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11 month old - What to do?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My ds is almost 11 months old and he's just started in this new phase, in the past week, where if he doesn't get what he wants or we need to take something away from him (because it's un-safe, such as eating handfuls of dirt ) he starts screaming and crying. He stays very upset until I nurse him. What do I do? Is it OK to nurse him every time he is upset, or am I starting a bad cyle of needing "something" to make everything OK? Is this an unusual thing for an 11 month old - to get so upset at not getting their way? We haven't really figured out discipline yet. I haven't read any books or don't know of anyone to ask, because all my family uses things such as spankings, and yelling - and I am not going to do that kind of discipline.

Any suggestions on where to start for books when it comes to discipline? To be honest, I almost feel embarrassed to say the word discipline because I don't think he's needing discipline - I'm just needing re-assurance that I'm doing the correct thing - and not starting a hard to break cycle.

Any stories, information, or just re-assurance would be great! Thank You!
post #2 of 14
What your little one is doing is soooo normal! My DD does this also. When she gets upset or frustrated (for whatever reason), I do whatever I need to comfort her. I usually help label her feelings and empathize by saying, "I know you're frustrated (or mad or sad or whatever) because ________. I understand." I cuddle her. If she's too uspet to calm down w/ cuddling, I nurse her. It sounds like you're following your instincts w/ your little one. You should be proud of yourself!!!

Also, don't be afraid of the word discipline. Discipline is all the things we do to guide our children, not just "punishment" (and some would say that punishment is not even a necessary part of discipline). Discipline is loving.

Two of my favorite books on discipline so far are: The Discipline Book by Sears and Sears and Positive Discipline (I can't remember the author on that one). I'm also planning to read Raising Your Spirited Child.

Good luck and HTH!
post #3 of 14
Although I'm not really a proponent of re-direction, you might try a little of that while he is touching something dangerous.

Basically, keep him in a child/baby friendly environment. It will get worse as he approaches 2 in terms of him trying things out.

For things like sand and earth, buy some and clean it. Put it in his own sandbox in the living-room. Make castles with him. If he eats it, let him. It is not "bad" for him. This is an experiment that all kids at this age try.

post #4 of 14
I really like the book "Becoming the Parent You Want to Be." It's not all about discipline, but does cover that. It is fantastic at explaining possible motivations for children's behavior, though, and that "back story" to why my child might be throwing things, hitting people, having bad dreams, testing limits, etc. is very helpful to me for both bolstering my patience and providing outlets for the impulses that are acceptable to both of us.

The book is open about the struggles parents have with their own feelings and it provides actual sample dialogue for how to put the ideas into action. As a person who's "doing" different strategies than my family did, this practice text was extremely helpful as a model of how to do an accepting and open approach.

post #5 of 14
Alexander: I'm curious about why re-direction might be a bad thing. I'm not slamming you in anyway, just genuinely curious.
post #6 of 14
It's a cheat.

Eventually, children realize that you are using slight-of-hand to draw their attention away from what they are genuinely interested in, and quite rightly feel indignant when it happens.

Over time, children learn when it is about to happen, and hold on tighter. Thus in the long run it can develop into a counter-productive situation.

This does not take into acount the growing mistrust children can develop when they become old enough to later remember what they were into, but without the tools to request the item back.

This (IME) co-insides with the age of 18 months- 3 1/2yo.

Hmm, co-insiding with the terrible twos. I wonder if they are not un-related!!!

post #7 of 14
Alexander: Thanks for the reply. I never realized the possible effect of redirection! I'm going to use a lot less of it in the future (though I don't use it much now).
post #8 of 14
There seems to be so much recommendation of redirection in AP based books, and even here as I recall. And in Sears books.

