Is it ok to give in to your toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DP and I have been trying to decide when it's okay to give in to our 19-month-old dd, and whether we do it too much.

Here are a couple of examples of recent situations where I gave in and did what she wanted:

1) I was sitting on the sofa while Lindy played nearby, and for some mysterious reason she didn't want me to set down an empty bowl I was holding. Every time I tried, she started crying hard. It was slightly annoying to keep holding it, but it seemed important to her, so I did it.

2) We were going upstairs, and Lindy wanted me to carry up her plastic ride-on car. I told her, no, we'd just leave the car downstairs, but she got very upset and cried. I decided it really wasn't a big deal to carry it up, and I went ahead and did it.

So how do the rest of you handle situations like those? What's your philosophy on giving in to tantrums or crying?

I'm still deciding what my philosophy is - that's why I'm interested in other people's ideas - but so far my idea is that we shouldn't generally do anything we strongly don't want to do just to keep Lindy happy - nothing dangerous, or very expensive or very inconvenient. But if she's really unhappy, it does seem right to me to pay attention to her feelings, even if that sometimes means changing our minds and doing what she wants instead of what we want.
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#2 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:35 AM
 
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Perfect! Everything you are doing and thinking is perfect. This is a great example of conscious parenting, and I congratulate you on it. I think you can feel when something just isn't worth it, and you know what to do in these situations. I have found in my experience that if you think briefly before acting or speaking, you will find you say no less often. If you say no (or another phrase meaning 'no') then you have a small window of opportunity to change your mind.

I like to treat my daughter like a friend, and if a friend comes over and says, "oh, could you put that thing over there and not in front of me?" I might think, "weirdo" but I will go along with it. Same with my child. As you say, dangerous or other 'no way in he**' type situations, you can stick to your guns and show that some things are not negotiable.

But remember that the window of opportunity to change your mind is small. If you say no and she insists, decide then what you will do. Tantrums usually set in when you have said no more than once, and they are desperate. I never gave in to tantrums, just offered cuddles, and now at two and a half, we haven't had anything like a tantrum all year, because she knows I won't give in after the second no, and I always offer an explanation she can accept.

Feel free to change your mind, and to allow her more than most parents would. I find many children are told no for reasons that make no sense to me (other than being unwilling to help them explore), so do what you're doing. But I caution the tantrum, try not to let it escalate to giving in at that point, if you're going to give in, do it early.

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#3 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:38 AM
 
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i'm also interested in the responses...last night we let oceano take his ride-on-tractor to bed with him, and today i let him take his metal truck in the tub, both after i had told him we were going to leave the items behind. i'm with you where my general feeling is that a little flexibility about the small issues probably just saves all our nerves. we certainly don't waffle on more important issues...like throwing objects at people, etc. oceano is the same age as lindy, must be the right age for serious toddler assertive behavior i'm curioius to hear from those with older kids...oceano doesn't seem to be generally 'spoiled' by my occasional capitulation, but who knows what the future holds!
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#4 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 01:15 AM
 
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Interesting topic -- and I just want to say that I learned a great deal about this subject and other in the Gentle Discipline forum. Check it out. You might not think this is a "true" discipline issue but it is....there's a lot of great mamas over there with terrific experiences to share.

That said, just the fact you're thinking this through is a good thing.

Does that make sense?
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#5 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 01:41 AM
 
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I agree with the other posters. I think it's definitely one of those "choose your battles" types of things. I don't think that you're just blindly giving in, you're weighing the decisions before you make them, and that's the important thing.
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#6 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 01:54 AM
 
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I do believe in choosing battles, but I am careful not to give in at every little thing. If something is inconvenient for me, that is a good ennough reason, for me, not to give in.

