Do you let your toddler climb on the coffee table? - Mothering Forums

Do you let your toddler climb on the coffee table?

junomama's Avatar junomama (TS)
07:51 PM Liked: 12
#1 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 345
Joined: Oct 2006
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?
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee
07:52 PM Liked: 15
#2 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 19,261
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I got rid of our coffee table
Graceoc's Avatar Graceoc
07:55 PM Liked: 0
#3 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 1,228
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All the time, and they jump from the table to the sofa (that I try to stop LOL!) Seriously though they will often sit on the table top and play. No biggie. And then haven't ever tried to sit on tables at our friends homes, so I think they just *get* that is ok at our house.

We also allow bed jumping
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee
07:56 PM Liked: 15
#4 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 19,261
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Originally Posted by Graceoc View Post

We also allow bed jumping
We do too. Our beds are on the floor.
OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom
07:58 PM Liked: 54
#5 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 5,391
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DD sits on our coffee table all the time.. Shes big into climbing and Id rather her climb on the coffee table, couch, chairs etc than trying to climb up the bookcase (which is has accomplished before). To me its the better of the two options.
As for when we are at other people's houses shes never tried to climb on anyone elses coffee tables. If she did I would remove her and tell her to climb on my lap or somewhere else.. Although the few people I visit wouldn't mind, they all know how much she enjoys climbing and they all have children of their own.
capagrl's Avatar capagrl
08:04 PM Liked: 10
#6 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 155
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Call me crazy, but my 2 year old is my 4th son and, honestly, I let him climb just about everything and anything he wants (and when it's something I don't want him on, I carefully evaluate whether or not I can keep him reasonably safe - if so, I allow it while holding my breath, if not, I redirect or explain it's too dangerous, but this hardly ever happens, so when it does, he seems to know I mean business). When he was 9.5 or 10 mos. old, I caught him going up the stairs for the first time. I never stopped it, I just "signed" to him while saying, "Be careful". He learned "Be careful" very early on b/c we have hardwood floors (a real point of contention between me & DH b/c I want carpeting in the worst kind of way) and he's taken many a header off the couch and such onto the floor. It's horrifying when it happens, but, honestly, he's a very cautious child as a result.

Anyway, by 10-11 months, my son was found on top of the dining room table. I again cautioned him and then we worked on showing him how to climb back down safely when he was ready. Without making it an off-limits kind of thing, he has no further interest in climbing up there (although he spent a great deal of time up there for a month or two).

I'll probably be in the minority on this, but I'd much rather my son learn caution when climbing directly beside me on the couch or in the house than have no concept of it, go to the park and decide to head 8 feet high where I can't reach him and him wind up falling. I also read somewhere that we, as parents, need to be very careful when saying things like, "If you do [blank], you will get hurt!" because we are not seers and knowers of all, we cannot fortell the future. Sometimes they *may* get hurt, but it's not guaranteed. So now I strive to say, "You could get hurt." To assume we know it all only makes them doubt what we're saying as time goes on since they will undoubtedly prove us wrong along the way.

Anyway, maybe it's a cavalier attitude to have, but my 2nd son was critically injured in a car accident when he was nine months old. I now know that seeing the inside of my son's head is about the worst injury I will (God willing) ever need to deal with, so bring on the broken bones, etc. Allowing my child to explore and learn truly natural consequences is worth it to me. Sometimes letting them get a little hurt now goes a long way toward avoiding big hurts later. I say let them explore, let them test the limits and let them know that when they get hurt, you are right there, ready to comfort them and allow them to do it again should they choose to.
Herausgeber's Avatar Herausgeber
09:21 PM Liked: 0
#7 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 1,610
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No climbing/jumping on the furniture here. We try to make sure she gets plenty of outside play though. I reckon DD spends a good 6 hours a day climbing on playground equipment ...
Elecampane's Avatar Elecampane
09:23 PM Liked: 0
#8 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 742
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We do let DD (23 mos.) sit on the coffee table, but not stand or walk. If she stands we will tell her to sit down or get off the coffee table altogether. So far she's been compliant! She also enjoys laying on it. So far it hasn't been an issue at other people's houses, but then again, we don't get out much, lol! I think in the grand scheme of things, sitting on the coffee table is no biggie.
BellinghamCrunchie's Avatar BellinghamCrunchie
09:23 PM Liked: 98
#9 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 4,204
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Yes, we do. When she was younger we padded underneath. Climbing seems to be an essential part of their development.