I've used it when Dd was very small, like if she'd grab a knife, I'd give her a baby spoon instead. In fact, I still do that. I say, "the knife is for Mom, but here's something for you." I've used it really sucessfully to avoid lots of NOs. I so add a little of the controversial Aware Baby style of approach if the switch is met with upset. "I know you really want that knife, but the spoon is safer for you to hold." Or, "Mom will hold the knife and you can look at it."

Alexander, f you want to avoid NO, what are some alternatives to redirection that you would suggest?
post #9 of 14
I am having the same problem with my ds who is 13 months. He throws ear piercing screaming fits when he doesn't get his way. I have started picking him up and sitting in a chair and making him sit on my lap for 5 minutes. He arches his back and screams but I am hoping eventually he will figure out that that is what happens when he throws a temper trantum and doesn't listen.
post #10 of 14
Thank you for starting this thread.
I am going through the exact same thing with my 11 month ds. It seems that whenever things aren't going exactly as he wants he just wails and whines. I was actually going to start a thread looking for some suggestions to help us discipline ds without turning the situation into a battle of wills when I found that someone had already started one.
It's nice to know we're not the only ones
post #11 of 14
Originally posted by skibumel
I have started picking him up and sitting in a chair and making him sit on my lap for 5 minutes. He arches his back and screams but I am hoping eventually he will figure out that that is what happens when he throws a temper trantum and doesn't listen.
Forgive me. I intend no critisism.

The path you are embarking on leads to hell. I urge you to try almost anything else. The perspective you have is an adults' one.

What is the child feeling?

1) frustration that he can't play with X

followed by

2) using the only tool god equipped him with, mum gives him a double dose of frustration.

I suggest:

1) if the thing you want him to stop does not lead to direct danger, leave him alone.

2) If it does lead to danger and he does not want consoling, let him wail. He'll come for confort soon enough.

3) The trick to getting complience is to not demand too much of your children. Reduce the "instructing" down to an absolute minimum.

Hope this helps

get back to me if you have specific examples.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies!

Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. Each day I'm learning more and more about what works and what doesn't work with my ds. All the suggestions are terrific.

So, it is OK to nurse my ds when he gets upset about not being able to play with something? I'm just needing a little reassurance on this. He immediately stops fussing and nurses happily when I do this, so I'm hoping that it's OK to do.

Here's a side story about my 11 month old playing/touching something that he shouldn't. On Monday I flew to my parents house and they have a wood stove. When we arrive (after a airplane ride and a 5 hour car ride) the wood stove is smoking hot and so I don't put my ds on the floor. I know if I did he would immediately crawl over to the woodstove to look and touch the pretty flames (it has a glass door.) My parents notice that I'm not putting him down and they question me. I tell them that I don't want my ds to crawl over and touch the stove. You know what they say to me, "Let him do it once and he'll learn." Needless to say, after a long day of travel and a response like that, I go to the bedroom and have myself a little cry from frustration. How can my parents and I have such different takes on parenting?They think I'm way too protective.

Sorry just had to vent. I am protective and I love being protective!

Thanks again to everyone for their posts!
post #13 of 14
Damn bloody stupid attitude.

Only 6 months ago, a toddler I know was seriously injured because adults like that kept a standing stove in the middle of a room that children played in.

All the children had "learned" but a 2 y/o fell over, right onto the stove. Doesn't bare thinking about.

post #14 of 14
To peaceful mama's story about the stove, I want to add to Alexander's response, that THEY DON'T LEARN. At least not my spirited child, and it's not as if he's not bright or anything. That is, while we try to keep him from any danger etc, he certainly has had his share. E.g. climbs on couch and falls off, gets nasty boo-boo. He knows what he did/that he got a boo-boo from climbing on couch, and even remembers it several weeks later. Does that stop him from climbing on the couch? Heck no. I'm pretty sure the same would be true from a burn from the wood stove (not that we'd ever let him get that far). Maybe he's not "normal" but he certainly has never learned from the times that he's gotten hurt the way people of our parents generation always say they will. But maybe it's just my son :
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