Sometimes I think if you give in too much kids can start to fear not getting their own way. They, on some level, don't know if they will "survive" not getting what they want. I have seen kids (my niece and nephew) really freak out when they don't because they are so terrified of feeling "bad"

I think the most wonderful thing a person can learn is "I can not get what I want and still feel OK." And another important thing to know "I have the power, within myself, to get over disapointments."
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#7 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 02:10 AM
 
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Calm - I totally agree.

Sometimes I find I say no to something and upon ds' protest, I step back and think about it and realize its not that big of a deal so yes, he can have it/ do it/ whatever.

I separate situations into "biggies" and "smallies" ( is this sounding Dr. Sears-ish to anyone! LOL).

I also try to catch myself and run the dialog in my head first before saying no. Often I come to the conclusion that whatever he is doing is okay with me......
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#8 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:07 AM
 
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I'm super interested in this topic because I'm struggling with this with dd too. She's 28 months, and starting to do some of those things that make no sense, like the OP described. For example, on site she rejected pajamas I had bought -- saw them, started crying and saying, "No, I don't like those! NO, put them away, I don't like them, I'm not going to wear them!" She's really NOT an obstinate child most of the time, and until about a month ago, I could honestly say that she was not stubborn ANY of the time. So, this is new.

I feel really unequipped to deal with this new phase because she has been so easygoing for so long. All of a sudden, there's all these situations I felt so blessed to be missing before, like:

1. Asking for a certain food for her meal, then once I've made it, looking at it and crying that she doesn't want it, she wants something else.

2. Wanting to stand next to our garbage can with her hand inside it, and melting down when I tell her she can't do it.

3. Insisting that she wants to play in her crib, but then getting there and crying that she wants to get out, then being taken out and yelling, "no, I want to play IN my crib!"

She's very articulate, so I have no doubt about what she is saying. In each of the situations above, I feel loathe to "give in." In the first, I feel like I'm willing to give her what she wants to eat, but I'm only cooking/preparing food once, and don't want to throw away food. In the second, it's dangerous to play with our garbage (and gross!). In the third, it's just plain annoying. HOWEVER, I want her to feel that she has some control over her life, and I don't want to stifle her or say no all the time.

What to do? What's the balance?!
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#9 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:49 AM
 
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I think the biggest reason I give in sometimes is that, my 26 month old Dd is learning to assert herself and I want to reinforce that her feelings and opinions mean something. KWIM?
I am carefull not to take this too far and I definately stick to my guns on alot of issues. But on some little things I will either acknowledge her fellings and then give my OK, and/or find a compromise. Compromising is the biggest way for me to find that balance.
I think by not giving in sometimes you can create power struggles, and thats a fight that niether my daughter or I can win.

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#10 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 11:42 AM
 
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I try to look at my daughter as a miniature person, not a baby. While I know that she needs guidance and limits, I try to avoid saying "no" to things that aren't a big deal. Sometimes, I'll catch myself saying no when she is, for example, pulling things off the washroom counter to play with. Then I stop and ask myself, "Does it really matter if she plays with the comb that I'm not using, while I brush my hair?" Sometimes, I fear that I say "no" out of some kind of parenting power trip....just because I can. So I make a conscious effort not to do that.

If I look at her the same way that I would look at an adult friend or family member, I have an easier time deciding what's ok and not ok. I would never tell my husband, "no, you can't read that magazine right now. Why? Just because I don't want to reach over and hand it to you." So why should I tell my daughter "No, you can't play with that toy right now. Why? Because I don't want to lug it upstairs for you." It's the same reason I wouldn't use the CIO method. I thought to myself, if I was laying in bed, yelling for my husband to come upstairs because I wanted a hug, or just wanted to talk, I would be FURIOUS if he outright ignored me. I can see how my daughter would feel the same way, alone and afraid in her bedroom. So I wouldn't do it.

