How we are dealing with the climbing-on-the-chair problem - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-04-2011, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We used to lay our kitchen chairs on their backs after every meal and did so for about a month.  They are heavy, it was a pain, and the floors were getting even more scratched than they already are (and that's saying something, let me tell you).  DH finally (fortunately) got the idea to just use folding chairs, which can be put in the laundry room between meals.  It is safer for us all to walk around now and our house looks better without 5 chairs on the floors all the time.  The folding chairs aren't as comfortable and sure look kinda bad, but I don't care.  It's better this way.  The other chairs are in our basement for (?) the next year or whatever.


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Old 08-05-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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My daughter just started climbing up on the chairs the past few weeks.  Our house isn't huge and I usually just try to keep her in the living room.  Sometimes I just lift the chairs up and put them on the table.


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Old 08-06-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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I don't understand why climbing on the chairs is a problem.   It seems to me that lying the chairs down on the floor is possibly more dangerous for your LO.  When my son started climbing chairs I supervised him.  This is a new challenge for your child and your LO is learning important gross motor skills.  This phase will pass once they novelty has worn off for your child and he/she is ready for a new challenge.  JMO


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Old 08-07-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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My DD is 2 now but this phase passed rather quickly. She would climb on chairs in the kitchen and then the table. At first I would get her down and say no and then I just let her do it. I realized very quickly that she got it out of her system after I "let" her do it. During the time she was doing the climbing I also pulled all the chairs out and up against the wall so all she could do was climb up in them and sit but couldn't get to the table. That worked for a while as well. :)  She has it out of her system now and just is 2 years old. I've noticed over the years that when they are this age that it's better to "not" make a big deal out of something you want them to stop doing and they will usually stop on their own pretty soon. They want that attention of us telling them no all the time.


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Old 08-07-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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After the 4th boy I guess I was kind of numb to the whole chair climbing phase.  Just show them how to climb back down but when they start pushing the chairs to the counter and climbing on the counter to get the cookies/crackers/ cereal/snacks its what drove me nuts.   I had to tie one leg of the chair to the table leg.

 

I just kept aware It is a phase


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Old 08-07-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The reason it was a big deal is that climbing on the chairs led to climbing on the table.  We have an 800 sq. ft. living space for the three of us (DS1 has a room upstairs), and the table is one of the only places we can put things we need to keep away from him.  Some toddlers are MUCH more vigorous and active than others, and our little one is one of them.  Also, a fall from three and a half feet onto a wooden floor would be a pretty big deal.

 

I agree that lying the chairs on the floor was dangerous, which was why we found another solution that is safer.  It was also saner than my having to pull him off of the table ten times in ten minutes.  I don't like saying "no" ad nauseum when there is something I can do that makes the problem disappear.


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Old 08-07-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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I was also just wondering if standing on chairs is really dangerous. Generally I try to prevent it, but then I wonder: is this actually a problem?

 

I worry about him falling down, and we have tile floors in the kitchen, so head-cracking would be an issue.....but usually he's really cautious about getting down off sofas, beds, going down stairs, etc.....

 

I have often wanted to let him stand on a chair and watch while I cook (Learning Towers are not available in this country) but felt it was too dangerous because he could fall.....but I really wonder if I'm just being overly cautious.

 

So, is it really dangerous to stand on a chair? I don't know.


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Old 08-07-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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I was also just wondering if standing on chairs is really dangerous. Generally I try to prevent it, but then I wonder: is this actually a problem?

 

I worry about him falling down, and we have tile floors in the kitchen, so head-cracking would be an issue.....but usually he's really cautious about getting down off sofas, beds, going down stairs, etc.....

 

I have often wanted to let him stand on a chair and watch while I cook (Learning Towers are not available in this country) but felt it was too dangerous because he could fall.....but I really wonder if I'm just being overly cautious.

 

So, is it really dangerous to stand on a chair? I don't know.


My DS stands on a chair to cook because we can't afford a Learning Tower. He has fallen multiple times onto the tile floor, but he's just fine, and is overall very cautious about it now (in other words, most of the falls were when he first started doing this around your DS's age, but he still stands on the chair multiple times a day and rarely falls now). It's only a 2-foot fall, same as a bed or the couch really, and he's never gotten banged up from it or anything. But my friend has a Learning Tower and her DD fell over the TOP of it (so, about 4 feet high!) so few things are 100% safe. My DS just loves watching/helping us cook so it's worth the risk for us, and it would be pretty hard to stop him because he's constantly dragging the chair over there. He also prefers to eat standing at the counter (on the chair) and for a while that was the ONLY way he'd eat.

As far as the dinner table goes, it never occurred to me to stop DS from climbing on the chairs, that's where we sit to eat dinner etc. so we're all 'climbing' on them throughout the day! I did discourage climbing onto the table itself and at the same time made sure the table legs weren't loose and nothing was on the table... but we tried not to make it a big deal, and he did outgrow that stage pretty quickly -- he found bigger & better things to climb lol.

OP, I would worry about folding chairs pinching fingers or cutting him though... lol I guess we are all paranoid about different things!


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Old 08-08-2011, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Crunchy_mommy:  The folding chairs we are using are only out at mealtimes.  As soon as meals are over (and before we take him out of his highchair), the chairs go into a gated-off laundry area.

