess and she figures out what a mess is, why is making a mess bad? What about this particular mess is so terrible? She will make a mess again, the same mess or a different mess, to test you to see if there is the same reaction.  Kids get perspective from experience in order to learn.  We all do. 

 

Another piece of advice, your DD is the PERFECT age to start helping around the house...that is about the age that my DS's brain all if a sudden recognized that things have a "place".  I kept fighting him when I was trying to clean up because he wanted attention and I was busy.  Then I realized that he wanted to help...so now he does help me do my chores and it makes it so much easier.  DS still puts things back the way they were when he was that age, which is really fascinating. 

 

I can totally relate to doing things differently than family, it can be really hard to defend what you do without insulting them.  I just say as little as possible about it, just "Oh, you do that? That's nice", or "that's just the way we do things" without further explanation.  I have found some friends who parent the same way, so that makes hanging out a little easier.  And at the very least I have support and we bounce ideas off of each other.  When you talk with your DH try replacing "training" with "modeling" and see where the conversations go...people really do learn from watching one another. 

 

HTH!

post #27 of 32

Well said, Babysmurf!  I definitely parent differently than I thought I would.  Before having DS, I definitely subscribed to the "consistency is key" mantra, as well as, "Houseproof your baby, don't babyproof your house."  I thought as long as I was consistent in enforcing the rules that he would accept it and we would all be happy. 

 

What a fallacy!  I have seen some children who are generally pretty accepting of rules, even when they don't understand the "why."  You tell them no a few times, and they get it and occupy themselves in another way.  DS is NOT that child.  I quickly saw how unfair it was for him to be constantly in a state of frustration at not understanding why he shouldn't do or have something, and we concentrated on making our home as exploration-friendly as possible.  

 

I think that our children dictate our parenting more than we realize.  With a different baby, I might still be singing the "consistency" tune, not aware that it doesn't work for all, or even most, children.  

 

I completely agree with you on behaviorism - once I actually learned something about it and how rewards/punishments are interpreted by children, there's no way I could conscionably implement it.  Behavior manipulation with the reward/punishment system impedes moral development, promotes self-centeredness...and has become the basis of our culture's parenting knowledge!  Yikes!

 

I also agree that modeling is how behavior is learned, which is one of the biggest reasons why I won't ever use any corporal punishment.  I can't teach him not to hit other people when I hit him.  

 

Anyhow, back to OP - I think it's great that you recognize that when you're harsh you're acting out of anger and stress.  When DS is older, that can become grounds for some great conversations where you can apologize for an outburst and explain why you were wrong to lash out.  

 

It is SO TRUE that committing to gentle discipline requires faith and patience.  Children who are disciplined more harshly do tend to toe the line and obey and fit the mold of what our culture would deem as "good" children (i.e. - still and quiet).  Gentle discipline really asks you to look at a broader picture of development, rather than short-term obedience.  They payoff comes later down the road, when you have an older child who has a developed sense of empathy and morality, can use those skills to regulate their actions, are secure in their self-worth, are healthy skeptics, etc.  

 

I think one of the biggest pitfalls of how most people parent their toddlers is that they forget that in ten years they will need to deal with a second toddlerhood.  Toddlerhood and adolescence share lots of commonalities - the child is naturally inclined to do the opposite of what you say, is experimenting with their independence and individuality, are coming into their own.  But the whole reward/punishment thing won't work (at least as well) with a teenager.  They find ways around the punishments, sneak out, lie, and they're too big to spank.  All the things that used to work, suddenly don't.  The beautiful thing about non-punitive discipline and unconditional parenting styles is that they lay the groundwork for handling the bigger conflicts that are still to come.

post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post


I think that our children dictate our parenting more than we realize.  With a different baby, I might still be singing the "consistency" tune, not aware that it doesn't work for all, or even most, children.  

 

yeahthat.gif  So important to keep in mind when comparing parenting styles and stories...even between siblings. :)

post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 

BabySmurf,

 

Thank you for your reply; it's been great food for thought as of late, especially since her behavior has intensified these days. Well, I also work at home, and juggling both is taking a toll on me. Perhaps I wouldn't think of dd as 'difficult' if I didn't need to occupy myself with something else. The same goes with dh. We lose our patience not because of dd, but because of we are drained from work. I keep reminding myself of this as a way to keep my cool.

 

It's interesting that you mention this-- just last night, when I was making the bed, I noticed dd hovering around me and pulling on the sheets. Yes, she'd occasionally block my way and undo what I've done, but she just wants to be involved. It's very cute. When I'm swatting mosquitoes, she is as well. Constantly trying to see things from her perspective at those moments really help me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post

 

In terms of your DD running to your DH, she does know that she disappointed you but she isn't going to understand why.  Even if you say that it makes a mess and she figures out what a mess is, why is making a mess bad? What about this particular mess is so terrible? She will make a mess again, the same mess or a different mess, to test you to see if there is the same reaction.  Kids get perspective from experience in order to learn.  We all do. 

