18 mo leading me around the house -- and screaming protest if I don't follow! What do you do? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-14-2011, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My (almost) 18 mo ds has taken to leading me around the house to get me to do something for him or something with him.  In many ways this is great -- since he really isn't talking yet, it's a good way for him to communicate what he needs.  It's becoming a little overwhelming, though, as lately he has wanted to lead me somewhere almost constantly and I do have other things to do now and then (clean the kitchen, study for tests, etc).  I follow him and oblige him when I can, but when I can't he starts screaming and throwing a fit.  I'm not really sure what to do about this -- telling him I can come with him in a minute, or that I am busy making his dinner, means very little to him at this point.  I understand, of course, that this is a normal part of his development.  I'm just trying to figure out how I can live with this part of his development without going completely insane, or becoming a detached, "do as I say because" kind of mother.

Since some things have to do with timing, I thought something a little helpful might be some kind of chart, with pictures for what we do during the day (meals, baths, playtime, or whatever) and eventually, he'll know the words for those things too.  Having them in a "usual" order might help reinforce the idea that we have a routine and it's not time for a bath at 4 in the afternoon.  What do you think?  Anyone try this?

Any other ideas?


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Old 01-14-2011, 10:11 PM
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Having a predictable routine might help.  I think it's OK to set some boundaries with an 18 month old.  It's OK to say, "we'll take a bath after supper," or "We're cooking dinner now."

 

Tantrums are sometimes about the frustration the child is experiencing in the moment, and sometimes about being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  When my kids were little, I tried to be proactive with snacks and naps.  It might also help to give your ds some little jobs he can do to help you with your work.  An 18 month old can stand on a step stool to wipe counters or wash plastic cups while you cook.  He can fold napkins to set the table.  He can draw while you study.  Helping with your activity might help meet the same needs as leading you around the house - he would feel important and included. 

 

And, it's OK to be flexible.  If you have the time, It's OK to have a bath at 4.  Going with the flow of your son's impulses some of the time (especially on things like baths) is a good way to show that you are willing to accommodate his desires to a reasonable extent when you can. 

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice!  It really helps to have something to go on.  Even though I know it doesn't work this way, I keep trying to get to some kind of equilibrium in how we are "living together," and of course he continues to grow and develop and the equilibrium is completely destroyed once again! 

I am wondering how to encourage him to join in on those kinds of activities you describe.  He doesn't really seem to be interested in doing that kind of thing, we're still at the point that his "helping" is commandeering whatever tool I've been working with and running off with it.  I'm sure that we can get to the point where I can be helping him to do an activity that I am doing (or something related), but I must admit I am at a loss as to how to communicate this to him, or help him to do that.  Having not observed how these things occur between mothers and children much in my life, I feel like I am reinventing the wheel (which you probably have to do with each individual child to some extent anyway).

 

I am pretty flexible, and I think that's a good thing -- the main thing with baths was that it is part of his bedtime routine, which is another issue entirely that we're working on.  Mostly, I am thinking of being able to communicate what we are doing now (like eating, bath time, bedtime, etc) without words since for right now he doesn't seem to know the words.  It might help him to understand why I am telling him that it's not time to do whatever else it was he wanted to do (if it's important enough, like you say) or just to give him a sense that he's not totally in the dark about what happens during the day.  Like I say, I do try to do things with him and do what he wants to do, but it's the 20th time that he grabs my fingers to lead me to his room so he can flip the light switch off and on while I am in the middle of cooking something on the stove that I am trying to find solutions for. 

I know I'm not the only one who has dealt with these things, and I do appreciate that he is finding ways to communicate his needs to me.  I am trying to get a sense of what people do to respond appropriately and effectively to these little trials, so that they don't become a big deal for me.  So thank you for contributing to that picture!  I await more pieces of that picture from anyone who wants to share!


