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This thread is taking a different direction than I intended... my purpose was to find out what others do as far as discipline with a 1 year old, particularly touching things you don't want them to play with. Post #37 I think best clarifies my original post. I've gotten a lot of answers & tips but if anyone has further advice, feel free to contribute!
 

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I say this gently, but i think he's just to young to get it right now. It's about impulse control, of which he has little right now. How long do you need to use the laptop for? Are we talking hours at a time? Does he nap? My DS is high-ish needs, but he's becoming a bit more independent these days. Can you give him pots and pans and big spoons to play with? Will he sit in his high chair and eat while you do some work?

I think you need to change your expectations a bit. I have no idea how it's possible to get work done while a baby/toddler is awake. if you just don't want him to touch the laptop, can you put it on the kitchen counter and stand to do your work?
 

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Can you give him his own laptop? lol! I don't have any proper suggestions-- just sympathy. I don't want to label him, but my 4 month old certainly acts high-needs. And he does seem to have an issue with my attention being elsewhere. It's difficult to explain, unless you see it in action. Even if I'm driving, and he's in the backseat, he'll play quietly until I get my cell phone out and start talking on the phone. How does he know? and Why oh Why does he care so much?

This morning I let him cry for the 10 minutes it takes for me to get my clothes on. Sometimes you just *have* to get something done.

I'll just leave it out there-- sometimes I *do* resort to TV or you tube, even though I'm trying so hard for him to be "screen free". I'm hoping someone will have better suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by hibiscus mum View Post
I say this gently, but i think he's just to young to get it right now. It's about impulse control, of which he has little right now. How long do you need to use the laptop for? Are we talking hours at a time? Does he nap? My DS is high-ish needs, but he's becoming a bit more independent these days. Can you give him pots and pans and big spoons to play with? Will he sit in his high chair and eat while you do some work?

I think you need to change your expectations a bit. I have no idea how it's possible to get work done while a baby/toddler is awake. if you just don't want him to touch the laptop, can you put it on the kitchen counter and stand to do your work?
He seems very smart so I guess I expect him to be able to understand but you're probably right that he's just too young. I guess I was hoping there was some magical secret I was missing.

I work 8-hour days (and the hours aren't flexible, it's an 8-5 job) and no matter what kind of "toys" (including non-toys) I give him, the only thing he cares about is the laptop. He won't sit in the high chair for more than a couple minutes -- he needs to be able to touch me, climb in my lap, etc. otherwise he just screams. Same with if I stand at the counter to work -- he'd just hang on my leg & scream. I can usually keep him entertained for a bit but then he just grabs for the laptop. It drives me insane and honestly, it's dangerous, one time he grabbed the cord out of the laptop which was still plugged in to the wall & tried to put it in his mouth! He does nap a bit but not reliably. Some days I'll get a 1/2 hour stretch, other days a bit more (sometimes even 2 naps). I've been working since he was 2 months old and it's actually quite do-able most of the time but when he gets into his "I want the laptop" mode, it's nearly impossible.

I don't know, I'm feeling a lot of despair right now.
 

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My DD is the SAME way with the laptop. She wants it so bad. I think it's just natural b/c they see us on it, it is the coolest thing ever, they want to hit the keys and scroll and look at pictures.

But my DD, just like your DS, is way too young to understand that they can't/shouldn't/aren't allowed to play with it. It's frustrating, I know, but the only thing you can do is try to avoid using it in front of him. Saying 'no' over and over isn't going to do anything but frustrate you needlessly.

I don't do work on my laptop, but I do like to use it during the day -- for facebook, to come on MDC, to IM, to shop, etc -- so what I do is leave it on the dining room table. I don't sit, I stand. It keeps me limited in the time I waste online too b/c it's not comfortable to stand and use it.

I would do your work while he naps, if possible. Right now, I"m only able to take the time to respond b/c DD is napping!

Sometimes, if she's really jonesin' to go on, I do let her on it. I sit w/her on my lap and she pulls it up on her lap. The smile that lights up her face is so beautiful - she so loves playing on the computer! Is there any way you can give your DS some supervised computer time?
 

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Yours is the same age as my younger child.

They just aren't going to be able to keep themselves from messing wtih something with a ton of really cool buttons that lights up and makes pictures and sounds and gets so much of your attention. Not at that age.

