GD for one yr. old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering if there is a better approach than the one I have been using. Cole is a year old (almost 13 mos.) and he is a proficient walker, climber, etc. He has plenty of ability to get into things he shouldn't and of course he has a very limited ability to understand why I don't want him to do these things, lol. I try to distract him, etc. but sometimes it doesn't work, or there is nothing handy to distract him with and I need to get an object away from him immediately, so I end up prying it away from him, amid screams and tears. This is frustrating for both of us. For instance - today he went onto our neighbor's porch and picked up a bottle of windshield wiper fluid. I asked him to give it to me - nope. I tried to gently take it from him - nope. So I felt that I had no other choice but to forcibly remove it from his hands. Of course that set off a tantrum, and I can certainly understand why - but I really felt like I had no other option. Maybe I did and I just didn't see it. Oh, and if I had prevented him from going onto the neighbor's porch in the first place, that would have been an even bigger battle.

Here is another example. I try to take Cole outside every day. I don't think it's good for him to stay indoors all day, unless the weather is really bad. This was fine in the summer when we could just go outside with no preparation but now that the weather is cooler he needs to wear socks, shoes, jacket, etc. It is often a HUGE battle to get him dressed to go outside. More often than not it ends with him standing in front of the door crying while I try to get his arms in his coat. The problem is he wants to go outside NOW and doesn't want to put up with having me mess around with shoes, etc. etc. I know that part of the idea of GD is natural consequences, but I feel that at 1 yr. old he is too young to understand that "hey, I'm cold because I wouldn't let Mama put my coat on." He'll just be cold, and next time will be another fight. He can't possibly be expected to use that kind of logic. So what can I do, besides continuing to fight him or just not going outside? He is also too young (I think) to get the concept of "we're not going outside because I won't let Mama put my shoes on."

Help! Also if anyone has any suggestions for books to read on the subject that would be great. Thanks.
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#2 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 04:08 PM
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Your right he is way to young for logic. If he is having a fit everytime he doesn't get what he wants he is probably starting to think he is in charge. I would definitely nip this behaviour in the bud. If you're not able to get his coat on at 1 what will happen at 2 , 3, etc.
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#3 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am able to get his coat on. I am looking for a more peaceful way of doing it.
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#4 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 10:54 PM
 
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Have you considered putting his coat on once outside? maybe he can tell that it is cold that way, and will understand the connection between his coat and staying warm?
Also, do you put a coat on? I always put my hat on before I put DD's hat on, so that she can see that I am wearing one.
Or what about putting on a warm sweater instead?

As for taking things out of his hands.... I have been thinking about this lately too. I try to do the preventative method- not have things around that I have to take away from her. but DD is very resourceful in finding things that i can't see. : so i try to distract her with something else while i ease the other object out of her hands. Or I pick her up and kiss her belly, which also distracts her. I know I wouldn't like having an object grabbed out of my hand, so i don't like doing that. but i agree that sometimes it seems like the alternatives are not there.
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#5 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 11:08 PM
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I like what Mona said. It's hard for a 1 yr old to understand that he needs to put a coat on now, when he's not cold, because in the future he will be cold. It's much easier for him if he goes outside for a few minutes , feels the cold, and you're there with the coat ready to put it on. You might also try talking things through while you both dress for outside; he won't understand right now, perhaps, but eventually he will. And make it fun, "Where's my hat! Oh, I think it's under my coat! Peek-a-boo, hat. I'm putting my waaarm hat on because it's coooold outside - brrr!"

Toddlers are often pretty sensitive to things being taken from them. Instead of asking him to give you something potentially dangerous, I would out on very worried face and talk about how *dangerous* the item was (or fragile, sometimes that applies), and invite the child to put it somewhere safe, like on a table or a shelf. And then thank him, find something else to interest him, and move it out of reach. I probably wouldn't forcibly take something that was potentially dangerous but not currently dangerous, like the fluid - it's only dangerous if he opens it or drinks it, jus holding it is okay. I'd watch and wait - it seems like forever, but generally toddlers lose interest within a minute or two.

Sleeping queen, it's not about being in charge, especially for a 1 yr old. The power disparity bectween an adult and a child this little is so broad that there's no contest. IME, the whole "in charge" paradigm leads to a lot of strife between parent and child; it creates an adversarial relationship where both parties are trying to take control. It has worked much better for me to try to facilitate my daughter's success in the world, so we're both on the same team

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#6 of 23 Old 11-20-2003, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mona, that is a really good idea, about putting his coat on outside. It's so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! I'll definitely try that next time.

