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unsure of developmental readiness

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is my first message, so "hello" to all of you!

My 1yr old has gone from being pretty laid back to whining and screaming frequently. Of course we are in the middle of teething and testing newfound skills, and I realize that this can be an emotional time, but I am unsure when to let behavior go, and when I should say something. He throws his bowl onthe floor during meals, along with quite a bit of food that he just squishes in his fingers and lets plop on the floor. My husband (and a few other family members) are pushing me to do something. But if he is just fulfilling his need to experiment and explore, I don't want to interfere. The screaming and whining; I've tried lowering my voice and saying"Inside voices..." but it hasn't worked, ever. I don't want to encourage whining and screaming as a way to get what he wants. AAAHHH!!! Help!
post #2 of 6
Wow you posted

I would deal with the food by just giving him little enough that if it all ends up on the floor it is not a big deal. I mean really how long is he going to enjoy throwing it on the floor or squishing it between his fingers? This was not something I felt like I had to work on to get rid of before to long.

And the whineing and scraming will lessen as he is better able to express him self. A few months ago he babbled and you talked back and he thought everyone understood him and all was well. Not to long ago he woke up one morning (and it is about that fast) and realized that no one really knew what he was saying, no one could understand him. If that happened to you tommorow can you imagine how frustrating it would be? I would probably be screaming and whining too.

What I usually do is first try to understand what he is saying- even during the whining and screaming at this point. You want down, you want the cup, you want to put it in the box, whatever, make him feel understood. Then give him a better way to say it as you help him. At this point something very simple like- "cup, please", "help" or a sign (most people use ASL signs but I have always had the best luck with the ones they make up, if I can see that two tugs on the strap in his high chair as the "word" for let me out of here, it works well for both of us).

Playing games where you change your voice when he is not already screaming can help too. When you are hiding under a blanket, work on whispering, sing songs that have loud parts and quiet part, ect. It takes a while to learn that you are being really loud and then how to "speak" quietly.

And everything is going to have to be repeated over and over for years- not whining, or yelling when I am angry, tired, or hungry is something I still work on, and in my experience (and you were a waitress I am sure you will agree) most people could still use some help on asking nicely.

Glad to see you here!
post #3 of 6
Maybe baby signs woudl help to increase his communication and lessen whining?
post #4 of 6
For the food; what worked for our kids is only to give them a little at a time. When they have a big bowl or a spread in front of them, they feel like they have Pah-Lenty to squish around and throw overboard, but they tend to actually eat when there's not so much. Sure, exploration...but they can explore with their Play-Doh and if they really want to, they can splat their little bit of food on the floor; just not a whole bowl.

I think that a little whining is inherent at this age. He doesn't really know how to ask for what he wants, gets frustrated, and whines. If you can head off the whining by trying to understand what he wants that would be the best way, unfortunately, it isn't that simple most of the time. When he wants something he can't have, distract him to stop the whining and yelling; when he is just plain frustrated, pick him up and help him figure things out by asking questions. My son had a whining/yelling thing (still does to some extent), but started nodding or shaking his head a little after 1, and this helped our communication immensely. He still doesn't talk at 18 months, but it is a lot easier to figure him out and the whininess has gone down (although he still tends to scream if he doesn't get what he wants, and redirecting isn't 100% effective anymore).
post #5 of 6
I don't have advise just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

Some days I feel like I am going to loose it. I just don't know how to handle it.
When she does the incessant shreiking I take her for a walk or out somewhere and its usually enough distraction.
post #6 of 6
Currently I have a 1 year old and a 2 year old and just got back from a 5 day driving vacation to relatives with them so I can relate. I really feel like these ages are at a developmental stage where teaching them to monitor and keep themselves under control is too much to ask. Mine throw food on the floor and scream (often in glee) and all the other things you said. My 1 year old I do pretty much nothing except try to prevent leaving a mess and for my 2 year old, if he throws food I tell him he must be finished eating and remove his food. It all has to do with how much they understand and where they are developmentally.

I find that many people feel that the way kids learn things is to be very forceful as early as possible, but I have found (after 13 foster kids) that it's way, way easier and more effective to wait until a child is developmentally ready to easily understand what you want them to do. It will probably take over a year to get a 1 year old to stop throwing his/her food on the floor and if you want to do it in shorter time you have to hurt them or scare them. If you wait until they're 2 or so it may take a couple of days and take just a few times of removing their food when the food is dumped.

It's hard to ignore the people who think you have to "train kids early", but my kids are exceptionally well behaved and it's because I just wait until they're ready to get it. If you have to really push them or something then it's probably too early.

No matter where a kid is developmentally I always show them what I do want and praise them when they do it. They may not be abel to get it for a while, but they'll understand the positive tone you're using and may even understand what you want them to do before you even have to owrry about finding a way to stop the unwanted behavior.
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