I would set up your workspace so he can't reach it.

I know it isn't easy and can be very frustrating.
 

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I agree that expecting a 1 year old to obey every time (and remeber the things he is supposed to leave alone, etc) is not realistic. If I were you, I would set up the laptop in a more permanant place where it could be completley baby-proofed...I put a milk crate over our computer's power source and then thread the plugs through the holes in the crate so my 1 year old can't get to them. I have the computer up where he can't reach it. The keyboard is in a drawer he can't open. I would also try and get my work done at less stressful/less needy times....maybe first thing in the morning for an hour, during nap time (hopefully that's like 2 hours), and in the evening for 4-5 hours after he goes to bed. Also, rotating toys/activities works really well. I put just a few different, interesting toys in a bin and give him a bin of those toys when he needs something new. Or I let him play with all my measuring spoons and cups one day, the pots and pans the next day. I've let him sit at the table in his high chair with a pile of flour to play with (that lasted a good 20 minutes or so...which is really all you can expect a 1 year old to last at one activity, usually it's half that time) You can get a pack of jumbo crayons from the dollar store and let him experiment with them one day. The next day, you could let him sit on a towel on the kitchen floor with a few different containers with a bit of water in each and some spoons....but again, he's not going to be "busy" with any of his own activities for longer than 20 minutes or so (and probably less) so hopefully you can get the bulk of your work done at night after he is in bed or after DH comes home. Good luck!!
 

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Just throwing out ideas-- can you have him stay up later at night, so he'll be more inclined to sleep while you are at work?
 

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Ok, what about this -- don't even know if it's possible, you could hook up another keyboard, ( I know that's possible), but the kicker would be if the laptop keyboard was disabled. I'm not sure about the techs on that. So he could being playing with the laptop keyboard while you're typing on the REAL keyboard. Maybe if he had free access to the laptop whenever he wanted (but you were still able to work) he would get bored of it. My DD is already mostly bored with my iPod Touch because I let her play with it all the time when I first got it.

Techie people, can you tell us whether the laptop keyboard could be disabled while another keyboard is connected?

I am assuming that he wouldn't be as interested in the free-standing keyboard, right? Or maybe he would want that one if it's the one you're working on.


I can't imagine working from home in your situation. My DD would be just like your DS.
 

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How about some kind of fun things that would contain him for a bit while you work. I'm thinking about exersaucers, pack n plays with special toys, jumpers that hang in the doorway, swing. I wouldn't leave him to cry anywhere so you could have all of those and just rotate him through. When he gets tired of the exersaucer, put him in the swing and so on. While this isn't ideal it might keep him entertained while you get a little work done. Or, how about a neigherhood kid to come over and play with him after school. Have dinner in the crockpot, kid plays with him while you work.
I think at his age, and even my dd at 27 months would not leave me alone for longer than five minute, if that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post
But my DD, just like your DS, is way too young to understand that they can't/shouldn't/aren't allowed to play with it. It's frustrating, I know, but the only thing you can do is try to avoid using it in front of him. Saying 'no' over and over isn't going to do anything but frustrate you needlessly.
It's good for me to hear this, I think part of the problem is that the saying no is a new thing... I thought it might work but obviously not. It just frustrates me more.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post
Is there any way you can give your DS some supervised computer time?
Yes I've done this, he's not too into it though. Mostly he just wants to do what I'm doing when I'm doing it, I guess.

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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I would set up your workspace so he can't reach it..
If he can't reach it then he can't reach ME either... that definitely won't go over well with him


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Originally Posted by texmati View Post
Just throwing out ideas-- can you have him stay up later at night, so he'll be more inclined to sleep while you are at work?
He stays up 'til midnight already most nights
DH & I are way too exhausted to keep him up any later than that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
Ok, what about this -- don't even know if it's possible, you could hook up another keyboard, ( I know that's possible), but the kicker would be if the laptop keyboard was disabled.
I could do that but he would just want the keyboard I was using. I suppose I should be flattered that he wants to mimic me lol (trying to be a little more positive!!)