 

Another piece of advice, your DD is the PERFECT age to start helping around the house...that is about the age that my DS's brain all if a sudden recognized that things have a "place".  I kept fighting him when I was trying to clean up because he wanted attention and I was busy.  Then I realized that he wanted to help...so now he does help me do my chores and it makes it so much easier.  DS still puts things back the way they were when he was that age, which is really fascinating. 

 

 

post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 

I come from a traditional Chinese family, and it's all about obedience to authority. I was raised to behave, and I have memories of being too scared to cry for fear of being spanked (used to get hit for crying)! I find it against my instincts to parent like I was parented. However, life seems easier when you have 'obedient' children. 

 

I have never compared toddlerhood to adolescence (seems so far away!), but what you say makes a lot of sense. Especially about looking at the broader picture of development.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

 

It is SO TRUE that committing to gentle discipline requires faith and patience.  Children who are disciplined more harshly do tend to toe the line and obey and fit the mold of what our culture would deem as "good" children (i.e. - still and quiet).  Gentle discipline really asks you to look at a broader picture of development, rather than short-term obedience.  They payoff comes later down the road, when you have an older child who has a developed sense of empathy and morality, can use those skills to regulate their actions, are secure in their self-worth, are healthy skeptics, etc.  

 

I think one of the biggest pitfalls of how most people parent their toddlers is that they forget that in ten years they will need to deal with a second toddlerhood.  Toddlerhood and adolescence share lots of commonalities - the child is naturally inclined to do the opposite of what you say, is experimenting with their independence and individuality, are coming into their own.  But the whole reward/punishment thing won't work (at least as well) with a teenager.  They find ways around the punishments, sneak out, lie, and they're too big to spank.  All the things that used to work, suddenly don't.  The beautiful thing about non-punitive discipline and unconditional parenting styles is that they lay the groundwork for handling the bigger conflicts that are still to come.

post #31 of 32
Thread Starter 

Now that I'm in this situation with dd, I really agree with this and adjust our lives and home as much as possible to accommodate dd's exploring and playing. 

 

Lol, this didn't go well at all when visiting my family. They haven't been around babies in so many years, and everything is expensive, designer, breakable. I constantly get asked, 'why don't you hit her' and 'how can she learn if she isn't spanked'? They've been saying this to me since she was a 6 months old! Now I understand, and can't expect others who aren't in the situation to understand. Confidence is so important! Now I can just find their comments amusing instead of offensive. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

What a fallacy!  I have seen some children who are generally pretty accepting of rules, even when they don't understand the "why."  You tell them no a few times, and they get it and occupy themselves in another way.  DS is NOT that child.  I quickly saw how unfair it was for him to be constantly in a state of frustration at not understanding why he shouldn't do or have something, and we concentrated on making our home as exploration-friendly as possible.  

 

I think that our children dictate our parenting more than we realize.  With a different baby, I might still be singing the "consistency" tune, not aware that it doesn't work for all, or even most, children.  

 

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by girlspn View Post

BabySmurf,

 

Thank you for your reply; it's been great food for thought as of late, especially since her behavior has intensified these days. Well, I also work at home, and juggling both is taking a toll on me. Perhaps I wouldn't think of dd as 'difficult' if I didn't need to occupy myself with something else. The same goes with dh. We lose our patience not because of dd, but because of we are drained from work. I keep reminding myself of this as a way to keep my cool.

 

It's interesting that you mention this-- just last night, when I was making the bed, I noticed dd hovering around me and pulling on the sheets. Yes, she'd occasionally block my way and undo what I've done, but she just wants to be involved. It's very cute. When I'm swatting mosquitoes, she is as well. Constantly trying to see things from her perspective at those moments really help me.

 

 


It's so hard juggling everything for sure! I think that we all need to give ourselves permission to take a "break" now and then, and recognize that things are not going to be perfect or easy all of the time.  Sometimes you will loose your temper, but instead of beating yourself up about it, use it as a learning experience.  Because one of the things our DC will learn is that Mommy (and Daddy) are only human, and there are things that make us emotional too, and there are many things that we are still learning too.  Raising a child challenges you in ways that you would never expect. 

 

I always notice that when my son is being particularly difficult it's because he has moved on from one skill to another.  If you give them something new to work with, that should help them be able to focus their attention and let you have a break a little bit.  15 months is when your little baby is really becoming a toddler, and I found that I really needed to change the way I thought about the way I was trying to entertain my DS.  For us, he became more interested in puzzles, so I bought one or two of those, but I also gave him some tupper wear containers with covers so he could figure out which covers belonged to each container.  I just cut a hole in the top of a coffee container and found some things around the house that he can put into the holes.  He loves just putting them in and taking them out.  It doesn't have to be big changes and you don't have to go out and buy all new things, just try to pay attention to what she is focusing on, and try to give her something that helps her develop that skill. 

 

And yes, it's SO easy to forget what it's like to have a baby around!!

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