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Do you let your toddler climb on the coffee table? - Page 3

post #41 of 81
They're allowed on some tables, but not on others.. especially not on the dining table. They do it all the time just to get a rise out of me, with their cheeky little expressions, shrieking and laughing, and waiting for me to tell them no and put them back on the floor. I pull the chairs away from it, but they pull them right back.
post #42 of 81
I also got rid of the coffee table!
post #43 of 81
It's kind of funny how many different responses you have gotten! I think this is a perfect example of how different people will just have different opinions about how things "should" be. And it's a good opportunity to experiment with really listening to your inner wisdom as a mommy. What do YOU think? I am finally figuring out the fact that there are so many people in the world, and there really are no right and wrong answers, just different ones. If you find yourself thinking, "Well, I just feel like I shouldn't let him do it", then you need to evaluate why you think it. And not "just because it's a table".

Yes, my children climb on the coffee table. If I didn't want them to, I would get rid of the table.
post #44 of 81
Nope, my kids aren't allowed to climb on the coffee table as the top is glass and the table is a "hand-me-down" from MIL and supposidly expensive and made from all sorts of unique woods. We also have a "no climb" policy on the rest of the furniture but I'm more lax in that.

My main concern is the kid's safety, and if they want to climb, we do that outside, preferably on a climbing structure at a playground, and supervised. My kids are 3.5yo and 14mo.
post #45 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
Our table is sturdy wood. But it's a table. You don't climb on tables. What's not to get?
well, from that statement, I get that it is a rule for you.

But that doesnt answer why that is a rule.

Is it just because that is what you were taught, or is there a reason?

We use ours to set coffee and water on, color on, or set our laptops down. And sometimes, we sit on it.

but we are crazy around here- we eat at undesignated places- like the floor....ive even once or twice set my drink on a chair.
post #46 of 81
We do allow all sorts of climbing around here, and have non-expensive furniture so that we don't have to worry about it. the kids jump and climb all over everything, and my son's new favorite game is to scramble from the kitchen counter to the dining area table to the back of one couch to the coffee table to the other couch -- I don't really mind if there is nothing on the counter or tables, but when there is paper or drinks or whatever, I am worried that he'll slip and fall. Luckily, there is usually something or other on the counters and tables, so he doesn't get many opportunities for his indoor parkour!!

I had to laugh when someone mentioned climbing on top of the fridge, because my son JUST figured that one out! we did request that he not do that one, though... we rent, and I don't want to have to replace a refrigerator!

I will say, though, that he does have a hard time remembering not to walk on other people's couches, once he gets comfy at their houses. the grandparents are not that impressed, but he's almost 7 now and gets it. throughout 4,5 and 6, though, he would just walk on their couches like they were the floor. I think, though, that if we went there more often, he'd get the rule quicker -- as it stands, we only go there once or twice a year, so as soon as he gets cozy (and excited to be there) he just automatically starts walking on the furniture... He also tends to sit upside down on the couch and other various things that drive some people crazy, but I always try to assess the actual potential for damage and go from there -- I'm not really down with rules just for rules sake, and my kids don't seem to be either. If there is any chance of them damaging something, though (and not just perceived potential damage because whatever they're doing is unorthodox) I let them know, and they'll listen...or if they can't stop themselves, it's a clear sign that we need to head outside!!

For sure, though, that's one of those things that is different for every family! I'm not nearly as worried about injuries as most people I know...
post #47 of 81
Yes, we allow it here. Our coffee table is strong/sturdy/ and big. She loves to just sit up there and play w/ toys or color or hang w/ the cats. And with rules, signs, and explaining -- it has never become an issue in someone elses home. DH or myself will just say "Remember DD: whats ok at home isn't always ok in someone else home. Lets play with xxx instead." And its usually over. A few more signs or words may be necessary if the table just looks too perfect/tempting for her; but I wouldn't change our decision because of it.
post #48 of 81
Us too. Not because I felt it was particularly dangerous for her to be climbing on it, but once it became climbing equipment, it was no longer very useful as a table.
post #49 of 81
My kids are allowed to stand on the coffee table and the couch, and they run along the back of the couch (it's up against the wall), and they jump from the table to the couch or from the table to the floor. I aim for minimal restriction in the house - climbing on the stove isn't okay with me. But on the coffee table? Go for it.

When they are really so little that it's a safety issue (which if they're allowed free rein to develop the skills, isn't as long as you'd think) then lots of monitoring and some safety precautions taken - pillows on the floor to cushion any falls is a good one. When they're toddlers they do have some difficulty knowing not to get on other peoples' furniture the same way, which just means they have to be supervised and reminded until they're old enough to remember on their own. Which toddlers have to be anyway. It honestly hasn't been a battle for us at all. Simply a non-issue.

It's not just a matter of not wanting to fight that battle - although that's a part of it - but in that I genuinely enjoy my kids' enjoyment, and seeing their physical prowess and their figuring out their bodies and their limits. Watching my son (now 2) figure out how to jump off the coffee table was amazing. And now he's a pro. I love it.