Quote:

Originally Posted by youngnhappymamma View Post
I would also try and get my work done at less stressful/less needy times....maybe first thing in the morning for an hour, during nap time (hopefully that's like 2 hours), and in the evening for 4-5 hours after he goes to bed. Also, rotating toys/activities works really well.
I have set hours, and even if I was able to arrange some flex time, there's not enough nap time to do this. Most days he naps one 1/2 hour - 45 minutes nap. Sometimes a bit longer but not often. And he goes to bed so late, the thought of working after he goes to bed is VERY unappealing. I'd be a zombie at 2am...

I do like your ideas for more activities, maybe I can work harder on that, let him try crayons & simple crafts and stuff like that. It's hard because I feel too overwhelmed to get creative, but I do think he'd like some new activities.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shami View Post
How about some kind of fun things that would contain him for a bit while you work.
I tried that & ended up packing up all the "containers" because he wouldn't last more than a minute or two in any of them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Or, how about a neigherhood kid to come over and play with him after school. Have dinner in the crockpot, kid plays with him while you work.
He has very bad stranger anxiety. He'll play with my sister for a bit (but she may be getting a new job soon so won't even be able to visit much). He won't even play with his grandparents etc., nevermind some strange kid.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions & I'm sorry to keep shooting them all down, I guess I just have a tough situation & I'm too stressed to rationally figure out any solutions. At least to know that my expectations are too high and I can give up the "no please don't touch that" routine.
 

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Could your work be done using voice-recognition equipment so you don't have to be able to reach your keyboard and attach your laptop to your TV to get a larger screen? Then your ds could sit on the couch with his little laptop "controlling" the TV, while you just sit there talking into a headset.

Or get someone to make a plexiglass cover for your laptop keyboard with an opening in the front for your hands to go through, but will block access from the sides and top.

However, I'd also check out www.care.com even if you only get a few hours a week where you don't have to fight to get your work done it could help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Could your work be done using voice-recognition equipment so you don't have to be able to reach your keyboard and attach your laptop to your TV to get a larger screen? Then your ds could sit on the couch with his little laptop "controlling" the TV, while you just sit there talking into a headset.

Or get someone to make a plexiglass cover for your laptop keyboard with an opening in the front for your hands to go through, but will block access from the sides and top.
Oh I wish!!! I am a web designer so "move that thing 2 pixels to the left" would be torturous through voice recognition!! lol!! Maybe some kind of plexi-glass cover could work though... you might be on to something there! I'll have to play around with that idea!
 

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have you tried working standing up with ds in a mei ti or similar? my ds's al loved it I would put on some music and bounce to it whilst doing some work. still do occasionally and the youngest 2 are 2.5. whilst It won't be something you can do for 8 hrs a day it might help.

Also I wouldn't say no to an afterschool helper. My eldest has some stranger issues at that age it would take him several days to warm up to people but a regular person coming over every working day with toys just for those time can become very attractive. expecially if they will sit near you and play with the toys. its worth giving it a shot for a couple of weeks if it mean you can get two hours of work done
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
have you tried working standing up with ds in a mei ti or similar? my ds's al loved it I would put on some music and bounce to it whilst doing some work. still do occasionally and the youngest 2 are 2.5. whilst It won't be something you can do for 8 hrs a day it might help.

Also I wouldn't say no to an afterschool helper. My eldest has some stranger issues at that age it would take him several days to warm up to people but a regular person coming over every working day with toys just for those time can become very attractive. expecially if they will sit near you and play with the toys. its worth giving it a shot for a couple of weeks if it mean you can get two hours of work done
I've tried working with him in the wrap but he is very very restless. He's one of those kids that wants to be active & do things on his own but wants me right there beside him at the same time. (I'm glad he's my first & I don't have other kids to contend with at the same time!)

We can't afford to hire anyone else to come help out during the week... and since it took several months to get him comfortable just with my sister, I'm not sure the investment it will take from me for him to be comfortable with a neighborhood kid is really worth it (it really takes a lot out of me to deal with how he is around "strangers").
 

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The situation you're describing really can't work, and it's not working now. You're getting frustrated to the point that you're going to lose control with a 1-year-old. It's only going to get worse.

As your son becomes more mobile and independent, working a full eight-hour day from home will become impossible. You need to hire a mother's helper or find another mom to take him for a few hours a day. You have to find a way to afford it, because your son is a baby and doesn't understand "don't touch the laptop."

What kind of work from home job requires that you sit in front of your computer and design from 8-5?
 