I think it's best to choose your battles. If your child is about to do something dangerous, by all means stop them, even if you know it will result in a tantrum. But if they are complaining because they want to play with an empty toilet paper roll while you do your hair in the morning, then I don't think it's a huge deal. As long as you're not saying no, and THEN giving in. If that's the case, they'll learn that they can still push you and push you, even after you've said no the first time. That could end up bad. :P
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#11 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:12 PM
 
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Giving in, caving, etc, etc... catch prases for *bad parenting* in today's unattached society :
I went to a conference recently where I was challenged to become a YES parent ~ not a parent who is *walked over* (another of those nasty phrases) by their children, but a parent who *thinks* before giving a knee jerk answer, generally NO, to a child. If there is not a valid principle behind your NO (as in safety), there is no reason for NO to be your first answer. A thoughtful, considerate NO is far better received than an 'immediate response to everything' ~ it's nice when NO is respected as a non-negotiable response, but 99% of the time, the knee jerk NO's ARE negotiable and worthless, causing more stress than you need in your child's life.
HTH ~ diana
Just for today, say YES!

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
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#12 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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I have only posted a couple times here at MDC, I mostly just lurk. I wanted to add here too, as long as he is not in any danger of getting hurt physically I *generally* let carter have his way. When I do say no, I have no problems with him for the most part, if he does start getting upset, I say "Why don't we do ________ instead." A little redirection usually gets his mind off of what he was wanting to do.
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#13 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 12:59 PM
 
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All the above comments on trying to say yes when the issue is more your convenience than your child's safety, I agree with. The other question, though, is "Is my behavior keeping my child from learning a valuable life skill?"

For example, if your child wants to eat pudding with her doll's feet as the spoon, it's not hurting her. It's safe. It's also possible to clean it up. HOWEVER, in this society, we eat with utensils. Is allowing her to eat with her doll's feet truly giving her the benefit of your wisdom about this society?

By the way: my answer to that is "I don't know, but it sure would make for a great photo."
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#14 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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For example, if your child wants to eat pudding with her doll's feet as the spoon, it's not hurting her.
That image made me laugh out loud. :LOL
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#15 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddledebi
The other question, though, is "Is my behavior keeping my child from learning a valuable life skill?"

For example, if your child wants to eat pudding with her doll's feet as the spoon, it's not hurting her. It's safe. It's also possible to clean it up. HOWEVER, in this society, we eat with utensils. Is allowing her to eat with her doll's feet truly giving her the benefit of your wisdom about this society?
My sister (who has two older boys) brought up a similar issue yesterday when we were discussing this. She was a little troubled by the idea of Lindy "making" me keep holding the bowl when I wanted to set it down. She felt I wasn't doing Lindy any favors by letting her think it was reasonable to make that demand of me. She thought Lindy ought to learn not to try to control what other people do when it doesn't directly concern her, and also ought to begin to learn the difference between a request that makes sense and one that doesn't.

I don't think I agree with this, though. I don't think I want to forbid things just because they don't make sense to me, or because they're things that aren't generally done in our society. I do think it's useful to make sure a child learns at some point what's considered normal, polite behavior in our society and what isn't, but I don't think I want to give Lindy the idea that those norms are rules that must never be violated. I think being able to decide for yourself how to act and think, rather than letting society decide for you, is one of the most valuable life skills you can acquire.
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#16 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 02:16 PM
 
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i do like you do.

i try to pick my battles, also, like so many have said.

i give in , if it is something that doesn't matter much to me.

if i REALLLLLLY do not want to give in, I am very clear and firm when i say no.

but, i say no very little.

i think it is best to indulge them. they are only little once.
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#17 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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If it didn't bother you to hold the bowl, why does it bother your sister?

When I saw the title of this thread, my first thought was "No! Don't give in!"

But then I realized you were talking about this kind of stuff. Who cares? Hold the bowl!
I sure would with my 19 month old guy. Why not?

If you change your mind about something and you said no, you should say out loud that you changed your mind. That seems to me better modeling.

