Non punishment ideas for this situation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-03-2010, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD is 18 months old. Lately she's gotten into a habit of throwing things down stairs over baby gates, through rungs whatever. Today she threw a glass into the basement and it shattered. As i went to clean it up she threw a giant flashlight down the stairs, the dogs food bowl, her toy hockey stick.

I was so frazzled i didn't know what to do, telling her no really didn't work. When she threw the flashlight I tried yelling because I hoped maybe the seriousness in my voice would convey danger and get her to stop. Honestly all it did was make me more angry and didn't stop her at all. I apologized to her and said i was trying to come up with a way to keep us safe but that it didn't work (these verbal explanations are more practice for me I know)

I'm not sure how to handle gravity girl. Punishments make me feel worse (I have quite a temper and it just fuels it). So what are things I should have thought of to do and to do in the future?

I know I won't be giving her a glass of water in the kitchen anymore, but do I need to take away anything she can lift? Because anything and everything seems to fly.

Also what can I tell myself to help keep a clear head?
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#2 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 01:37 AM
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I understand what you are going through. It can be frustrating. If it were me, I would tell my daughter that whatever she throws down the stairs goes bye bye. Then when she throws something over, in an upbeat voice have her say "bye-bye" to whatever it was. Don't go get it back for her. Eventually she will figure it out and nothing important to her will go over the baby gate. While going through this I would remove anything breakable or dear to you so that you don't get angry at her while she is learning. As far as keeping a clear head, that can be tough. Maybe try to think about her motivation. She is probably just enjoying watching things fall down the stairs, gravity is new to her. Or maybe she is trying to test your limits, in which case, she will learn in a kind and simple way. Good luck

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#3 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 01:52 AM
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that is the perfect age to throw things. i got my dd a strong big box and some of those light air balls. i would put her in teh box with the balls and a bunch of other things. and then i'd join her and throw them out. we'd watch teh difference between all the things. i gave her my steel measuring spoons to throw so she heard the sound and clearly heard break. anyones i didnt want her to throw i'd shake my head and say dont throw. break.

had to do it a few times. what a couple of weeks and then she got it.

for me turning everything into a science experiment worked. when seh was playing with food and mixing textures i'd give her more of that stuff to do. some with food during mealtimes and some not.

the thing to notice is that need is there. they want to throw. you just have to teach them what is appropriate and what is not.

this was a great toy for dd. i think i got her a dinosaur one. or dragon. cant remember.

for you: Your One year old by Louise bates ames its a series upto 12 years. best book on simply laying out what your child is going thru. i would not follow their discipline method in general, but its a GrEAT book to learn what is going on with them. its a series. for me when i understand what is age appropriate and WHAT is age appropriate it automatically takes my anger away and replaces it with compassion.

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#4 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 01:53 AM
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Get her a basket of balled up socks and when she starts to chuck something, redirect her to the socks - "You want to throw! Throw this, it's soft!" and do it with her a few times. You could also use ping pong or practice golf balls (i.e., teeny tiny wiffle balls) - anything that isn't going to get broken or break anything. We had to do this with my son for a couple months until he got it all worked out of his system. Someone here suggested it to me, best suggestion ever for us. Hope it works well for you too!

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#5 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 09:45 AM
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For keeping your head clear (ha! sometimes, anyway) does it help to think about why she is doing such and such? 18 months is pretty much right in the middle of "figuring out cause and effect" time, isn`t it? So, in throwing things, in addition to just liking the physical action of throwing, she is checking out "what happens if I do this?" In her world, things are going something like:
okay, let`t see what hapens if I throw this nice thingy mommy gave me. neat - hear that pretty shattering sound! now what if I try this - ooooo clunk, clunk, clunk! and now mommy is playing, too, yay! I`ll throw this and see what she does! Wow, that is a new sound. Will she do it again, if I throw this, I wonder?" and on, and on, and on, because that is one way wee ones learn about the world.

Redirecting to socks sounds like a great idea. If your little one is mellow enough, that alone might do the trick. If she is of a more persistent bent, removing breakables sounds like a good way to keep the peace!
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#6 of 6 Old 11-04-2010, 09:56 AM
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Your question seems like the right one: How can I keep a clear head? It sounds like you got a little scared with the glass breaking, which makes sense.

Things that have helped me are to remember that if a glass shatters where no one is walking right now, it's not an emergency. I don't have to pick it up before I re-direct. That hopefully avoids the flashlight follow up.

Second, I try to keep offering involvement with what I'm doing. Those kinds of events always seem to happen when I was momentarily distracted by something like, say, peeing.

The best thing I did was accept it. Every single time my kids threw, I said "Gravity, works everytime." I didn't get upset. I didn't struggled. Mine are in middle childhood now and it's a fond fond thing in our family now...a sweet happy thread to their younger selves whenever someone accidentally drops something or a toddler does the dropping game.

The acceptance was joined with remembering that it is an awesome blessing to see the whole world absolutely new again, through my toddlers eyes. Everything she does is the very first time for her. Incredible.

Your temper will continue to be challenged. For me, these years were graduate level education in sorting out what genuinely merited outrage and what really was an opportunity for delight.

Your insight that yelling makes you angrier was really helpful to me. Thanks for posting that.
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