18 month old and saying "no touch" 1000x/day - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 04-06-2003, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello! I am fairly new to the forum so please forgive me if this is a recent repeat. I am going through the archives but wanted to go ahead and put this out there.

Anyhow I have an 18 month old DD. She is (for the most part) an absolute joy We started signing with her when she was about 12 months - a little "late" but she picked right up on it and it really helps in the communication dep't.

For the longest time I thought we weren't going to see any tantrums, etc. from her. All of my friend's children were throwing fits etc. months ago. DD still doesn't throw tantrums per se, but I am finding that I am constantly saying/signing, "No touch,"...to no avail. I try to remove things she can't touch...and 90% time I try to redirect her attention to something else, but it works less and less often.

The one that really gets me is when she stands up in her high chair (it's wooden and has no safety straps ho hold her in) 5,000 times a day. I say, "sit down please" and sometimes even tell her why I am asking her to sit (so she won't fall and get hurt). I say "sit down please" again...and again...and finally I say "SIT DOWN" as sternly as possible. 'Know what the little devil does? She says, "SIT DOWN!" in that beautiful baby voice of hers. I just want to scream!!! She truly doesn't "get it" that Mama means business.

Please - what books do y'all recommend on toddler discipline? Does anyone have any ideas for me to try? I am getting to the point that I am becoming angry and I have to remind myself that she is not doing theses things to piss me off. I know there are things I could be doing to encourage the behavior I expect. I just don't know what they are. Thanks!
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#2 of 14 Old 04-06-2003, 10:56 PM
 
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I can relate to your post. My ds is VERY spirited and just telling him not to do something never works (he is now 2). What did work was helping him do things in a way that was acceptable. For instance, is it really not okay for your dd to not touch those things, or could she touch them if she was careful. Instead of saying no touch maybe you could encourage her to touch gently. We used the "one finger touch" idea starting at about 11 months (when he started walking) by teaching him to touch things with only one finger. With one finger you can not grab or break things so it was acceptable. Whenever he made a dash for something breakable we would be on his heals to make sure he was being careful and if he wasn't we would say "remember your one finger touch". He would generally stop and stick out his finger and try again. Soon he did it on his own and we could stop chasing him. What also worked was teaching him "gentle" touches. We would pysically help him stroke objects gently and reinforce the word gentle. When he got to rough we would simply say "be gentle".
As for the high chair, is it necessary for you that she be in a high chair? Around that age our ds would rather eat and run. If we let him eat in unusual places he would sit long enough to finish a meal. He ate in his stroller, his sled, his wagon, off of his little car garage, off little tables and chairs, you name it We took it in a stride figuring that he has so little control over his life so why not let him control the little things. He loved being able to choose teh venue. Now that phase has passed and he eats at the table with a booster seat. No tears or tantrums involved.
I don't know if these things will be helpful in your situation, but it worked well for us
Laurie


 

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#3 of 14 Old 04-06-2003, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow - another Laurie!

Thanks for your suggetsions! I like the "one finger' one. I'll have to try that. It also reminded me of one of our playgroup moms who says, "hands on your belly!" when she doesn't want her DD to touch something. We do use the "gentle touch" combined with the sign and it has worked very well with getting her to be nice to the cats. Perhaps I will use it with other stuff around the house as well.

I'll have to think about letting DD eat elsewhere in the house. It sounds like a great idea, but our townhouse is fully carpeted and we have to use splat mat underneath her hc. The kitchen is too small for even her hc, so letting her eat in there would not work, either. Maybe I'll go ahead and try a booster and just see if she likes that!

Thanks again for the ideas!
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#4 of 14 Old 04-07-2003, 05:39 PM
 
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I also used the "one finger touch" with dd starting at about that age, and it really stuck, because even now, at age four, I am able to let her touch pretty delicate stuff without worrying. She'll even ask me, "Mommy, can I touch this with just one finger?" Even when you remove most "no touch" items from a toddler's reach in your own home, there are still stores, other people's homes, parks, etc. And there's a lot of really appealing stuff out there that kids want to touch!

