Toddlers - meeting needs vs setting limits - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you know when a need is no longer a need and more of a want? What age do you start setting limits? I have a 2.75 yr who is not used to hearing no often and pitches a fit when I deny her something she really, really wants. I don't know whether I should be teaching her to accept no at this age or if she is still little enough that wants = needs.
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#2 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 05:34 AM
 
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Well, I'm not sure if I know how to answer your original question about discerning needs from wants but I have a little insight to share based upon your daughter's age. My son went through that a lot and it was largely based upon his struggle for independence, the two-year old thing. At the height of the problem, I tried to use no as little as possible, substituting other words such as dirty, hot, etc. I also had to try and choose my battles and limited them to incidents where he could potentially hurt himself or hurt others. I think that they constantly test their limits and like to know where they are and how much control they can have. I let my son choose his own clothes and sometimes he wanted to wear rainboots on a sunny day I guess letting them have choices helps a lot too. Sometimes the choices are not really choices if you kwim? "do you want me to buckle you in the carseat or do you want to do it yourself?"
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#3 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 05:35 AM
 
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ps I just saw your sig. and now I feel silly, offering you suggestions when you have 5 kids and I have 1...
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#4 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 07:16 AM
 
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I am finding with my dd, 27 mos, that sometimes she needs me to put limits, even though she may protest. I think she wants to know that I am still there, protecting her, and that I will keep her from hurting herself (most of the time!). Some things I choose to ignore and let her do what she wants, as long as she's not hurting herself or others. But, if all she wants to eat is icecream (and that's a very occasional treat in our house), I'm not going to let her do it. She can have choices - chicken, milk, crackers, peas, etc. but not the junky stuff for dinner. During dinner prep, she really wants to see what's going on at the stove, but if she pulls the stool over to the stove, she could burn herself. So, we have a stool over at the other counter in the kitchen and I set her up with some ingredients so she can feel she is helping and I know she is safe. Sometimes I give her the mortar and pestle to grind spices, other times some milk in a plastic bowl with a whisk, etc. She makes a mess, but that is easy to clean, and she is happy in the meantime. I'll also echo the above post - I only have one child so this is what works for us right now. Don't have any others to compare it to! I do think thought that in general children need some limits, but that you need to choose yoru battles carefully.
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#5 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have 5 kids but this one is the first I have really "APed" and there is a 5 year gap between her and the sibling before her. In particular I am having a hard time knowing where to set limits for nursing. We nurse pretty much on demand and if I can't for some reason then she gets very upset. I'm wondering whether to try and force the issue or just avoid those situations. Thanks for the responses.
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#6 of 8 Old 06-30-2003, 06:47 PM
 
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Moving this to the Toddler forum...

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#7 of 8 Old 07-01-2003, 04:11 AM
 
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Ooohhhhhh, now I know what you mean!
I BF my ds on demand until 40 months! He really only slowed down in the daytime, when he learned a new skill like crawling or walking and didn't want to stop to nurse. He would compensate by nursing more at night. He did exactly what you described your daughter doing until just recently.

At around 18 -24 months I was able to teach him to wait until we were home or in a private place or he would want to stop and nurse on just about every bench at the zoo! He would even ask when we passed a furniture display in the store. So for a year the only limitation was not in public and he understood because he knew he could nurse ad lib at home. He nursed at night, upon awakening, and frequently during the day. I tried to offer food, drink, distraction and delay but he would have a tantrum if he couldn't nurse. I am not sure when it was for comfort, hunger, thirst, needing closeness, boredom, or what.

I was beginning to not enjoy the constant demands and felt tired a lot. Sometimes I was just irritated when he would ask every time I sat down at home. I did notice that he did not ask to nurse as much for the small mishaps that happen like skinned knees or falls as he did under age 2 and a half. I had to avoid our rocking chair. I was beginning to get really frustrated with it so I limited nursing to twice daily, at bedtime and naptime. Well, actually, he nurses a time or two at night but not for very long. He used to stay attached almost all night.

I was sick and I just told him the medicine I was taking would make my milk not taste good and he seemed to understand and didn't have a tantrum. I actually put a little vinegar on them so they would smell unpleasant and it worked well. Not an AP or LLL recommmendation but I really had the nails grating on chalkboard feeling so such frequent nursing was not mutually beneficial.
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#8 of 8 Old 07-01-2003, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by siddie
Not an AP or LLL recommmendation but I really had the nails grating on chalkboard feeling so such frequent nursing was not mutually beneficial.
LLL recommends nursing for as long as it works for both mom and child. Setting limits at some point is perfectly appropriate in many situations. If nursing interferes with yoru relationship with your toddler (you feel agitated, find yourself grumpy at her, etc), it might be time to change the nursing relationship somewhat. Some ideas I've heard passed around at LLL toddler meetings:
Only nursing when at home / in a private place
Agreeing to nurse but only while singing the ABC song - when song is over it's time to stop nursing.
Limiting nursing to certain times of day.
This is the first time I've heard of vinegar on the nipples for discouraging nursing, but whatever works! Very inventive!
Only you can sense which limits would be appropriate in your case. And, if you try someting now and it doesn't work, you may find trying it again in a month will have a completely different result.
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