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Old 01-15-2011, 01:34 PM
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Is he just not able to use the words himself, or do you feel like he doesn't understand when you talk to him?  I'm trying to spot if you have a concern with your ds's receptive language here.  At 18 months, children should be understanding a lot even though they usually can't express it.  If you feel like he really isn't understanding your words for familiar parts of his daily routine, you should probably call Early Intervention.  They offer play-based evaluation and therapy, it's free, and they usually work with children in natural environments - my dd got her services at home and at her day care.  

 

Eighteen month olds do like to grab the tools and run.  It helps to have spares. 

 

Honestly, sometimes when things had to get done, and my kids weren't listening to boundaries, it helped to have a pack n' play or a baby gate to contain them in a safe area while I did what was necessary.  They didn't like it, but they didn't like not getting dinner because Mama couldn't prep food either. 

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Old 01-15-2011, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not entirely sure whether he doesn't understand the words, or that at times he just doesn't care because he's too busy thinking about what he wants at the time.  He has understood words, at least I think so -- I think he understands "bath," and "coat" (he knows he's going out), but things like "lunch" he hasn't responded to until I show him his plate.  At this point, I think that he is understanding enough for his age -- he's a little behind the typical timetable but still within the normal range, as far as I understand.  But thanks for the tip about Early Intervention, if he doesn't seem to progress I'll definitely look into that.  I have been working on dressing words -- like naming body parts or clothing parts as we get dressed -- I haven't seen a lot of response to the words themselves but he knows how it all works anyway (until he decides it's time to run around the house with his pants around his ankles lol)! 

My personal opinion is that he is a really busy boy, and he very intensely focuses on whatever is grabbing his attention (though the thing itself will change rapidly as is normal at this age), so he just doesn't give a lot of time or attention to verbal "stuff" that's happening.  He says a few words (good, yes, and sometimes no, in addition to mama and dada -- usually these are repeated over and over so they just sound like repetitive syllables).  He also babbles quite a lot -- he says what I would call "phrases" that are recognizable -- he says them at various times in the same way, and seems to really be trying to tell us something, but we still have no idea what he might be trying to say.  Apparently that's how I started talking too (although I transitioned to being understandable earlier than this, according to my mom).  It's just amazing how many different ways we learn, and develop different parts of our "person" and our brain!


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Old 01-15-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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"it's the 20th time that he grabs my fingers to lead me to his room so he can flip the light switch off and on while I am in the middle of cooking something on the stove that I am trying to find solutions for. "

 

Why not just let him stand on a chair and flip it on and off by himself?  Or have him help stir, or "chop", or "wash" dishes while you work.  Etc.  

 

If it's your attention that he's seeking, can you make sure that you get down on the floor, face-to-face with him for an hour or so every day?  I know that when I make sure to really focus in on my daughter -- and let her initiate the activity -- for a while each day, she's much more tolerant of when I need to work, and I work from home, so it's important that I can be able to do that.

 

FWIW, I think his receptive language really should be better than what you're describing.  Perhaps I'm just not clear?  But, anyway, this is zerotothree.org verbal milestones for 15-18 months:

 

http://main.zerotothree.org/site/DocServer/15-18Handout.pdf?docID=6082

I’m using language to understand the world around me.

 

• I can understand simple questions and 
    directions like Kick the ball to me.
• I communicate by combining sounds and 
   actions—pointing to a cup and saying wawa
   for water.
• By 18 months, I may say as many as 20 words.
 
and 18-24 months:
 
I am learning new words every day.
• I may say as many as 50-100 words by my 
   second birthday.  
• I may even put 2 words together to make 
   my first sentences!
 
You say that he doesn't seem to pay attention to what you say...have you had his hearing checked?  Does he have frequent ear infections?  Both of those can contribute to delayed verbal development, both in understanding what you say (receptive) and in his speech.  Remember, ear infections can be silent, and children should get their ears checked after every cold, just to make sure.
 
It's perfectly fine if he makes up his own words, as long as he uses them consistently.