While I don't believe in physical force, I do think that some physical guidance is often necessary with some children. "Helping" her sit back down in her high chair might help. Or how about getting rid of the high chair and getting her a booster seat so she can sit at the table? Also, you can improvise a seat belt for the chair - I used to have one of those shopping cart seats and it came with a wide belt that had velcro, and it could be used anywhere - I used to use it in restaurant highchairs all the time.

Hope this helps...
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#5 of 14 Old 04-07-2003, 07:35 PM
 
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Great ideas already, and my two have already been suggested. Booster seat or seat belt! There is no reason to have that kind of struggle every day...
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#6 of 14 Old 04-07-2003, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by akirasmama
...is it really not okay for your dd to not touch those things, or could she touch them if she was careful. Instead of saying no touch maybe you could encourage her to touch gently. We used the "one finger touch" idea starting at about 11 months (when he started walking) by teaching him to touch things with only one finger. With one finger you can not grab or break things so it was acceptable. Whenever he made a dash for something breakable we would be on his heals to make sure he was being careful and if he wasn't we would say "remember your one finger touch".
Well, we started this with DD today and she already understands it and will point her little finer toward things she knows (used to be) a "no touch" item. If she can touch it with one finger, I nod my head and remind her to use just one finger. She seems to be so excited that she can now touch some of the things that used to be a no-no. Great idea - thanks again!!!
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#7 of 14 Old 04-11-2003, 02:12 AM
 
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If you are having to say "no touch" 1000 times a day, I would think that maybe changing your home environment would be a good move. For the short while that she is little and still learning how to touch carefully and what not to touch, why not just put away the breakables and latch the cabinets to dangerous or breakable things? Keep the bathroom door closed so she can't get in there without you. Sure, the time will come when you can have candles or knick-knacks around but IMO that is not now. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you have around that is considered "no touch" - examples?

One thing I say (often out in public places or at friends' houses) is "look with your eyes, not your hands". Dd will say "I just want to look at it...." Fine, with your eyes not your hands. That has been helpful for us but dd1 is much older (now 6). Can't remember when I first started using it. We also use the word gentle which both kids (6 and 2) understand and are usually good about. But an 18 month old will have a little trouble with gentle touches and what to touch/not touch for another year or so most likely. So the more you can accomodate that by environmental changes, the easier life will be. I know that you can't control others' houses or public places but changing your own house a little will probably work wonders for your day to day saying of "no touch".

Re: high chair - I would put it in the garage for a while and sit her on your lap or get one of those "attach to the table" type of kiddie chairs - do you know what I mean? It hangs from the edge of the table. Seems like it would be hard to get out of to me. Or like others suggested, buy/make a strap to keep her in the high chair you have. If you can possibly change this situation so it doesn't cause constant, daily issues, I would try.
Good luck - this too shall pass!
Kirsten
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#8 of 14 Old 04-11-2003, 12:04 PM
 
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How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids will Talk by Faber and Mazlish is an excellent book you would find helpful.
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#9 of 14 Old 04-11-2003, 12:23 PM
 
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Here is what worked for us during this stage:

1. Instead of saying no touch - try "soft" and then gently show her what soft touches feel like. I found with ds that directions with one word were better. I read in "The Discipline Book", I believe, that chidlren often only hear the last word in our requests - so if we say, "no touch" or "Don't touch" or "gentle touches" - all they are hearing or "...touch" or "...touch" - OK am I spelling that word right - it looks weird and I just don't have time to look it up - touch - yes that is right - OK having a weird word thingy.

anyway, the point is that they are often actually doing what we are asking, because cognitively they only hear the last word of the command.

I saw this in action when my SIL's 3 year old was trying to touch his older brother's game. She kept saying, "Do you want a spanking? Keep touching that." How confusing!