Dar - that's interesting, what you said about the windshield wiper fluid not being an immediate danger, because I had the same thought at the time. But there was something about the situation that got my warning lights flashing and it just didn't seem like a good idea to let him walk around with the bottle, closed or not. What if he tried to put his mouth on the cap or something? Plus it wasn't childproof. But maybe I overreacted? I don't know.
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#7 of 23 Old 11-21-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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This got me thinking to a scene today. Dd, dh and i were in our room. dd was climbing over me, so her feet were on me still, while she was reaching out to climb up on a table. since she didn't have her footing, she would have fallen had she tried to pull herself up. dh said, she is going to fall. meaning, i should do something. i just watched, ready to catch her, or whatever. well, it turns out that she realized she was not in a good physical position to climb, so she waited.
i think if we can have some patience and watch, things often turn out fine w/o our intervention. not always, but more then not, imo. it is the patience, and letting our babes be babes (or whatever age they are ).
just thinking aloud

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#8 of 23 Old 11-21-2003, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by famousmockngbrd
But there was something about the situation that got my warning lights flashing and it just didn't seem like a good idea to let him walk around with the bottle, closed or not. What if he tried to put his mouth on the cap or something? Plus it wasn't childproof. But maybe I overreacted? I don't know.
Well, I would definitely stick close, and not take my eyes off him, so that if he did go to put it in his mouth you could quickly intervene and physically keep it out of his mouth.

I know it's scary to see your baby in a potentially dangerous situation It's a natural reaction to leap in and take it away, but sometimes the best way to resolve things is to be alert and ready but wait, and live with your anxiety for a minute or two.

I did have a friend whose toddler picked up a sharp knife, and she noticed, said "Oh, no!" and swooped into take it way, just out of instinct, and the little girl instinctually grabbed it with both hands to keep it from being taken away and cut her hand so badly that she needed stitches I know you said you asked first, whereas she totally reacted without thinking, but it made an impression on me...

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#9 of 23 Old 11-21-2003, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today Cole and I were in the bathroom and he was trying to get a bottle of vitamins that was on the counter. He was getting frustrated because he couldn't reach them. My first thought was not to give it to him because he could choke on them, so I tried to give him something else that was on the counter - nope, he wanted the vitamins. : All of a sudden I flashed back to this "conversation" we are having and I thought, "Why do I not want him to have this bottle? Why am I saying no?" Because if he got the cap off he could choke on the contents. Because if I let him have this bottle of "medicine", he might think all medicine is for playing with. Because he just isn't allowed to have it! : Well, there is a childproof cap on the bottle and I am standing right there, so where is the real harm in it? So I gave it to him. He was delighted. He didn't even try to take the cap off - just walked around shaking it and putting it on things for about 10 minutes.

I think part of my problem is I am looking at what I consider to be the "big picture" when really I am just borrowing trouble. For instance - 1. today he plays with a bottle of vitamins. 2. Tomorrow there is a bottle of Valium lying on the counter at someone's house, and he thinks, "Oooh fun! I can play with that!" 3. He opens the Valium and swallows a handful of it and dies. This is really how my mind works! I think I need to stop and assess each situation on it's own terms. It seems so much more helpful to his development to allow him to explore things and learn a healthy respect for them, rather than have them become tantalizing, off-limits mysteries! (Not that I'm going to let him play with Valium - you get my drift, I hope!)

Would lik 2 write more but he"s awake -
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#10 of 23 Old 11-21-2003, 03:32 PM
 
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that really made sense.
i also think sometimes outside influences flash into our minds causing us to be afraid, and then react. like the fear campaign about babies and kids getting into medicene, and getting sick/dying. ok, this can be a real thing. but it instills so much fear into us that we forget to judge each situation, and instead react immediately because we've been "brainwashed" to assume medicine = trouble.
that was my first worry too, when dd started to grab for my vitamin bottles. but i know she can't get the lids off, and she does not even want to try. she was like cole- loved to shake them up, for the sound effect. and also was putting it on different things. then picking it up and starting again. :LOL
so yeah, evaluating each moment as it comes. staying in the moment. a difficult mantra, but so important i think.
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#11 of 23 Old 11-21-2003, 03:34 PM
 
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that really made sense.
i also think sometimes outside influences flash into our minds causing us to be afraid, and then react. like the fear campaign about babies and kids getting into medicene, and getting sick/dying. ok, this can be a real thing. but it instills so much fear into us that we forget to judge each situation, and instead react immediately because we've been "brainwashed" to assume medicine = trouble.
that was my first worry too, when dd started to grab for my vitamin bottles. but i know she can't get the lids off, and she does not even want to try. she was like cole- loved to shake them up, for the sound effect. and also was putting it on different things. then picking it up and starting again. :LOL
so yeah, evaluating each moment as it comes. staying in the moment. a difficult mantra, but so important i think.