We got a Kangaroo Climber and that helped a great deal because its more fun to climb than the table or the sofa. But really in terms of height I don't know that its much safer than furniture. But it did give her more opportunities for climbing.
gaidinsgirl's Avatar gaidinsgirl
09:28 PM Liked: 0
#10 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 192
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We dont have a coffee table, but my ds climbs on the chest that we use as a side table. He climbs on the chairs and stands up on the dining room table too. I stop him from climbing on the dining room table but not so much the lower ones.
Amylcd's Avatar Amylcd
09:31 PM Liked: 17
#11 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 3,808
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We haven't had a coffee table since having children.
Ellen Griswold's Avatar Ellen Griswold
11:59 PM Liked: 18
#12 of 81
08-15-2008 | Posts: 1,609
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Oh yeah, climbing, sitting, though I try to curb the table dancing It is a coffee table, so....not that far off the ground, the couch is higher up and I let them do that on their own. But we have cushy carpeting. Only once did my ds (now 5) ever climb on somebody elses and that was where another child was already on his! If you don't want him to climb on it, I think you need to remove it.
ktmama's Avatar ktmama
02:56 AM Liked: 11
#13 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,277
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It doesn't seem realistic to expect him not to climb on the table and it's causing a conflict between you two. Either put it in the category of child-proofing and get rid of the table or let go of your expectation and let him climb away. You will both be happier!
avivaelona's Avatar avivaelona
03:20 AM Liked: 0
#14 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 3,214
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As long as I can keep him off the top of the refrigerator I'm happy.
Girlymomwithsons's Avatar Girlymomwithsons
03:49 AM Liked: 0
#15 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 237
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We have always had a no climbing on the furniture rule. My friends who have younger kids all thought we were mean, but as thier kids got older, started to wish they had had that rule too. I know what you mean about getting to the point were you think, is it really worth the struggle, but stand strong Mama! It is worth it. If you cave once, he will expect it everytime, and you won't want him on there anymore than you do now. I've had times where I have let them win, and trust me, it just makes it harder later. Good luck.
Carlyle's Avatar Carlyle
04:01 AM Liked: 29
#16 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,209
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I think it's important for kids to have a safe place to climb. If you do keep the coffee table off limits, I'd make sure he has other places to climb in your house (or at least make sure that he gets lots of play time on outside structures). For the record, our coffee table was one of the first pieces of furniture our dd climbed--she could easily climb on top of it LONG before she could walk.... You will always be setting the limit somewhere--I'd rather set the limit at someone else's house where I can leave in a couple of hours ("no, I can't let you climb on x's can climb when you get home") than set the limit hourly at my own house!
tallulahma's Avatar tallulahma
04:10 AM Liked: 22
#17 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,609
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i do.

she is three.

its kinda hard to explain why she cant ~ when i do

i sit on our coffee table alll the time. its like an extended bench.
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen
04:43 AM Liked: 5
#18 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 3,244
Joined: Nov 2005
i do. i'm good with most climbing inside or out. and there have been occasiional tumbles but nothing serious. i do disallow it when there are sharp corners or similar .....
allgirls's Avatar allgirls
09:22 AM Liked: 10
#19 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 9,327
Joined: Apr 2004
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
Yes, we do. When she was younger we padded underneath. Climbing seems to be an essential part of their development.

We got a Kangaroo Climber and that helped a great deal because its more fun to climb than the table or the sofa. But really in terms of height I don't know that its much safer than furniture. But it did give her more opportunities for climbing.
We don't have a coffee table but we have a climber..I say she gets her monkey genes from her dad

We also got a Kangaroo Climber and kept it in/near the living room and it took all the focus off climbing on the dining room table and running(we have a big table) and they loved it. When summer came I put it outside and they still climb on it a lot out there.

Their big thing is climbing on the back of the couch, jumping down to the cushions and then the floor.

They don't do it at other people's houses either...they get that. Mine are almost 3 and 5(my 5 year old was never a natural climber but she climbs with her little sister now)
D_McG's Avatar D_McG
11:26 AM Liked: 151
#20 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,998
Joined: Jun 2006
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!
ChristyMarie's Avatar ChristyMarie
11:30 AM Liked: 107
#21 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,210
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No. Wooden furniture is off limits. He can stand on the family room couch - he can walk all over it. But not the living room furniture. He gets it.

We also have a kangaroo climber. what about getting something like that and redirecting each time? "Can't climb on the coffee table but you CAN climb on this. Yay!" Over and over and over and over again....
_betsy_'s Avatar _betsy_
11:33 AM Liked: 14
#22 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 4,615
Joined: Jun 2004
We don't let her climb/sit/stand on the coffee table, because it's not an appropriate place to sit or stand. She has plenty of opportunities to climb, and isn't much of a climber, I guess.

We don't sit on the table, we sit on chairs or the floor. She gets it and hasn't tried to climb the table in a long time (She's 23 months).

But at the ILs, everyone seems to sit on the coffee table (Which makes me crazy, but whatever) so she wants to sit there, too. We try to kleep her off, and the older kids/adults get that we don't want her to sit there and they try to remember not to sit on it, but old habits die hard.
mamazee's Avatar mamazee
11:53 AM Liked: 6460
#23 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 7,246
Joined: Jan 2003
I didn't have a problem with my daughter climbing just about anything. My house was well babyproofed and she was constantly climbing things. IMO that's part of life with children. Kids climb.
littlelessons's Avatar littlelessons
07:40 PM Liked: 0
#24 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 89
Joined: Apr 2008
nope. In our house feet and bottoms do not belong on the tables.
textbookcase's Avatar textbookcase
07:45 PM Liked: 196
#25 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 677
Joined: May 2007
Yes, dd2 is a crazy climber. We can't keep her off of the coffee table.
chfriend's Avatar chfriend
08:37 PM Liked: 23
#26 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 4,560
Joined: Aug 2002
At 4 and 7 they mostly don't, but as toddlers....absolutely. We moved the coffee table to the attic for a while and used an old trunk so nobody got hurt.
Smalls181's Avatar Smalls181
09:01 PM Liked: 0
#27 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 2,042
Joined: May 2006
We got rid of ours when DD was a baby. At the time it was because it took up too much space and collected too much clutter. But now that she is 29 months, I am glad we dont have one. Its just one less thing for me to worry about.
ShwarmaQueen's Avatar ShwarmaQueen
10:05 PM Liked: 24
#28 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 5,520
Joined: Mar 2008
We try to keep DD off of it as much as possible, but occasionally she'll sit on the end.
KatWrangler's Avatar KatWrangler
10:07 PM Liked: 21
#29 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 10,794
Joined: Mar 2005
No. No climbing on furniture or the kitchen pantry shelves.:
eirual's Avatar eirual
10:29 PM Liked: 33
#30 of 81
08-16-2008 | Posts: 4,314
Joined: Mar 2006
Yup, it's okay here. No more dangerous than anything they'd find at the park. It's sturdy wood. Fancy glass would be a different ball game, obviously.

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