If our table was glass, or not sturdy enough to support my kids' weight, then... well, honestly, we probably wouldn't own it. If it was really expensive, again: we wouldn't own it. But obviously they wouldn't be allowed on anything like that. Which is exactly why we will not be buying an expensive flimsy glass coffee table for another 20 years or so.
post #50 of 81


When I saw "do you let your toddler climb. . ." in the main screen, I was thinking:
  • up tall slides?
  • into trees?
  • onto the kitchen counters?

Our coffee table is 18" off the floor. Living with two nimble little monkeys who climb like crazy (compared to our older three), this just didn't even register with me as "climbing"

Our kids climb EVERYWHERE. . . well, not trees yet b/c the only big one in our yard is an evergreen. But in addition to the others mentioned, they climb:
  • into the trampoline
  • around the outside of the trampoline enclosure
  • onto the desk upstairs
  • onto a huge pile of boxes that are temporarily stored in our living room
  • over the back of the couch
  • onto the kitchen table, frequently :
  • onto the garbage can in their room, then onto the buffet we use as a change table.
  • up the bookcase shelves

If the original question was b/c it's a table: we will always let them play on our coffee table. That's why we have a sturdy wooden one. We like to put our feet up on it, too.

If it's a question relating to height and safety: as you've read, the coffee table is the least of my worries. Oh well, practice makes perfect!
post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
well, from that statement, I get that it is a rule for you.

But that doesnt answer why that is a rule.

Is it just because that is what you were taught, or is there a reason?
Because I wouldn't want him doing it anywhere else. I want him to have respect for the furniture in our house (not climbing all over it with his shoes on, usually). I don't know how else to explain it. It seems uncontrolled to me to have kids climbing all over the furniture. I want mine to know that there are places for climbing and places for playing. It's not really a big deal. It never occurred to me to let him climb on furniture. It just seems like common sense, knowledge, etiquette to me and it seems like a hassle to have different rules for different houses (ie - make him stay off furniture in other peoples houses).

eta: I have to say though that if other people let their kids climb on the furniture I don't think it's a big deal or anything. I just don't see the point, personally so it's not something we do.
post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
... I want him to have respect for the furniture in our house (not climbing all over it with his shoes on, usually). I don't know how else to explain it. It seems uncontrolled to me to have kids climbing all over the furniture. I want mine to know that there are places for climbing and places for playing. It's not really a big deal. It never occurred to me to let him climb on furniture. It just seems like common sense, knowledge, etiquette to me and it seems like a hassle to have different rules for different houses (ie - make him stay off furniture in other peoples houses).
This is how I feel. If DC want to climb we go up and down the stairs, make giant piles of pillows and cushions on the floor and scale them, set up an obstacle course of footstools, boxes, etc. Of course, the ideal is to go outside to the yard, a playground, park, arboretum, hiking trail.

I'm not going to defend not climbing on tables or counters in our house; I'll just say it isn't something anyone here does.
post #53 of 81
We don't have a coffee table, but in general the idea of just letting kids climb whatever because saying no is somehow oppressive strikes me as incredibly silly. Great way to teach a kid the entire world is his playground and the rules that other people follow just don't apply to him. Entitlement complex, here we come!
post #54 of 81
the entire world is my playground.... so i do not really get whats wrong with teaching kids that.

Oh, maybe we should teach them life sucks, rules rule, it is not about them all the time and nothing in life is fair? Id rather entitlement than inferiority.

I dont think its always about the word no being oppressive.

I speak only for myself.

For us, there would be no reasoning behind the word no other than our own programming.

Our table is incredibly sturdy, she is not going to break it, or damage it. It is not very high, its not going to tip. I do NOT believe that if you let a child do something in their own home that they will expect to do it elsewhere.

I let her bang the crap out of our pots & pans and such, too. never once has she tried to do that anywhere.

Im not into saying no just for the sake of it. As if im teaching my 3 year old some worldly lesson by making her stay off of the coffee table.

Ive seen some downright UNRULY children come from "feet on the floor" homes.... so i am not buying the "not teach them to do it elsewhere bit".
post #55 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlelessons View Post
nope. In our house feet and bottoms do not belong on the tables.
My ds wasn't a huge climber, but he tried to climb tables. I just put him down over and over and he got it.

Same here. I do let him jump on the beds though.
post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
the entire world is my playground.... so i do not really get whats wrong with teaching kids that.

Oh, maybe we should teach them life sucks, rules rule, it is not about them all the time and nothing in life is fair? Id rather entitlement than inferiority.

I dont think its always about the word no being oppressive.

I speak only for myself.

For us, there would be no reasoning behind the word no other than our own programming.

Our table is incredibly sturdy, she is not going to break it, or damage it. It is not very high, its not going to tip. I do NOT believe that if you let a child do something in their own home that they will expect to do it elsewhere.

I let her bang the crap out of our pots & pans and such, too. never once has she tried to do that anywhere.

Im not into saying no just for the sake of it. As if im teaching my 3 year old some worldly lesson by making her stay off of the coffee table.