My feeling is that I don't want to say "no" about too much, because I don't want to have to seem too flexible. But there aren't that many things I care about. Don't touch the stove knobs, don't bite me or hit me, stay away from all of those electrical cords, those are the big "no" things in our house.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#18 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 04:55 PM
 
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Another thing you could have done with the bowl incident is made it a game. Keep trying to put the bowl down in different places and ask him, "does the bowl go here?" Do it in siilly places, like the top of your head or anywhere that would get a giggle out of him.
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#19 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil
She felt I wasn't doing Lindy any favors by letting her think it was reasonable to make that demand of me. She thought Lindy ought to learn not to try to control what other people do when it doesn't directly concern her, and also ought to begin to learn the difference between a request that makes sense and one that doesn't.
I think that these lessons will come when she's old enough to understand some of your verbal reasoning with her. At this point you can completely explain things to her but she won't get it. Someday she will and then she probably wouldn't take issue with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil
I do think it's useful to make sure a child learns at some point what's considered normal, polite behavior in our society and what isn't, but I don't think I want to give Lindy the idea that those norms are rules that must never be violated. I think being able to decide for yourself how to act and think, rather than letting society decide for you, is one of the most valuable life skills you can acquire.
ITA with you on this part. Also, she will learn what is "normal" behavior by watching those around her and developing those same behaviors as she's developmentally ready for them.

Whenever I catch myself saying "no" to something I always have a quick inner dialogue with myself and ask "why?" It either makes me realize that my "no" is silly and I reconsider or that is legit for whatever reason and I try to explain it.

I don't think that children translate you changing your mind to a weak spot that they will try to manipulate. If anything it's better for them to see you work through things and change your mind (admitting that your first response was "wrong") than to have arbitrary decisions placed on them because you don't want them to think that you're a pushover and that whining/tantrums will get you to change your mind.

I also try to give my dd's some dialogue to go along with their feelings. If for example, you really couldn't take the push toy upstairs, I would probably say something like "I can tell you're really frustrated that we can't take it upstairs, but I'm afraid that you will fall down the stairs when you're pushing it. We'll keep it downstairs and play with it down here. Okay?" Then I try to followup with some sort of redirection so that it's not lingering. "Now would you like to help me get the mail?"

It sounds like you're doing a great job of being aware and open to respecting your dd as a person. She's a lucky girl!
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#20 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 09:50 PM
 
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I agree with much of what has been said. I pick my battles.

Sometimes, Lucy wants to take her stuffed animals into the bath. Instead, I will tell her that they cannot go into the bath but they CAN sit on the back of the toilet to watch and that she can pick from some other bath-friendly toys to take.

I find that giving her choices is the best way to avoid the negative "no".

I have really had to struggle with saying no if I don't really mean it. I step back and figure out if this is really something I care about. Usually, its not worth it.
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#21 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:11 PM
 
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I think what you are doing is perfect...sometimes doing things for the sake of "society" makes less sense than why a baby wants you to hold the bowl...

We say good bye to things alot...if not she wants to take everything everywhere..I say "say goodbye to the toy" and usually that works (transition thing I think) if she still wants it and it's possible I let her take it...she's a baby and just doesn't get it...later, much later it can get manipulative...but not yet...
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#22 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:29 PM
 
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One trick I use with my (2.5yo not-really-toddler-anymore) son is if I am about to give a knee-jerk "no", to ask "why?" instead.

Example: "Mommy, take a carseat in a house?" "Why?" "Wash a cover - stinky."

See, if I just said no, I'd have missed a very valid reason to do what he asked.

It took a lot of self-training to ask instead of just saying 'no' to everything that didn't make sense. Since I started with my daughter (who is now 4.5) I'm more or less used to it now, but it took a while.