 

 


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Old 08-08-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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With my older dd we did have to move chairs out of the room because she would stand on them and rock on them until they tipped over. She didn't seem to learn that it would get her hurt, so away the chairs went. The second one is much more physically agile and has climbed a million times and never gotten hurt, so the chairs stay out. So to PPs who say there's no reason to move chairs, I'd say this is a child-by-child issue to some extent. Some kids just can't handle it.

I wish we would have gotten folding chairs with #1 because the way we handed it was a pain.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

The reason it was a big deal is that climbing on the chairs led to climbing on the table.  We have an 800 sq. ft. living space for the three of us (DS1 has a room upstairs), and the table is one of the only places we can put things we need to keep away from him.  Some toddlers are MUCH more vigorous and active than others, and our little one is one of them.  Also, a fall from three and a half feet onto a wooden floor would be a pretty big deal.

 

I agree that lying the chairs on the floor was dangerous, which was why we found another solution that is safer.  It was also saner than my having to pull him off of the table ten times in ten minutes.  I don't like saying "no" ad nauseum when there is something I can do that makes the problem disappear.


I wish we could do this for the same reason.  Our house isn't as small, but it's smaller than our last one and we currently do the same with putting things out of reach (for now anyway) on the table.  Unfortunately we don't have anywhere to store the dining chairs!  Sigh.

 


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Old 08-08-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Crunchy_mommy:  The folding chairs we are using are only out at mealtimes.  As soon as meals are over (and before we take him out of his highchair), the chairs go into a gated-off laundry area.

 

 


Ahh I get it.

My DS likes to take things apart and explore moving parts and I was picturing some scary scenes!!

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Why not keep things in a bookshelf or locked in a drawer if you don't want your child to grab it off the table. Eventually he will find a way of getting there.

 

I prefer my child learns how to climb chairs and tables under my supervision first, where I am close by and can support him, rather than doing forbidding it and than hurting himself.

 

For a while, we were just eating on a coffee table. He wanted to run around and it was just easier for all of us. Maybe that's an option for you as well?


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Old 08-09-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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We ended up putting all the chairs in our bedroom and shutting the door. We only take them out if we're using them. Instead of letting her climb on the chairs, I'll open up the baby gate to the stairs (we have a high ranch house) and let her climb up and down on those. She knows how to get up and down on the chairs so I'm not worried about that, it's when she climbs on the table then tries to jump down that freaks me out. When DD is a little older (she's about 20 months), we'll try putting them out again. But for now, what works for us, is sticking them in another room and shutting the door. I like the idea about the folding chairs though.


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Old 08-09-2011, 10:34 PM
 
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I think there are some people who can't relate to this because for some kids, it's a passing phase and not a big del. We never had a problem with chairs with my older daughter, but we do with the little one. I couldn't even imagine taking the chairs out of the kitchen with my older dd. Now, we are gradually allowing chairs back in the kitchen, and I can see it's still a bit of a battle. My dd does fall off, but not only that, she is obsessed. My older dd was more into me and talking to me than she was into exploring. My little one (22 months) is a climber and has no fear. I can only supervise her go up and down for so long. I have to prepare food for her and her sister. I have to clean up. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I'm just not able to supervise her as much as she needs, so I put most of the chairs away when I need to get something done. As I mentioned, we are trying to gradually leave the chairs in, but she keeps falling, even with me right there. We tried bringing in our dining room chairs which are lower to the ground. She tipped the chair backward and fell with the chair-- with dh standing right next to her. So we went back to the original chairs and we keep most of them out of the kitchen. Not worth an all day, every day battle to me. So, I think it just depends on the kid, but I get it. 7 years ago, I would have wondered, "What's the big deal?"

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Old 08-10-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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As the mother of an already fearless climber, I am all too familiar with this dilemma. I run a daycare, so I've been around lots of other kiddos, and none of them seem to have the same obsession with climbing as my son (15 months.) I guess some little ones are just natural adrenaline junkies! My son has tried climbing just about every piece of furniture in the house, with the dining room chairs being one of his favorite. He also likes to stand up on our little snack table with a look of exhilaration, pride, and rebellion. Our apartment is pretty tiny, so we don't have anywhere to store our chairs and snack table, but on the positive side, I'm always close enough to "spot" my little one or help him down when necessary. I'm hoping it's just a phase...the rockclimbing gym in town won't take kids until they're 4.


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Old 08-10-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

The reason it was a big deal is that climbing on the chairs led to climbing on the table.  We have an 800 sq. ft. living space for the three of us (DS1 has a room upstairs), and the table is one of the only places we can put things we need to keep away from him.  Some toddlers are MUCH more vigorous and active than others, and our little one is one of them.  Also, a fall from three and a half feet onto a wooden floor would be a pretty big deal.

 

I agree that lying the chairs on the floor was dangerous, which was why we found another solution that is safer.  It was also saner than my having to pull him off of the table ten times in ten minutes.  I don't like saying "no" ad nauseum when there is something I can do that makes the problem disappear.


I guess your lo was much more into climbing high than mine.  My ds never tried to get on the table or counters (yet!).  I can understand the small house factor, we live in a one bedroom house with less than 800 sq ft. and very little storage.  Stuff piling up is always an issue I'm tackling, I tend to put our clean laundry on the table so that ds does not put it on the floor before I can get to it.  And I totally agree with not wanting to say "no" repeatedly, especially if you have a solution.  Sometimes we have to pick the least possibly harmful solution if there is no immediately safest solution.  As a pp said, I would worry about little fingers being pinched in the folding chairs, but since you just have them out at meals it sounds like you found a solution for this (hopefully) short term problem.

 


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