Do you let your toddler climb on the coffee table? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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we put our coffee table away months ago, so it's a non-issue at our house.

she's starting to want to climb up on other stuff, and we can't put all of it in the attic. my guess is i'll usually try to discourage this, the main reason being it wont be acceptable in public, etc., so i'd rather she not get accustomed to climbing all over tables.

though i did let her climb up and sit on a table that was in the outdoor patio area of a (veeeery casual) restaurant. she wanted to look down inside the umbrella hole and drop her binky down it

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#62 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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i help my 9 month old with climbing on the coffee table and i assume he will want to climb on other stuff as he gets older. i have been looking into the stuff ikea sells for climbing on. my cousin who is 4 has her own part of a book case that is free of books so she can climb into it and play on that shelf we have very strong well made book cases that are bolted to the walls so i plan to do the same for my son when he is old enough. i guess i love to climb and always have and hope m son will love climbing as well.

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#63 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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When ds was younger (maybe up to age 2.5) we had storage ottomans instead of our coffee table (it is a cheap glass one, and the glass would tip with the slightest weight on it). He was allowed to climb on them, but when he was younger I tried to make sure I was close and had pillows laying around them.

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Originally Posted by junomama View Post
The other concern is that he will think it's OK to climb on other people's furniture when we go visit. So we're trying to stick to it, just like we don't allow him to stand on the dining room chairs.
I found this was not really an issue. He started to climb on my mom's furniture a time or two, but I gave him a couple reminders and redirected him to some activity where he could get his energy out, and he pretty much remembered not to climb on furniture in other houses.
I found that ds was really good at remembering different rules at different houses.

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#64 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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DS has never had any interrest in climbing - at all. However, if he did, my concern would not be him but our coffee table. Its cheap...very! lol... If he had a need to climb, I would try to figure something else out for him that he found acceptable. If our coffee table was more sturdy though, I dont think id have a problem with it.

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#65 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whalemilk View Post
I can say that it most definitely is NOT. Because although you may indeed have the rest of the world as your playground, my home is not open for you to swing around in and do as you please. I'm fairly certain that you're expected to obey traffic laws like everyone else too, and not use the highways as your personal joyride course.



Well but it's not a choice between those two things. There's plenty of room in the middle. It's really not a choice between entitlement and "inferiority" but a choice between entitlement and "I'm subject to the same rules of conduct and expectations as everyone else." I guess for some having to play by the same old boring rules as the rest of society is "inferior," but I'd rather have a pro-social kid come out of my home than one who thinks "the world is my playground."
We are just having a difference of definitions. I do not expect my 3 year old to abide by "rules"... i teach her to respect others, to be gentle with other people and their things, and to beware of dangerous situations.

I dont say, "heck with it, jump off the monkey bars head first just because you can, or go run into that persons house and jump on their couch."

Just like I do not stop at a red light because it is a rule.

I stop at a red light because i know the oncoming traffic gas a green light and that it would be dangerous to cross.

I approach things differently. I view the world as a playground. A playground with fun things, boring things, dangerous things, and other people. Learning how to think critically and maneuver around by using her common sense and respect for others makes for an INCREDIBLY social child.

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Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
Yes. And my children are required to obey those same kinds of rules. There's no such rule about coffee tables. It's invented, and fairly arbitrary in a lot of cases. There are enough real rules - about things that are safety concerns and about things that violate others or their property - that we don't need to be perpetuating ones that really are just fluff. In another home, it might actually be dangerous or destructive to climb on the coffee table, and there is every reason for that to be a rule. In our house it would just be in an attempt to maintain some sort of conformity with the "everyone else" who has that rule. So we don't do it.




Right. My kids are subject to the same rules as everyone else. I have no idea how them climbing all over my entire home and hanging from the ceiling makes that different. My children don't climb on other people's furniture. (Unless given permission by the owner.) That's basic respect; we honor other people's personal rules. My kids are fully entitled to enjoy our home as we see fit. And others are entitled to having their personal furniture needs respected. If dh or I thought it was safe, we would be "allowed" to climb on the coffee table. We do sit on it, and we do put our feet on the couch. I have no desire to walk on the couch, but if I did there wouldn't be a person on this earth who would have any right to tell me that "it's simply not done." We're pretty entitled to do whatever we want in our own home, as long as we remain within the law.

And yeah: the world is their playground. There are rules at a playground - you have to maintain basic safety, you refrain from breaking things, and you are considerate of others. If those are the same old boring rules, then, yeah, my kids have to go by them, no matter where they are in this world that is their playground. Rules for the sake of rules? I do find that needlessly oppressive, and it's simply not done in my house. I assure you, my kids are "pro-social."


totally.