2. Someone else mentioned this above - tell them what you want them to do and then guide them to it. For example: "we sit in our chairs" - then gently sit them down. Use a happy voice - it illicits cooperation. If they repeatedly keep standing then say something like, "You need to stand, we stand on the ground." And then put them down onto the group reinforcing that "we sit in our chairs."

3. There are a series of books called Positive Discipline - you can check out their site at www.positivediscipline.com. One thing that they say about the pre-verbal toddler and the 2 year old is: "Don't talk, act." You must get up, redirect the child, while you are telling them what they should be doing. If you think that you can just talk and they will listen you have unrealistic expectations of what a child under the age of 5 is capable of. Change your expectations - it is so much easier.

4. Change your environment - make it toddler friendly. If she is touching things that you don't want her to touch, have a basket of toddler safe things to touch and do a trade - reenforce that you are sharing.

The Positive Discipline books are really great for direct - do this for this problem, type of solving. I also like Without Spanking or Spoiling.

Hope this helps.
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#10 of 14 Old 04-14-2003, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kirsten
If you are having to say "no touch" 1000 times a day, I would think that maybe changing your home environment would be a good move. For the short while that she is little and still learning how to touch carefully and what not to touch, why not just put away the breakables and latch the cabinets to dangerous or breakable things...Maybe I am misunderstanding what you have around that is considered "no touch" - examples?

Re: high chair - I would put it in the garage for a while and sit her on your lap or get one of those "attach to the table" type of kiddie chairs - do you know what I mean?
Thanks for the ideas. You know, we have removed the breakables and latched all the cabinets! After reading akirasmama's post about the "one finger touch" I realized that a lot of what we are saying "no touch" to really can be touched. Or it might be the blinds, which we aren't removing from the windows...or something I have left out (like the ironing) and have been too lazy to put up. Now I try to put everything away and raise the blinds. I wouldn't want to have someone telling me "no touch" all day so I have tried to make it even more toddler-friendly around here.

As far as her high chair, we moved her to a booster and she loves sitting at the big table like her Mama and Daddy! She has been much better and even goes to sit in her chair at meal time without a fuss! Again, ty for the ideas!
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#11 of 14 Old 04-14-2003, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sparklemom
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids will Talk by Faber and Mazlish is an excellent book you would find helpful.
TY for the recommendation!

Quote:
Originally posted by Iguanavere
Instead of saying no touch - try "soft" and then gently show her what soft touches feel like...I read in "The Discipline Book", I believe, that chidlren often only hear the last word in our requests...
There are a series of books called Positive Discipline - you can check out their site at www.positivediscipline.com....
4. Change your environment - make it toddler friendly. If she is touching things that you don't want her to touch, have a basket of toddler safe things to touch and do a trade - reenforce that you are sharing.
TY for the suggestions! We already do "gentle touch" with her (we have two cats) and she does really well. I found it interesting that kids just hear the last word - I have been paying attention to DD and that seems to hold true for her. I really wnated The Discipline Book and will probably order it this week. I also bookmarked the Positive Discipline site and plan to look at that this week as well. Great info - ty again!!!
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#12 of 14 Old 04-16-2003, 01:34 PM
 
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T
Quote:
Originally posted by Iguanavere
OK am I spelling that word right - it looks weird and I just don't have time to look it up - touch - yes that is right - OK having a weird word thingy.
:LOL :LOL

OMG I do the exact same thing! It's especially bad if you have to type/write the same word a few times, it really gets weird.

Okay, sorry, I just had to comment on how funny I thought that was and how glad I am I'm not the only person who does this!

Marcy
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#13 of 14 Old 04-22-2003, 11:31 PM
 
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Iguanavere, thanks for the info! I was going to say a couple of the same things, but I love hearing them from another mama! I've read Positive Time-Out for a class and loved how it made me *think*! This was pre-child so very helpful to get me thinking.

Thanks for the encouragement, mamas! I love hearing ideas from you guys!!!
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#14 of 14 Old 04-23-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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!EmmaJean - no problemo
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