Also wanted to add- Dar, you made some excellent points. i always love reading your posts about gd. you are one of those great examples of how gd parenting works.
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#12 of 23 Old 11-22-2003, 07:12 PM
 
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This may sound crazy but when my DD has something that she probably shouldn't have but I am letting her touch anyway (like in your example the wiper fluid) I tell her, "gentle" then she handles it differently. She had a glass cat just this morning and while I didn't mind her holding it I didn't want her to walk off wih it b/c she still falls a lot while walking. So I told her "Gentle" and she "pet" the cat. Then she was done with it and I put away so she can't readily reach it.

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#13 of 23 Old 11-23-2003, 06:38 PM
 
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Hipumpkins,



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#14 of 23 Old 11-23-2003, 06:54 PM
 
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I drive my parents crazy. If me kids don't want to wear a coat/shoes/socks/boots/etc. I don't make them. Usually as soon as they get outside or to our destination they ask for them. One is hard for that, though. Jackson (my 12 month old) isn't really big into coats either so I dress him in layers when I know we're going out for the day. Good luck!

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#15 of 23 Old 11-23-2003, 08:14 PM
 
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Same here. It is easier as we live in a warm climate. But at that age, even when it was cold outside, my little ones tended to be warmer than I was.

I wonder if it could be a texture issue as well? Perhaps a lot of layers might be preferable to a big coat. Maybe lots of sweatshirts with favorite characters or trucks or whatever child likes. (I know our resident 2 year old loves his dog shirt and his big bird shirt.)

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#16 of 23 Old 11-23-2003, 08:44 PM
 
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Great suggestions here. I'm not sure I would do much different than you, but when the situation is non-negotiable, i make an effort to validate my child's feelings. I'llsay things like "I know its hard when you want to play with something and its taken from you. it makes you sad! i get sad too when i cant have something i want. mama had to take that because it could hurt you and make you sick." So at least the child knows it's okay to feel the way he/she feels.

Also, the vitamin thing. Been there, done that. It's so hard to override the hype in your head...the childproof cap, you being right there...of course it's going to be okay to play with the vitamins. But your first reaction is "oh no!". I am often finding myself re-evaluating my initial reaction to things. I like how one author put it (I think it was kids and power struggles): is it physically dangerous, is it morally dangerous, is it illegal? if the answer to all that is NO, then let the kid go at it, with your supervision of course.

Suggesting that this problem needs to be dealt with now, lest you magnify the problem when the child is older, is rather akin to suggesting that you start teaching your 1 year old to read. After all, if they don't learn at 1 what will happen when they are in grade school???

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#17 of 23 Old 11-25-2003, 05:26 PM
 
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I have a question about all of this though? I, also, tend to let my dd handle and explore things (with my supervision) that "normal" parents wouldn't. My dh finally said to me once... "you know, if you let her do that while you're around she's also going to do it if you aren't around" and I think he may be right. It made me a little more cautious.... What do you all think about that? I can't remember the exact situation... I think I was letting dd sit on a high stool in the kitchen. I was standing right by her with my arms there in case she fell, while she looked at something on the counter. Well... if I weren't there (going to the bathroom or something) and she tried to get up on the stool alone it might tip over and hit her in the head. So do you just say, no stool, period. Or do you do some type of in-between? Let her sit on the stool but explain that she may only do it with mama?? She's impish enough that I still think she might try it on her own. Thoughts??
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#18 of 23 Old 11-25-2003, 08:09 PM
 
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artgirl, in my experience so far, if DD is allowed to do something with assistance, she'll come right out and ask for it rather than try it herself alone. For example, she has a chair she likes to climb onto, and she likes me to be there to give her a hand up. She has actively come to me while I'm in the bathroom and led me to the chair and then extended her arm for a hand up. So my feeling is that when there is no "issue" made of it, why wouldn't they come and ask for help?