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Old 01-15-2011, 08:20 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by hezasan View Post 

 

I follow him and oblige him when I can, but when I can't he starts screaming and throwing a fit.  I'm not really sure what to do about this -- telling him I can come with him in a minute, or that I am busy making his dinner, means very little to him at this point.  I understand, of course, that this is a normal part of his development.  I'm just trying to figure out how I can live with this part of his development without going completely insane, or becoming a detached, "do as I say because" kind of mother.

 

Since some things have to do with timing, I thought something a little helpful might be some kind of chart, with pictures for what we do during the day (meals, baths, playtime, or whatever) and eventually, he'll know the words for those things too.  Having them in a "usual" order might help reinforce the idea that we have a routine and it's not time for a bath at 4 in the afternoon.  What do you think?  Anyone try this?

 

Any other ideas?


Tantrums are tough huh?  I totally sympathize, my little guy's tantrums can be down-right AWFUL.  My solution is generally to sympathize with a quick hug and statement, "I'm sorry you're angry.  When you feel better we can find a new activity"  I do not give into the tantrums, b/c when I do that they just get worse and worse and worse b/c he learns that the louder he yells the faster I respond.  So, I make a point of not doing anything during a tantrum.  I wait for it to subside, and then I deal with the problem - usually it means my ds is hungry.  That doesn't make me a detached authoritarian mother, its what works for me and my ds at this stage - I do not spank him for being angry, I do not yell at him for being angry (I am not perfect - far far far from it!!  We have our moments), but when I engage with him too much during a tantrum it feeds the fire.

 

I the chart is a good idea, but he may be a little young to understand that its a "schedule" of sorts and that one thing comes after the other - it will definitely be handy later, and it may be able to help with vocab words.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hezasan View Post

 

Mostly, I am thinking of being able to communicate what we are doing now (like eating, bath time, bedtime, etc) without words since for right now he doesn't seem to know the words. 

 

It might help him to understand why I am telling him that it's not time to do whatever else it was he wanted to do (if it's important enough, like you say) or just to give him a sense that he's not totally in the dark about what happens during the day.  Like I say, I do try to do things with him and do what he wants to do, but it's the 20th time that he grabs my fingers to lead me to his room so he can flip the light switch off and on while I am in the middle of cooking something on the stove that I am trying to find solutions for. 


My ds is verbally very advanced (at least I think so, I'm a tad biased), and by 18mo understand darn close to every single thing I said.  He didn't always like it, and got very angry when I said things he didn't like, but he knew what was going on.  Thats not my point though, I've always spoken to him as though he understood me (in age appropriate words, although he does listen to me memorizing for the bar exam), and just talking to our children helps them learn the language.  I would do things like show him a book and say, "do you want to read the book?"  To help him learn what different things were called - but communicating non-verbally would not have helped him learn to talk, yk?

 

One thing that I really think helped his vocabulary was a set of books that we have, from amazon.  They are the "Babies first Colors Board Book", "Babies first Word Board Book", "Babies first Numbers Board Book" etc - they have colorful pictures and he would sit for literally hours and I would point to things and say the word, and we would go through all the books and just say words connected to pictures - he LOVED it and it really got his vocabulary going early I think.  He knew all his colors by 15-16mo, and now at 2 knows his numbers from 1-10, and is starting to recognize letters, and tries to sing the abc's.

 

He's definitely advanced, and even if your child isn't ready for that, don't assume he can't understand you - just talk to him.  Even when he's mad.  When he tantrums let him (so long as he isn't hurting you - then you need to find a safe way to handle that so no one gets hurt), and then cuddle him when he calms down and talk to him about stuff.  I always felt a bit silly b/c I was always in my apartment talking to ds, and I'm sure I must sound nuts - telling my ds the elements of a negligent tort claim, lol, but it really works for us.  I talk to him about what I'm making for dinner, and how, and where we're going and how we're getting there.  I tell him how to buy the metro card at the train station, and show him how to use it, I talk to him while we're at the grocery store and let him point to the pasta he wants, and I show him all the different vegetables and what they're called, and what we use them to make, what kind of salad dressing is my favorite, basically he gets a running commentary of our day as we go through it. 