But once we've talked about it and I've made up my mind, that's it. With a toddler I don't believe in renegotiation. My daughter (at 4.5) is just now getting to the renegotiation stage, where if I say "no" she might offer to do something that makes it easier for me to say yes, and then I might change my mind. My son (at 2.5) just isn't ready for this yet. He wants his way and isn't really willing to think about what kind of trouble it will take me to do it. We'll talk about things, sure, and he can tell me why something is important to him, but once I make up my mind I'm just not going to spend a bunch of time 'arguing' (at his age, this entails yelling/crying/etc) about it.

I don't know if it is this approach of mine or pure luck, but my kids have never been really big on throwing tantrums (DD hasn't ever thrown a big one, DS has done it maybe 2 or 3 times).

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#23 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 11:27 PM
 
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Is allowing her to eat with her doll's feet truly giving her the benefit of your wisdom about this society?
If i can send any one message to parents, it would be:

PLEASE LET HER EAT WITH HER DOLL'S FEET!

This is the kind of creative expression that we beat out of people as children. People like Leonardo Da Vinci are considered creative genius's because they think outside the square. I love it when my daughter insists on wearing her shoes on her hands, I encourage it. I think, "Now why didn't I think of that?" (I am the woman you will see with her stilletos on her hands at the mall! LOL)

A child is a born creative genius. We have a lot to learn from them. Open our minds and breathe it in. To society, I give the finger. Always have, always will. Not to people, of course, just the conformity of society.

Give a piece of paper to an adult, and they may write on it, or even make a plane out of it. Give a piece of paper to a child, and it is suddenly a cape, or a castle, or a magic tassel, a friend, or a plate, or......

they can do ANYTHING!

ADULTS are limited.

Follow their lead, for they lead well, and don't think inside the box just because society would frown.

With love.

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#24 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 03:09 PM
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I appreciate this thread and agree with what you all are saying - some many times I say No only to realize that I am tired or hungry and what ds wanted isn't a big deal - I also try to say Yes as much as possible. he has so little control in his life and the big bad world is right around the corner for him so I don't know just seems like the nice thing to do -

I can totally relate to the bowl holding thing - my ds really likes me to sweep while he does other things
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#25 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 03:40 PM
 
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One way I try to avoid feeling like I'm totally flip-flopping is to not express the "first request" as a Mandate That Must Be Obeyed. Instead I make it a suggestion--how would you feel about stopping this now?--and then I can figure out if Little P really wants to continue or if he's OK with moving on.

Example:
He is soooo into the hallway lightswitch right now. To operate it, he needs someone to hold him, and he is heavy. When I start to get tired holding him, I'll ask him, "All done? Shall we play with your truck?" And if he wants the truck we go to that, and if he's not ready for the truck yet I'll hold him until *I'm* all done. As opposed to my declaring that light switch time is over, having him get upset, and then "giving in" and playing with the switch some more.

I like other posters' suggestions about thinking twice before saying no, making the bowl-holding obsession into a game, and asking "why?".
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#26 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calm
If i can send any one message to parents, it would be:

PLEASE LET HER EAT WITH HER DOLL'S FEET!

This is the kind of creative expression that we beat out of people as children. People like Leonardo Da Vinci are considered creative genius's because they think outside the square.
I am all for creativity, thinking outside the norm, all of that. However, I also think it's very important to think through consequences. I don't believe in saying "No, you can't eat with Dolly's feet. Stop it right now and give them to me." I do think it's ok, and good, to say "That's a funny idea! I bet they'd be good scoopers, too! But you know, if you eat with Dolly's feet as your utensil, Dolly will be all yucky and covered with sticky pudding. We can wash her, but then she'll be wet and you won't be able to sleep with her for your nap." From there, I COULD go on to ask "How will you feel if you can't sleep with Dolly today for your nap?" and she might say "Sad," but she also might still want to eat with Dolly's feet because, at 2.5, she can't think that far into the future. So, that won't accomplish the goal: keeping Dolly's feet clean so Dolly can sleep with DD and DD won't be upset. It also doesn't teach her to think it through. So, usually, from there, I will suggest "See, there's a reason that we eat with a spoon. Spoons are easy to wash and dry in case you need it again. How about you eat the pudding with YOUR spoon, and Dolly watches. We could even get another spoon for Dolly so she could pretend to have some pudding too!"

