Teaching a young toddler about (not) throwing things? - Mothering Forums
Gentle Discipline > Teaching a young toddler about (not) throwing things?
Yuba_River's Avatar Yuba_River 03:19 AM 11-06-2008
DS is 15 months, and has just learned the joy of throwing things. He has a pretty good arm on him! I think because it's a new skill he's practicing, and it's fun, he is doing it all the time.

He is a sweetheart and a good listener (for a baby!) but DH and I are struggling a little with how to teach him about when it's okay to throw things and which things are okay. We try really hard to not have rules that are arbitrary or inappropriate for his age. We're not worried so much about messes or breaking things, but we don't want him to hurt anyone, obviously.

We started today trying to teach him that only soft things are okay to throw--ie stuffed animals or cloth blocks, and that hard things are not, but the more we guide him this way, the more he seems facinated with throwing everything he gets his hands on. Is this a concept a toddler this age can grasp? What expectations do you have about safe throwing? Any suggestions for how to guide him through this stage?

Thanks for your help!

MusicianDad's Avatar MusicianDad 03:22 AM 11-06-2008
Someone might have a better suggestion. But give his age, I would consider just not having things that hard and hurt when they hit. Put everything else away until he's done with the stage. Right now, he's learning about physics.
MomtoRyan's Avatar MomtoRyan 07:54 PM 11-06-2008
Just thought I would tell you my DS is doing the EXACT same thing.
North_Of_60's Avatar North_Of_60 08:22 PM 11-06-2008
DD discovered how fun it is to throw sand at the park one day, so I explained that throwing sand can hurt people's eyes and that if she continued to do it again we would leave. In the mean time I took her over to the little hill and let her throw/roll pine cones down the hill away from the other kids.

I think it's important to set boundaries on things that are dangerous while redirecting them to more appropriate activities. There's nothing wrong with throwing pine cones down a hill where no one is standing, but throwing sand in a sand box where there is other children is totally inappropriate.

I have yet to actually follow through, but if I tell her we will have to leave the park if she doesn't stop, we will. The next time we went to the park she reminded me not to throw sand. (So cute. )

At home we just ask that she play rough in the play room where there are no breakables, don't throw thing at people, and don't throw things at the animals. We've specifically asked her not to do certain things and explained why while redirecting her to the other room with a soft ball (as opposed to a wooden block, for example), and on a few occasions taken a toy away for not using it appropriately (like throwing things at people).
SparklingGemini's Avatar SparklingGemini 09:53 PM 11-06-2008
DD is 16 months and LOVES to chuck things!

What we do is practice handing things back and forth to each other "gently."

I figure that modeling at this age is better than explaining.

So, if she is throwing something that she really shouldn't be(a book, a hard sippy cup, my shoe, etc.) I just tell her, "Oops! That's delicate/hard/fragile/dangerous. Can you hand it to me gently?"

Then I very slowly hand her the object in an exaggerated manner and then she usually does it back. I know that it will take time but I figure the more often I label and model an appropriate reaction(I hate to say behavior)the better off we'll be.

FWIW~There are times when this doesn't work at all and I know it's because my DD is overtired. She tends to be more exuberant and feisty when she needs sleep.

thepeach80's Avatar thepeach80 10:52 PM 11-06-2008
Can you let her throw things outside and explain throwing is for outside? Maybe at least for now that would be a wider concept and more easily grasped?
closedaccount15 12:03 AM 11-07-2008
For now, I just teach DD to roll things or hand them to me. She so runs up to me like she is going to throw it, then puts it in my hand. I didn't think I would have much luck teaching her right now what can and can't be thrown, so I just do "hand it to me" or "roll it, please"