 

I also taught him how to play independently b/c I had to so that I could get things done - I give him a pot and a wood spoon so he can play drums, I bring his fave firetruck into the kitchen while I cook, etc.  You'll find a rhythm - just remember, he is not an infant anymore, and so when he cries he doesn't always need you to rush and pick him up and coddle him - he's a toddler and you can start gently setting boundaries.  Just b/c he's throwing the tantrum of the year does not mean you are not being gentle.

 

Wow, I just wrote a book.  Sorry about that!!

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Old 01-16-2011, 12:59 AM
 
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I think mostly he wants your attention.

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Originally Posted by hezasan View Post

I am wondering how to encourage him to join in on those kinds of activities you describe.  He doesn't really seem to be interested in doing that kind of thing, we're still at the point that his "helping" is commandeering whatever tool I've been working with and running off with it.  I'm sure that we can get to the point where I can be helping him to do an activity that I am doing (or something related), but I must admit I am at a loss as to how to communicate this to him, or help him to do that.  Having not observed how these things occur between mothers and children much in my life, I feel like I am reinventing the wheel (which you probably have to do with each individual child to some extent anyway).

 


When my daughter wants to help I let her take my sponge and just grab a new one. If she grabs that one too I grab a wash cloth or a scrubber or the sponge she let go. If I'm cooking I give her a piece of the food to help with, or I'll give her a spoon to stir with or if she's interfering too much I try to think of some way she can "help" do something else that is similar enough to what mama is doing that she thinks she is helping. If you don't let them help you now when they aren't much help then they won't want to help later when they are capable. If I'm cooking over the stove I let her open the cans - which she can't actually do, but I crank it a little bit and then she works at it, or we will do something hand over hand. Her hand holding the spoon or what ever and my hand on top of her hand holding her hand and the spoon. I always make sure and tell her when things are hot and not to touch.

 

 

I do agree with what some others have said about getting his hearing tested. Children should understand way sooner than they start speaking the words.

 

Also, If you don't mind sitting in the bathroom watching him take a two baths in a day you could let him take a bath at 4 and again at bedtime. I know this isn't always feasable cause you're just sitting there waiting for them to get bored with the bath, but maybe you could use this time as a mommy and me play time, too.


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Old 01-16-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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When my daughter wants to help I let her take my sponge and just grab a new one. If she grabs that one too I grab a wash cloth or a scrubber or the sponge she let go. If I'm cooking I give her a piece of the food to help with, or I'll give her a spoon to stir with or if she's interfering too much I try to think of some way she can "help" do something else that is similar enough to what mama is doing that she thinks she is helping. If you don't let them help you now when they aren't much help then they won't want to help later when they are capable. If I'm cooking over the stove I let her open the cans - which she can't actually do, but I crank it a little bit and then she works at it, or we will do something hand over hand. Her hand holding the spoon or what ever and my hand on top of her hand holding her hand and the spoon. I always make sure and tell her when things are hot and not to touch.

 

This. Also, I have little areas set up all around the house with toys/activities for DD (17 mos). So that if I need to be in a room (usually the kitchen) there is always something for her to do in there. In the kitchen, for example, she has a little table with some pots & pans and spoons, and often I'll pour a few cheerios or oats or something in a bowl for her to stir or dump out or whatever.

 

But she also does the lead-me-around thing, and sometimes I just tell her I really need to be doing xyz right then (usually making food, sometimes cramming some into my own starving face). She'll get mad for a minute. but often she'll then move on to doing something by herself and I've bought a few more minutes. But when I can, I do go with her; or if I reach a good stopping point I'll go check on her and see if she wants me to engage with what she's doing. Good luck!