We do all kinds of "weird" things with DD and entertain many of her creative suggestions. All oven mitts are fair game as slippers in our house. I learn to use something else to handle hot food, because she is often wearing my oven mitts on her feet. Pooh ALWAYS gets the pink plate and bowl from the tea set because that's Pooh's favorite color. Shovels apparently clean the dirt in our garden. These things are great (and cute) and don't pose any dangerous or overly disruptive consequences. We have a regular silly discussion about whether or not we eat paper. ("Mommy, we eat paper!" "Silly DD! We don't eat paper!" "[hysterical laughter]Yeah, we eat paper!")

However, not having Dolly to sleep with later will cause DD to be very difficult to settle, possibly result in no nap at all, making her overtired, sad, crumbly, less likely to eat much the rest of the day, more irritable, harder to settle at night -- and the pattern continues. I feel it is my responsibility to provide some boundaries. I've used the pudding/doll feet example to illustrate a point, but sometimes, I think I have to admit that I know better what the consequences of any given action might be to DD, our home, our surroundings, and learn to gently steer her away from the things that might have a negative impact later.
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#27 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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Great posts Calm!

fiddledebi, I would think that that explanation is a little much for an 18 month old. Your point gets lost when using so many words.
Also, what if your dc does not sleep with his/her dolly? then there really is no future consequences associated with the dolly spending an hour or so in the washer/dryer.


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think I have to admit that I know better what the consequences of any given action might be to DD, our home, our surroundings, and learn to gently steer her away from the things that might have a negative impact later.
How is a child ever to learn if you are deliberatly taking away choice/consequence and action/reaction type scenarios away from your dc? I understand intervereing if it is to cause harm/danger, but why intervene just for the sake of "you knowing better", that is a control issue on your part IMHO.
for example, *I know* that if dd screams at and smacks the cat, then the cat hisses and runs away. I could explain this to her and steer her away until the end of time and she wouldn't really get it. So instead, I let dd do it once or twice so she sees and experiences this herself. She is sad because her favorite kitty has now run away and doesnt want to play. So, I show her how to be gentle and pet the kitty nice so that the kitty will stay, and she applied that to her experience and now she hugs the kitty and occasionally pets her. Had I not let her do it wrong a few times, she probably still would be trying to smack the cat and screaming at it, while I still would be pulling her away and saying "we dont do that, blah, blah, blah" and her just getting increasingly frustrated.
Also, about the negative impact. It really depends on how you define negative impact. For example I really dont think that cleaning up pudding from my dd, the floor and a doll is all that bad, so I would forego stopping her so that she can play, experiment, be creative and learn.
You stopping her and telling her how she can play better (use a spoon, feed dolly, etc.) is basically telling her she is wrong and that her ideas are dumb. Again, I think you have a bit of a contol issure.
I would reccomend reading "Raising your spirited Child" excellent book!

Forgot to add, I am all for child-directed learning, playing, weaning, growing etc. I spend my entire childhood being stifled for my uniqueness, ideas and creativity and I hold a deep resentment for those who always insisted that they knew better.
(I know my spelling is bad )
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#28 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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Andrea, those are great points. This is why my message is so loud in my last post, because sometimes a child's creativity and experimentation gets lost in our convenience. Of course, I would imagine there are limits, I haven't had any yet, but I will admit there must be some - maybe using old food from the trash bin as art might urge me to steer her toward something else, that kind of thing, but we aren't that silly here, we can work out the really 'gross' things.

"I also think it's very important to think through consequences" is a really good point Fiddledebi, and that would be a great end result. But at the younger ages, it is best for them to work out consequences on their own, as they have no reference point to "think about". Once your child has found she can't sleep until her doll's feet are clean and dry, she will have learned a valuable lesson, one which she can then choose do avoid, or repeat, in the future with her own wisdom.