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I agree with the previous poster. I don't see how this can work--it sounds like unrealistic expectations, and the situation is not fair to either of you. A one year old *needs* fairly constant ongoing interaction and engagement. Expecting him to play alone, or play without direct engagement, for for more than a few minutes, is developmentally unrealistic at such a young age. He needs more than being near you. He needs access to attention and interaction full time. There is no way to train him out of that need and you really do not want to try. What he wants from you right now is constant interaction--because he needs it. I understand that you have to work, which is why you must have help with childcare. You *cannot* do this alone. That is a totally unrealistic situation to put on your shoulders.

Just to be clear--the situation has nothing to do with him learning not to touch the laptop. The laptop is getting 8 hours of your attention. So naturally he wants to get as close as possible to the laptop. He is showing you that he needs your attention in the only way he can-and that is not a bad thing at all. It is a good sign, because he is trying to help you meet his needs. Your frustration is natural, because there is no way you can do this job and also meet his needs, from what you describe. You really need to find a way to afford help with childcare.

I would hire a mother's helper as soon as possible. Contact your local homeschooling groups. If you can find two or three dependable homeschooled kids you could rotate the 5 days a week. I bet you would only need them for a 4 hour shift each day, because you could do several hours without a helper while ds naps. A child of 11 or 12 would be perfect for this kind of job.

Eventually you may be able to afford a permanent care situation, but for now, I would start with a mother's helper. That way your ds will have another person able to engage him, play, etc. which is what he needs.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BetsyNY View Post
The situation you're describing really can't work, and it's not working now. You're getting frustrated to the point that you're going to lose control with a 1-year-old. It's only going to get worse.

As your son becomes more mobile and independent, working a full eight-hour day from home will become impossible. You need to hire a mother's helper or find another mom to take him for a few hours a day. You have to find a way to afford it, because your son is a baby and doesn't understand "don't touch the laptop."

What kind of work from home job requires that you sit in front of your computer and design from 8-5?
This you simpily cannot be in front of the computer for 8 hours a day with a toddler t could be possible with a newborn or even a pre crawler but once mobile no its jsut not going to happen. Its going to get worse not better he needs to be engaged activly by you or another care provider. You'll eaither need to work it out so your 8 hours a day are broken up into more kid friendly managable times that may mean gettign him on a better sleeping "schedule" so you can do some work after hes in bed and during a set quiet /nap time or after DH comes home ect... or you'll have to hire someone to help out I get the cost issue and the whole work thing may need to be addressed but you simpily cannot expect him to jsut leave you be for extended periods of time... He might learn to leave the computer alone but then it will be the TV the stero opening the fridge pulling out paper finding the markers discovering facuets on and on its jsut part of parenthood.


Deanna
 

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I'd also look hard at his sleep schedule. He may well be high needs, but he also sounds sleep deprived. If he goes to bed at midnight, he 'should' be sleeping until at least 9 am or so. And then he would still need a 1-2 hour nap. That kind of sleep schedule could give you a good 4 hours to work during the day, you could get in a couple hours in the evening while your dh is home, and then only need to get in a couple hours while he's awake.

But if you can't get his sleep worked out so you can work while he sleeps, then I have to agree with previous posters: You're attempting the impossible.

You have a 1 year old. 1 year olds have:
No attention span
No real impulse control
A high need to move
No ability to tolerate frustration or wait

And you're trying to do something that requires him to do all of that.

My dh works from home. We found that once our infants became toddlers we needed daycare of some sort. The time from about 12 to 20 months was particularly difficult. And we have kids who were not high needs, and who could entertain themselves for relatively long periods of time (for their age). We made do with part time daycare until they were school aged.

Realistically though, my dh was not able to work full time from home until this year, when our younger child was in kindergarten all day, every day.

I know there are some WAH parents on MDC who can and do work full time from home. You might try posting in Working & Student Parents to see how they do it, especially at this maddening age.
 

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I have a baby the same age as yours (not high-needs though), and work from home on the computer. However, my husband also works from home, our hours are flexible, and neither of us works full time.

In order to have any useful suggestions, I'd like to get a better idea of what your situation was before the most recent issues arose. How did it work out before you had this laptop-grabbing problem? What did your baby do all day, and how did you distract him while managing to work full time? Without knowing this, it's harder to give useful tips.
 
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