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Old 01-16-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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My DD is 22 months and just a couple months ago started taking my finger and "leading" me places she wanted to go. She does try to do it at times that aren't convenient (like when she wanted me to get out of bed this morning to go get daddy in the next room) and I generally tell her "Mama is {insert current action}. She can't go {insert place she's trying to take me} right now." Sometimes she'll give up and sometimes she has a tantrum. If she has a tantrum, we go by our general rule with tantrums where I tell her to tell me when she's done and then we talk about it if she wants. I figure that sometimes they're going to get frustrated and you just have to let them get that frustration out. I used to try to hold her, but she would end up hurting me and that wasn't cool, so now I just let her have her tantrum where ever she's at. She's generally over it in less than a minute.


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Old 01-17-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the tips everyone!  Many of the suggestions I am already doing, so you have encouraged to keep doing them and we will get it worked out.  Tantrums will be a reality of life for a bit here, I don't intend that I can avoid them entirely.  Usually for tantrums I gently let him to the floor (because otherwise he will completely throw my back) and sit near him until he's done (usually like 30 sec) and then we can go on to the next activity. 

It's not so much the tantrums that were getting to me, but the persistent little screeches as he's actively tugging on me.  A little background info -- we were both sick last week, adding to his frustration and my desperation for alternatives.  When he was doing that last week, he would START with the screeching, which is something that I don't want to encourage, so I was having trouble finding the instant that I could respond to him without feeling like I was encouraging him to make his needs known with loud screeching and crying.  As we've both started to recover from our illnesses, it has seemed easier to respond to his requests -- either to go with him because he has made the request without screeching, or to give him another alternative or give a short explanation why I can't just yet (which I expect he will understand as time goes on).

The picture-schedule-ish thing I was thinking of I would intend as more of a reinforcement of verbal communication (we all learn better using more than one "input") than a replacement -- for instance, if I feel he isn't listening to my words I can point to the pictures and I would feel that one way or the other, I communicated the message.  It doesn't seem like there's anything wrong with providing multiple means for communication (which is also the argument for teaching baby signs).  I may or may not use that, but in any case I'm really not concerned with either his hearing or his verbal understanding.  It's hard to evaluate someone that you don't see in action, but to give a little better picture he responds to us talking, he has even in the last couple of days gone to the bathtub when we said "bath" and gone to his room when we said "bed" (this was a shocker!) and he's a light sleeper like me -- light noises from the living room tv sometimes wake him up.  My development texts give a range for starting to say words and the "language explosion" anywhere from 12 months to 3 years, so even though the "typical" average is by 18 months he is well within the normal range.

I really appreciate all the suggestions, each new development comes with its set of challenges and it's an adjustment every time.  Since our modern Western society has done such a great job of dividing us all up by age groups and isolating us into tiny family units, it's really hard for many of us to get chances to interact with young kids, to really see other families in action, and to learn how to be a parent by observation throughout your entire life as is the case in many other countries.  So it really helps for you all to fill in these gaps in info for me!  Thanks!


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Old 01-17-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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I loved reading this post and all the suggestions, b/c I am in the same boat.  DS is 17mos and wants my undivided attention almost constantly.  I find I "can't get anything done" so often.  While I've done some of the suggestions, I look forward to implementing some others!

Question: For those of you who let the little ones stand on a chair to "wash dishes" at the sink, could you please clarify - toddler is standing on a kitchen chair washing while mom might be at the stovetop stirring a pot?  I am double checking b/c I'd love to have DS (17mos) do something like this, but my guy would be all over the place and would most certainly fall off the chair, or attempt to climb into the sink/on the counters, etc.  I've let him "wash dishes" before, but I've had to stand there the whole time, much like letting him take a bath at a random time of the day.  Something for him to do for entertainment, but isn't really helping momma to get anything done.

 

Thanks!