Consequences have been great in our home. My dd avoids so many things now because of a bad experience, or an inconvenient one, that most of our battles were complete by 18 months. Also, as a bonus, she respects my words now. When I said, "that cat is a little nasty, darling, if you go near he might scratch you." and she went to the cat, and was scratched, she learned 'hey, mama is pretty smart, maybe I'll listen to her.' After a few of these, where mama showed this kind of knowledge, she now listens to me, and will avoid something dangerous just with my words.

The best teacher is experience.

With love.

Hunger is political.  Wherever there is widespread hunger, it is because people with guns are preventing other people from bringing in food.  
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#29 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 06:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by andrea
You stopping her and telling her how she can play better (use a spoon, feed dolly, etc.) is basically telling her she is wrong and that her ideas are dumb. Again, I think you have a bit of a contol issure.
I would reccomend reading "Raising your spirited Child" excellent book!
Wow. I find this very personal and hurtful. I am not telling my daughter that her idea is dumb, and I doubt very much that she thinks of it this way, or that anyone watching our interactions would think that. There is a huge difference between "That's wrong, dd" and "That's going to make a big mess and keep you from napping with Dolly."

I'm sorry, Andrea, that you had a traumatic childhood where people over-used the concept of adults knowing better. That's a shame, and I imagine you have had to do a lot of processing to deal with that. I also did not like being controlled as a child, but I try to keep my issues separate from my choices in raising my daughter, so that I do not overcompensate or project onto her more than is appropriate.

I want my child to be creative and play as she likes, assuming it won't disrupt her world negatively and pervasively, endanger her or anyone else, or damage the earth or environment. She is too young to know if any of those things will happen. When it's possible to teach her something without encountering the above consequences, I do. She is just too young to remember all the things that led to her not being able to nap, and often also unable to truly understand why she is tired and crabby. I, however, am not. I have the responsibility to help her with these things.

As for those who want their children to experience things and learn that way even when a potential injury is involved (like a cat scratching the child), I disagree and wouldn't do that for my daughter. I am the steward for her safety. You bet I feel that my control is important! I would not let her pet my neighbor's pit bull, who does not know not to chew on her hands as he does his owner's, just so that she can learn on her own that it could hurt her. This is worth it to keep from stifling her creativity?! Forget it. I am going to keep her safe.

She's learned that she can't bang chalk on the sidewalk because it will break. She learned that by banging chalk on the sidewalk. It made a cool noise, but it ruined her chalk. I let her figure that one out herself. When the chalk broke and could no longer be banged, I asked what else she might be able to bang on the sidewalk to make a cool noise. Then when she wanted to draw with her chalk, I asked what happened to it. She said, "It broke." I said, "oh. Oops. I guess that's what happens when you bang with it, huh?"

I, too, believe in child-led growth. DD self-weaned, chooses much of what we do each day, chooses her food, her clothes, where to nap, what to play with; everything I can let her choose, I do. Redirecting her about something, just because it doesn't directly relate to safety, does not teach her she is dumb any more than pulling her out of the path of an approaching car teaches her that she is dumb. What I hope is that it teaches her that she can trust me to care for her.
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#30 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 06:43 PM
 
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As for those who want their children to experience things and learn that way even when a potential injury is involved (like a cat scratching the child),
Funny how you assume that I am endangering my child with the threat of cat scratches and that you feel that you can asses that danger better then myself.

Quote:
You bet I feel that my control is important!
and
Quote:
What I hope is that it teaches her that she can trust me to care for her.
Contol will never teach trust. PEROID.

Again, why not take a look at that book it has a great chapter on this issue. I had heard it reccomended many times on this forum, and finally picked it up a few months ago, and I really wish I had read it sooner!
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