My DD will turn 3 in August. Since 9 months or so (maybe earlier), she has been a grabber. Except that's not the right word for it. She's compulsive. She can't stop, no matter what I say or do to try to get her to stop. She has to touch EVERYTHING. I'm at a complete loss. It's not like I can just let her have access to things and it'll ride its course. She's so bad that the other day there was a pot that I had taken off the stove and put on the counter for a second. While I turned my back I hear her say "It's hot" WHILE she is grabbing for it. I mean come on, kid! She will say "No grabbing" WHILE she's doing it. She knows what to do, it's just that she can't seem to stop.
I know this sounds trite, or stupid, or not like it's a big deal. I honestly don't know how to describe how much she does this. My husband, nanny, parents, and sisters are all at a loss. We have no idea what to do to make this stop.
I need some good advice!
Maybe look into Sensory Processing Disorder and professional help. Not to sound alarming but SPD came to mind right away when I read your post. In contrary, my 16 month old, since 12 months, has understand not to touch something if we say "owie", and she won't touch it.
DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012!"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
So here is how she rate son the SPD checklist:
____ My child has difficulty being toilet trained.
____ My child is overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.
____ My child is unaware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force/intensity.
____ My child has difficulty learning and/or avoids performing fine motor tasks such as using crayons and fasteners on clothing.
____ My child seems unsure how to move his/her body in space, is clumsy and awkward.
____ My child has difficulty learning new motor tasks.
__X__ My child is in constant motion.
__X__ My child gets in everyone else's space and/or touches everything around him.
____ My child has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).
__X__ My child is intense, demanding or hard to calm and has difficulty with transitions.
____ My child has sudden mood changes and temper tantrums that are unexpected.
____ My child seems weak, slumps when sitting/standing; prefers sedentary activities.
____ It is hard to understand my child's speech.
____ My child does not seem to understand verbal instructions.
Looks like typical 2 year old stuff?
(I didnt score the Infant/Toddler checklist because nothing applied).
Definitely not saying you shouldn't seek help, because an OT or someone like that may help even if it isn't full SPD, but some things to consider -
Impulse control develops differently in different kids, meaning a 2 or 3 year old can know a rule, be able to recite it and tell you why the rule exists, and still not be able to stop themselves from doing it. Hitting when they're mad, stealing toys, etc - they can't help it. Although, I would think that by now they should have some situational memory regarding dangerous things, like remembering that the last time I touched something on the stove I got hurt, so I won't do it again. I'm really not sure. My 2.5 year old remembers stuff like a hot stove, but this morning he fell off the couch while jumping, busted his head on the coffee table, and as soon as he recovered started jumping on the couch again.
The other thing is that toddlers learn by touching. They literally have a biological imperative to touch their surroundings. I'd be more concerned about a kid who didn't seem curious. Is she touching in an explorative way, wanting to check it out? Or do you feel like it's filling a sensory need, like stroking or rubbing? We're knee deep in "I do it" territory right now, so DS is constantly up in my biz wanting to do exactly what I'm doing.
I'd say it is a complete "I do it" sort of thing, and a "oh a new thing, I want to grab it!" sort of thing, too. The "It's hot" yet still reaching for it still blows my mind, but I do admit that I haven't let her explore with consequences... in other words, i warn her it's hot before she touches it and don't really let her find out herself to reitterate the fact that she already knows it.
I just can't keep her hands to herself, at any time. We went to the supermarket today and it was just a million times "No grabbing!" I feel like she wants to explore, in fact I know it is, but I just dont know how to get her to start thinking about actually listening when I tell her to stop, or to *gasp* I dunno, not do it in the first place? Her impulse control sucks!!