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:52 PM
 
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Am I the only one who thinks its totally normal for a toddler to need/want constant attention? Maybe it's just that we had a spirited cling to me 24/7 baby turned slightly less clingy but 24/7 mama attention needing toddler. I pretty much give him the attention too. I gave up trying to do much else for blocks of time since he was a baby. I find that I can still cook and clean but in mad spurts while he's momentarily engaged with something. One strategy that works and buys me time is to say " two seconds" and quickly do the urgent thing that couldn't wait (stir the eggs). He now knows to wait those few quick seconds and I'll be right with him.

Every child is different, but for us it is completely unreasonable to assume that we can be in the house with ds and not be with him virtually every minute. Thats just our norm and we very rarely have tantrums.

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Old 01-17-2011, 10:45 PM
 
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You've gotten some really good suggestions here.  My son is also 18 months old, and I also have things he can play with/do in each room (e.g., a drawer just for him with plastic cups, spatulas, a pot, etc. in the kitchen; toys in other rooms, etc.).  I am lucky that my son is pretty good about self-entertaining for his age, though, I think

(I consider anything longer than 5 minutes pretty good :)

 

He does like to help with things like laundry, and I can hand him clothes from the washer and he will run over and place them in the dryer (he loves this).  He does lead me around some and want me to hold him to turn lights on and off, etc., but not to the extent the OP describes.  In addition to what others have said, I find it helpful to wear him on my back or hip while I am preparing food, etc.  If he sees me working in the kitchen, he will often ask to be "up," and this lets him in on the action while freeing my hands to finish what I was doing (sometimes, I just balance him on my hip and use one hand, but a sling/carrier really does make it easier).  I agree with the PP who said it would not work to let her toddler stand on a chair; I am pretty sure my son would fall or jump or climb off the chair, or knock it over or something if I tried that.  

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Old 01-18-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Wow, am I the only one who refuses to humor my toddler's whims if I'm busy doing something? 

 

I would go bonkers if I had to turn the light switch on and off, on and off again.  Typically, I'll redirect her attention to something that she can do safely (like turn a light on and off that's at her level, for example) without my active engagement in the process.  Or I will continue my activity while offering verbal suggestions for independent play (i.e., cleaning the living room while calling to her, "do you have a book about animals?  Which book is it?  Can you find it?  Etc.")  I also encourage her to 'help' when I'm doing something child-friendly (like dusting) and I basically let her do whatever she wants (within the limits of safety, of course) when I'm busy.  So sometimes all the pots and pans end up out of the cupboards while I'm cooking; that's ok with me, as long as she's happy and occupied and I've gotten dinner on the table.  KWIM? 

 

I spend plenty of face-time with her, don't get me wrong; it's just that if I'm busy making dinner or working on something (I work from home), I usually tell her, "Mama's busy, can you go play with __________ please?"  And sometimes that's all she needs; she always understands, anyway. 

 

Sometimes she complains and rarely, throws a minor tantrum, but typically she just wanders off to play alone.  I can get work done in 5-10 minute increments, stopping to check on her or help with something that she's doing or play for a minute and then return to my activity.  She just knows that if I'm working on something, she doesn't get my undivided attention.  That seems to be ok with her. 

 

We have some tantrums, but I typically redirect her mid-tantrum (which works for my DD, but I know she's pretty easygoing compared to a lot of toddlers, and this doesn't work for everybody).  The tantrums are worse if I don't spend a fair amount of time giving her face-to-face attention pretty regularly, but I certainly don't feel obliged to follow her every time she tugs me off towards one part of the house or other.  I just say, "no, Mama's not going over there right now," and leave it at that.  Compared to what some PP's have reported about their daily activities, this sounds like neglect!  But, IMO, she is just learning that each family member has boundaries for their time and space and attention, and her needs are not the only ones that must be met during the day.  I think that's a good lesson for her to be learning at this stage. 