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#66 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by whalemilk View Post
We don't have a coffee table, but in general the idea of just letting kids climb whatever because saying no is somehow oppressive strikes me as incredibly silly. Great way to teach a kid the entire world is his playground and the rules that other people follow just don't apply to him. Entitlement complex, here we come!
I don't let my son climb on the furniture because I think "no" is oppressive. I do it because:

1. It doesn't bother me.
2. It doesn't hurt the furniture
2. He thinks it's fun.

I can't think of an actual reason NOT to let him, so I let him.

But then, the same rules do apply to everyone else in the house. If I or my husband or a guest WANTED to stand on the coffee table or sit on the back of the couch, I wouldn't have a problem with it either :P
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#67 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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my children climb and jump on just about anything in my house and they all learn what they are physically able to do the hard way.

i follow this rule of thumb i learned while living in Germany. german mothers hardly intervene when their children are playing on the playground or running around their house. they are much more laid back.

after watching the way they interacted with their children, i slowly began to trust my child. a beginner's mind learns quickly.

when it comes to OTHER people's property, we honor it.
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#68 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I don't let my son climb on the furniture because I think "no" is oppressive. I do it because:

1. It doesn't bother me.
2. It doesn't hurt the furniture
2. He thinks it's fun.

I can't think of an actual reason NOT to let him, so I let him.

But then, the same rules do apply to everyone else in the house. If I or my husband or a guest WANTED to stand on the coffee table or sit on the back of the couch, I wouldn't have a problem with it either :P
This is exactly how I feel. Our coffee table is sturdy. Our floor is carpeted. I don't ever recall her having trouble with wanting to climb anyone else's tables either. I think she was to interested in other things at other people's houses or something.

But there is no real reason why I would have kept my daughter from climbing the table other than that I really liked power struggles. Which I didn't and don't.
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#69 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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My kids are rarely in the living room without standing on the coffee table. They typically move up closer to the couch, then do flips (or whatever a 2 year old's version of a flip is) onto the couch.

I really don't mind that much, it isn't nice at all and we've had no issues with doing that at other people's houses.

We don't allow bed jumping but that's because we have crappy beds that can't take jumping.
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#70 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I don't let my son climb on the furniture because I think "no" is oppressive. I do it because:

1. It doesn't bother me.
2. It doesn't hurt the furniture
2. He thinks it's fun.

I can't think of an actual reason NOT to let him, so I let him.

But then, the same rules do apply to everyone else in the house. If I or my husband or a guest WANTED to stand on the coffee table or sit on the back of the couch, I wouldn't have a problem with it either :P
Yes to this! Some of my fondest childhood memories are climbing on grandma's furniture and pretending and game playing on the furniture. I LOVED it and yes I fell and hurt my head more than once. Did that stop me. Nope. Kept right on doing it. I let my girls do the same...within reason of course. No one goes to the hospital, but I let them explore. Part of childhood. They are only young once. Enjoy it.
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#71 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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A timely thread for me....just yesterday, I tried to enforce "No standing on the coffee table naked", and DH disagreed with me with a simple, "why not?" Well...we eat there sometimes, ya know? (DD is not potty trained). But, usually, yeah, she can climb on the coffee table - no underlying philosophical reason but just because it's there.
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#72 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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Am I the only one who's kid doesn't climb on the coffee table? She's 3 years old and I can't recall a single time she's ever expressed interest in trying to climb on it.

But, if she did, I'd let her since I can't think of a good reason, just like prothyraia, why not.

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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#73 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here ... thanks for such an interesting variety of responses! It's given me a lot to think about, and I found myself nodding my head with this comment:

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Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
It's kind of funny how many different responses you have gotten! I think this is a perfect example of how different people will just have different opinions about how things "should" be. And it's a good opportunity to experiment with really listening to your inner wisdom as a mommy. What do YOU think? I am finally figuring out the fact that there are so many people in the world, and there really are no right and wrong answers, just different ones. If you find yourself thinking, "Well, I just feel like I shouldn't let him do it", then you need to evaluate why you think it. And not "just because it's a table".
Over the weekend, we tried out not saying anything when DS got onto the coffee table, and it really wasn't a big deal. He sat and played for a little while, and then he got back down and played some more from a standing position. (We did tell him that we'd let him sit on the coffee table after he gave us a look the first time.) I think I'll just continue with that and see where it goes. After all, DH and I sit on the coffee table, too ... though we don't stand on it. (Especially not naked!)
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#74 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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My girls jump on everything in our house but NOT at others. Ive kind of given up trying to get them to stop. They just have alot of energy! If they get too worked up i shoo them outside let them run around like crazy. there kids
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#75 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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DH freaks.

I, don't mind, if I'm there supervising. It's a low sturdy table... and there are two large couches nearby. The kids like to dance on the table...and then jump onto the couch.

I would not have felt comfortable with our old table, however.