Of course, children are also naturally moving towards independence every day, so it wouldn't surprise me if she did try it by herself. I guess you need to ask herself how dangerous it is, and if you think she might get more than a tap on the head you might want to just shove it out of the way before you leave the room. I have to do this with the cat food

Oh yeah, and also I think that when children are forbidden to do something when you are around, that this only promotes their desire to do it when you are not. NOT because I think they are conniving in any way, but simply logical: "hmmm, I can't do this when mama is here, maybe it works better by myself?"

JMHO.

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#19 of 23 Old 11-25-2003, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At the moment, I am almost always with Cole so the issue hasn't really come up, lol.

But I agree with what Piglet said - if you think it may be a problem, just put the stool away when you are done with it. I have had the same experience as P., though - I usually hold Cole's hands when he walks up and down stairs, and he will stand at the top of the stairs and wait for me to hold my hands out to help him. I wouldn't depend on this, however - there is no guarantee that he wouldn't try to go down some stairs when I am not there to help him. So basically I try to keep a pretty sharp eye on him. He loves to climb. :
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#20 of 23 Old 11-27-2003, 02:01 AM
 
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This has just recently become an issue for us also. My DS (13 mo) came up with a new game the other day where he throws his head back and laughs and then falls over backwards into my lap. This was great (and funny!) until later. He tried to do it when I wasn't near him and fell straight back onto his head. He cried sooo hard. I felt like crud, because I know that he expected me to catch him. What do you do in a situation like that? It was perfectly safe with momma, but not without her... I made sure to tell him that I was sorry I didn't catch him and that he needs to make sure I am ready for that game, but at 13 mo, I doubt that he really GOT what I was saying. KWIM?
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#21 of 23 Old 11-30-2003, 08:09 PM
 
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I've been reading this thread and our situation is similar to the situation with the coat, yet slightly different. DD, who is 11 months old, has recently decided that changing diapers is that absolute worst possible thing in her whole life. Every diaper change is a major battle. I absolutely hate that, she makes me feel like i'm torturing her. Any thoughts on this?? I really try to distract her and do all kinds of things....I even distract her with things she's not typically given so they are new and interesting, but she still rolls all over the place and cries if I roll her back.
I was wondering how on earth we can turn this back into a positive experience?
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#22 of 23 Old 11-30-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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Boy, these kids get us jumping through hoops sometimes, huh? I've been through the diaper torture, the getting dressed (for outside or at all), and the grabbing things that we shouldn't (well, still in that phase. The biggest problems we have right now with dd 13 mos are stripping, taking medicine and eating non-edibles :P Here's what we've done to help the other stuff:
-Anytime there seems to be a lot of baggage around one area, like we walk into her bedroom where she usually gets changed and she starts fussing, we change how that space is used. No sense trying to get happy results when there is already that much neg. energy associated with it. Dd is like an elephant - she seems to never forget, and one bad incident can steal all the good vibes from a place for months to come if we don't actively counteract it. Diaper changes got moved to the living room floor for a bit, and play happened in her room quite a lot more until she was over it. Sometimes just a different position helped; when dd was just starting to walk, anything that was to be done that required her laying down was going to be a tragedy. We did as much as we could standing up.
- We gave her as much power as possible. Like for putting on her coat, it's up to her to put her arm through, we don't push or pull just guide her. And encourage her lots :P Or for medicine, we won't squish the dropper, just put it in her mouth and she can do it. Or, if she needs to get dressed but she's playing with something, we show her how to change hands so we can put her arm through.
-Play games/sing whenever possible. Ok that's maybe obvious, but stuff like peeking at her through the sleeve or neck of her shirt or jacket, playing hide & seek with her hands and feet etc. really make it more interesting, and I think give her the idea of whats coming up.
- 'One finger touch' is great for semi-dangerous stuff (coffee cups, stuff with lids, nightlights, etc.) Dd doesn't always 'get' this, but she does get that we're not trying to stop her. She just finds it hard not to grab when its a *really* good thing.
-the diaper/dressing drama really went away pretty suddenly for us, she just started helping without encouragement almost overnight and now seems to expect that sort of stuff.

Good luck!!! -jen
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#23 of 23 Old 12-02-2003, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes - BTDT - Cole used to scream and thrash around and make his body go rigid so it was impossible to put the diaper on him. : I also tried changing him standing up, and he would go limp until he was slumped on the floor, then when I tried to pick his legs up to change him that way he would go into the screaming/thrashing/rolling routine. :LOL It's funny looking back on it now, but at the time it was so frustrating! Rest assured, though - it is a stage that will pass. And maybe come again, true - but it will pass! :LOL
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