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Old 01-18-2011, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just for the record, I believe it is completely normal for a toddler to need and want constant attention.  I also know that sometimes momma's circumstances make it difficult for her to give that constant attention.  Some of us are in situations where we need to work/school at home, or only have one adult home at any given time of the day most days, or other things.  One of my circumstances is that my son is allergic/intolerant of things that are additives in almost everything you buy in a grocery store (other than the fruits and vegetables), so cooking takes a long time every time.  I would love to get him more attention by having someone to watch him while I cook and clean (or someone to cook and clean while I spend more time with my son) but we can barely afford what we are doing now.  Many of us are not in our ideal situation, but we are simply trying to cope.  So we aren't necessarily looking for a solution to a "problem", but just trying to get a sense of how other people incorporate these needs into their lives. 

Last term, my son was very good about playing by himself while I studied -- and by that I mean he played in the same room, and every few minutes would come over to me, get a little hug or quick something, and happily go back to playing.  The last few weeks, things have changed a bit and he is climbing onto chairs and tables, trying out everything we've tried to teach him is off-limits, and wanting me to hold him while he plays in the refrigerator, the freezer, with the light switch, with the gel clings on the window, etc etc.  All of this is great fun, and I have decided to keep my studying to times when he is asleep (not to mention the gobs of dishes we use every day).  But it is also exhausting, so far, and I need to eat, and we don't have much in the house that is easy to eat b/c of the allergies, and by the time we get to bedtime I am so tired it's hard to study.  This is all, again, perfectly normal, I'm just trying to figure out how to adjust to our new way of being!  Somehow each new development doesn't just come naturally to me, or at least I'm not sure enough of myself to not at least ask around to see if I'm missing something.  So, again, thanks for all the stories and suggestions!


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Old 01-18-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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I'm so encouraged by reading this thread! My son also leads and pushes me to sit down! He is 18 month old and also VERY demanding these days. He wants Mama's 110% attention ALL. THE. TIME. Many of the distracting techniques mentioned here have not worked for us. And even though grandma lives with us and tries to help, he often refuses when she says, "Want grandma to read you a story while mommy cooks dinner?" He says, NO! and proceeds to hang on my leg in the kitchen. I used to put him in the Ergo baby backpack while I cook, but now he is bored with that after about 2 minutes. The clingy-demanding behavior actually gets worse the MORE I spend at home- for instance long weekends. I only work out of the house 25 hours a week, so I get lots of face time in the mornings, afternoons and evenings but after 3 solid days with Mommy, Tuesday morning is ROUGH. We are also still nursing, and I'm happy he is still interested, as I started out wanting to nurse till at least 2, but he is very clever and has started using nursing as a means to keep mommy sitting, paying attention to him and not getting ready for work in the morning. :-/  He has endless energy (typical, I'm sure!) so we have started taking him to Gymboree at least 2x a week. He LOVES the climbing, crawling, etc and seems much more content after, like a long workout! But despite how frustrated I feel sometimes at his demands (he is also waking up in the night again) he is so much fun! We can play build the fort now, crawl inside, he can dig in the dirt while we garden, he can water plants, he can help marinate dinner (shaking it in the baggy) and yes, laundry is also a favorite. His memory is astounding, and when I stop being in such a hurry, he is even more fun. smile.gif

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Old 01-18-2011, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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if I'm busy making dinner or working on something (I work from home), I usually tell her, "Mama's busy, can you go play with __________ please?"  And sometimes that's all she needs; she always understands, anyway.

So how did this work -- in other words, how do you get there?  I guess when my son doesn't comply, he's saying "no."  I'm sure he'll get that one of these days, but if anyone has any ideas how to encourage him to "say" yes to such requests, even if it takes time, I'd love to hear it!