Sometimes, if they're getting too excited... I may have to redirect to calm them down. Or say... everybody off of the coffee table for 5 minutes.

Of course, I cracked my head open on a marble coffee table when I was about 6... jumping on the couch.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#76 of 81 Old 08-18-2008, 07:32 PM
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I let dd climb anything that won't tip, break, or cause permanent damage to her or it.

The caveat being I do respect the rules others set for their homes.
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#77 of 81 Old 08-19-2008, 03:06 AM
 
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Climbing on furniture has nothing to do with entitlement, it has to do with exuberance and exploration, and I'm just not willing to thwart that for an arbitrary rule. Like others have said, we follow the laws of gravity, kindness, respect, consideration for others, etc, but rules for rules sake don't make a lot of sense to me, and in my experience, they don't make a lot of sense to kids either -- they may obey the rules to avoid punishment, but that's not what I'm trying to teach my kids.

I do totally respect other people having a "no climbing on our furniture" rule, but it's rather insulting to imply that people who don't have such rules are doing a disservice to anyone...

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#78 of 81 Old 08-19-2008, 09:22 AM
 
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Ours was glass so we got rid of it. The rest is on a furniture-to-furniture basis, how it functions and how old/sturdy it is. Ds knows he can do things on the couch he is not allowed to do on his great-grandfather's chair, although sometimes he needs a little reminding.

I only found him on the kitchen table twice. It is high and we have ceramic floors. No way baby!!! I'm not willing to chance that. Injuries can happen anywhere, but that one is pretty preventable.
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#79 of 81 Old 08-19-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
nope. Feet on the floor. No standing on tables, couches or chairs, ever. It meant some days of putting him back on the floor 30 times but it's important to me. It's a respect thing, or something.

I do let him jump on the mattress though!
:

He can jump on our bed or in his crib (he doesn't really use it for anything else anyway) but no climbing, jumping or standing on the coffee table. Ours has a glass top. Waaaay too scary.

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#80 of 81 Old 08-19-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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When we had a coffee table, it was a "Lack" Ikea table/shelf. When we first got it, it was a coffee table. DS was allowed to climb on it, but eventually he wanted to get at the stuff in it, and that made me nuts. I cannot deal with putting things away 18 million times a day, and there was no other place for those things.

So we changed the coffee table to a shelf by taking off the legs and standing it up against the wall (and bolting it to the wall). He tried a couple times to use it to pull to stand, but the same items that were in it as a coffee table were put in it as a shelf, and he "got" that the shelf was off limits for climbing (as all of our shelves are, though they are all indeed bolted to the wall, just in case!!!!!).

Then I grew tired of it as a shelf, and our dining chairs were dying, so we turned it into a bench to sit on for meals (back when we had a dining table!). Sitting was fine. Walking from point a to point b was fine.

Of course, then he discovered that he could sit on the dining room table and he was happy with that. I didn't care. He didn't do it for long, b/c getting down was the hard part and that bothered him.

Then we moved and the shelf turned into a table again, upstairs across from the laundry area, to hold the laundry basket on top, piles of clean clothes on top, and slings and whatnot inside. That wasn't allowed to be climbed upon b/c it would have made a scary launching pad over the stairs.

Moved again and it became a coffee table again! He was 3 by then and had no interest in climbing on it.

Now it's a TV unit. Dang it's versatile! No climbing on it.


DS has never tried to climb on furniture at other peoples' houses as far as I recall. He totally gets that there are home rules and there are out of home rules.

And there are also different rules for different furniture. Jumping on the bed is OK, jumping on the air mattress is not. Slamming doors is never OK, but especially if it's the door of the antique ice box. etc. It's just never been a confusion to him, once things are explained.
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#81 of 81 Old 08-19-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by junomama View Post
So far, DH and I have had a "feet on the floor" approach to our nearly 2-year-old son's attempts to climb on the coffee table. It's hard for me sometimes, though, because he loves to climb, and it doesn't seem like it hurts anything for him to just sit on top of the coffee table and play with his toys there. The concern is that he would then progress to standing on the table and perhaps launching himself onto the bookcase nearby and possibly hurt himself. The other concern is that he will think it's OK to climb on other people's furniture when we go visit. So we're trying to stick to it, just like we don't allow him to stand on the dining room chairs.

But we're having one of those days — he's crawled up on the coffee table half a dozen times, and he doesn't get down when I ask him on my own, and when I pick him up and put him back on the floor, he scrambles back up moments later. On days like these, I wonder, should I just lighten up and let him sit on the dang coffee table? It's not like he's hurting himself up there. I question whether it's a boundary that's reasonable, and I question the best way to continually enforce the rule.

Anyone else deal with something like this?
ooh i'm interested in this thread! Haven't read any but the OP yet but am excited to see the responses. I have the same internal conflicts!

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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