Ive seen some downright UNRULY children come from "feet on the floor" homes.... so i am not buying the "not teach them to do it elsewhere bit".
Whole big bunch of : coming from me.
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
the entire world is my playground.... so i do not really get whats wrong with teaching kids that.
I can say that it most definitely is NOT. Because although you may indeed have the rest of the world as your playground, my home is not open for you to swing around in and do as you please. I'm fairly certain that you're expected to obey traffic laws like everyone else too, and not use the highways as your personal joyride course.

Quote:
Oh, maybe we should teach them life sucks, rules rule, it is not about them all the time and nothing in life is fair? Id rather entitlement than inferiority.
Well but it's not a choice between those two things. There's plenty of room in the middle. It's really not a choice between entitlement and "inferiority" but a choice between entitlement and "I'm subject to the same rules of conduct and expectations as everyone else." I guess for some having to play by the same old boring rules as the rest of society is "inferior," but I'd rather have a pro-social kid come out of my home than one who thinks "the world is my playground."
post #58 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalemilk View Post
I can say that it most definitely is NOT. Because although you may indeed have the rest of the world as your playground, my home is not open for you to swing around in and do as you please. I'm fairly certain that you're expected to obey traffic laws like everyone else too, and not use the highways as your personal joyride course.
Yes. And my children are required to obey those same kinds of rules. There's no such rule about coffee tables. It's invented, and fairly arbitrary in a lot of cases. There are enough real rules - about things that are safety concerns and about things that violate others or their property - that we don't need to be perpetuating ones that really are just fluff. In another home, it might actually be dangerous or destructive to climb on the coffee table, and there is every reason for that to be a rule. In our house it would just be in an attempt to maintain some sort of conformity with the "everyone else" who has that rule. So we don't do it.


Quote:
Well but it's not a choice between those two things. There's plenty of room in the middle. It's really not a choice between entitlement and "inferiority" but a choice between entitlement and "I'm subject to the same rules of conduct and expectations as everyone else." I guess for some having to play by the same old boring rules as the rest of society is "inferior," but I'd rather have a pro-social kid come out of my home than one who thinks "the world is my playground."
Right. My kids are subject to the same rules as everyone else. I have no idea how them climbing all over my entire home and hanging from the ceiling makes that different. My children don't climb on other people's furniture. (Unless given permission by the owner.) That's basic respect; we honor other people's personal rules. My kids are fully entitled to enjoy our home as we see fit. And others are entitled to having their personal furniture needs respected. If dh or I thought it was safe, we would be "allowed" to climb on the coffee table. We do sit on it, and we do put our feet on the couch. I have no desire to walk on the couch, but if I did there wouldn't be a person on this earth who would have any right to tell me that "it's simply not done." We're pretty entitled to do whatever we want in our own home, as long as we remain within the law.

And yeah: the world is their playground. There are rules at a playground - you have to maintain basic safety, you refrain from breaking things, and you are considerate of others. If those are the same old boring rules, then, yeah, my kids have to go by them, no matter where they are in this world that is their playground. Rules for the sake of rules? I do find that needlessly oppressive, and it's simply not done in my house. I assure you, my kids are "pro-social."
post #59 of 81
We don't have a coffee table in the main part of the house anymore. When DS was learning to pull up, we put it downstairs because we didn't want him to hit the corners falling down. Now we're used to the big open layout and just have a couple of tv trays if we want a surface. I've been very gradually letting up on the vigilence about climbing. He's going to do it, so I've been trying to teach him caution and repurcussions. He doesn't fall much and has learned to ask for help when things seem a little scary (thank goodness he knows when he's overreached his skills right now!!). There are still some things off-limits for climbing (entertainment center and then pull down on the shelves!), but for the most part, I've been trying to let him learn, and he's pretty careful. He loves to tip his toy-bins upside down and practice jumping off them. Rather then rescue him every time, I've been helping him get better and learn when he needs help.

I gave up on no-climbing when he got good at getting up on the couches and was able to get down again without taking a header into the wood floor. Now I just help him practice safety skills.

BUT...I only have one kid at home (no feeding off each other and easier to supervise) and we have a very child-proofed main part of the house (for our convenience more than his safety). Every family is different!
post #60 of 81
My answer would be "it depends".

Ds was not a climber so it wasn't an issue for me in real life. If we have another baby I would be inclined to discourage playing and climbing in places where I felt uneasy, where I may be concerned about damage, where climbing would interfere with the intended use of the space, and depending on the furniture arrangement involved, that may include the coffee table.

If I did feel uncomfortable, for whatever reason, I would assess the temperment of the toddler and decide what to do next. Is this a toddler I could redirect easily? If so I would have a safe place for them climb and move the baby there to play. Is this a toddler who will go back 100x in a row? I would put away the coffee table for a few weeks, redirect them to a safe climbing area, and try putting the coffee table back out.

I don't think toddlers have a need to climb on everything in sight, but I do think we as a family have a need to not spend our day bickering over a table. There is a balance. I don't feel a toddler is deprived if there are limits on where they can climb, but I would feel badly if the entire day was spent enforcing those limits--that won't be fun for anyone. If the child cannot be easily redirected, I would remove access to the table for awhile and try again later.
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