 

 

 

Quote:
I'm so encouraged by reading this thread! My son also leads and pushes me to sit down! He is 18 month old and also VERY demanding these days. He wants Mama's 110% attention ALL. THE. TIME. Many of the distracting techniques mentioned here have not worked for us. And even though grandma lives with us and tries to help, he often refuses when she says, "Want grandma to read you a story while mommy cooks dinner?" He says, NO! and proceeds to hang on my leg in the kitchen. I used to put him in the Ergo baby backpack while I cook, but now he is bored with that after about 2 minutes. The clingy-demanding behavior actually gets worse the MORE I spend at home- for instance long weekends. I only work out of the house 25 hours a week, so I get lots of face time in the mornings, afternoons and evenings but after 3 solid days with Mommy, Tuesday morning is ROUGH. We are also still nursing, and I'm happy he is still interested, as I started out wanting to nurse till at least 2, but he is very clever and has started using nursing as a means to keep mommy sitting, paying attention to him and not getting ready for work in the morning. :-/  He has endless energy (typical, I'm sure!) so we have started taking him to Gymboree at least 2x a week. He LOVES the climbing, crawling, etc and seems much more content after, like a long workout! But despite how frustrated I feel sometimes at his demands (he is also waking up in the night again) he is so much fun! We can play build the fort now, crawl inside, he can dig in the dirt while we garden, he can water plants, he can help marinate dinner (shaking it in the baggy) and yes, laundry is also a favorite. His memory is astounding, and when I stop being in such a hurry, he is even more fun. smile.gif

I'm with you, when my son has something in his head he wants to do, or just wants to be doing something with us, there is no redirecting him most of the time!  And yes, spending more time with him seems to make him want to spend even more time with me!  The recent clinginess may be a result of having been on break from school for three weeks and having constant mommy availability!  Maybe he will level out soon.  This week he started waving goodbye to me in the morning and my husband in the afternoon, the novelty of which seems to have distracted him from the fact that we're leaving :)

We're getting a dog in a couple months, and after the initial house-breaking insanity (I'm telling myself next term will be easier!) I'm hoping getting everyone out to run and train (she's a hunting dog) will help burn off some of the energy.  We try to get out now but it's been freezing and rainy lately.  I will be really glad when the sun starts coming out again!


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Old 01-20-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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Question: For those of you who let the little ones stand on a chair to "wash dishes" at the sink, could you please clarify - toddler is standing on a kitchen chair washing while mom might be at the stovetop stirring a pot?  I am double checking b/c I'd love to have DS (17mos) do something like this, but my guy would be all over the place and would most certainly fall off the chair, or attempt to climb into the sink/on the counters, etc.  I've let him "wash dishes" before, but I've had to stand there the whole time, much like letting him take a bath at a random time of the day.  Something for him to do for entertainment, but isn't really helping momma to get anything done.

 

Thanks!


 

My daughter started on a chair, but we got her a nice, sturdy stool at IKEA.  I think at that age, I just let her sit on the counter, with some "dishwater" while I stayed within arm's reach.  She also spent a lot of time on the kitchen table (to my mother's everlasting horror ;) "cooking" with flour and water so I could work around the kitchen.  Or she was just banging pots and pans around.  She really just wanted to see what was going on.  I carried her in a sling a lot, too.


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Old 01-20-2011, 10:30 PM
 
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This sounds almost exactly like my 20 month old. The biggest problem? It's driving me absolutely batty, so by about this point in the work week I'm so burned out that I get rather short with him. :( I know our situation is exacerbated by having moved 1500 miles away from our support network last October, so I'm the only one on call for him all day, every day--DH works from 9-6:30+ and I don't have anyone else to help, so I tend to get frustrated with the repetition and with not having enough time to focus on other things. I'll have to try some of these suggestions; on the days I can be patient with him, we do pretty well, but any day where I HAVE to get something done is absolutely miserable.

 

One thing that helps generally is we get outside in some form every day (with very few exceptions). It makes us both feel better, even if it's cold. I tend to explain weather to him, and basic chemistry (putting that college degree to good use!), and I think he's interested in what I have to say--at least he never complains!

 

He doesn't talk (he can say a few words but chooses not to), but he does sign a lot and picks up new signs very quickly (when I actually take the time to learn and teach them to him). Language development is fascinating, isn't it?


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