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Expectations for an 18 month old

1311 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  oceanbaby

For those of you experienced moms and those of you with 18mon. olds: what is sort of a reasonable expectation for you dc in a library story-time setting?

DD is one of the younger attendees; most are 2 through 21/2 years of age. She will sit about 5 -10 min. and then wander. She's definately more interested in the other children and adults than the story. (At home, she LOVES books and prefers them over anything else). She will walk up to him to see the book close up, and then turn around to face the 'class' and start making the various animal sounds of the pictured animals. Or go to the door (repeating 'door' about 20 times) and try to open it. Etc, Etc.,

I am wondering if this behaviour is like other 18 month olds, or not. Maybe I feel unsure about this because the other children are by far more reserved and quiet and seem tuned in to the reading.

Do you think I should "help" her sit through this? How? I currently let her wander a bit if she is not disturbing the peace, but when I do have to gently intercept, a volcano erupts (KWIM?)

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With my boys I expected to avoid story time because the wandering and asking questions would drive me crazy!

I'd rather just go to the park or children's museum where that behavior was what I expected to happen, instead of story time where I would always hope that they would just sit and listen for a few minutes. I don't think there is any reason an 18 month old has to sit still and listen, unless they want to. There are just so many other things to be doing that if this isn't working do something else.

If you don't mind what is going on, then just do what ever she wants. If it is too frustrating, then there is no reason she has to go to story time.
I think 18 months is too young too have almost *any* expectations for library storytime.

My ds is 2 weeks short of 18 months. Stories are one of his favorite things at home, too. He often brings me a book, and when its over, I'll say "Q, go get another story!" and he runs over to the bookshelf to pick a new is sooooo cute!!

But that is when he himself has decided he is in the mood for stories. I think 18 months is too young to say "ok, NOW we are going to listen to stories," KWIM?

Its funny you posted this, because yesterday was the very first time I took him to library storytime. He was quite interested in all the children gathering, and the carpet squares everyone was sitting on. When the storytime actually began, he did stare at the storyteller for about 2 minutes (she had a very loud and animated voice) but then he began taking books off a nearby shelf and wandering around. At that point, I didn't want to disturb any other kids (mostly older), so I took him to another area of the kids section where he could play with toys and wander around at will.

I think by trying it out, with no expectations, he will get the idea that the library is fun and interesting. If I tried to make him listen, it would only be frustrating. Well, I did try by saying "Wow, Q, look at all these kids- should we listen to a story?" In other words, I did direct his attention to the storyteller in the beginning- but beyond that I just accepted when he was done (two minutes later, LOL!!)

And in answer to your question, I would think it would be the *rare* 18 month old who would sit through library storytime. I think wandering and exploring are very age-appropriate behaviors for 18 months.
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When I used to take my toddlers to the library program, the librarian who ran it was very toddler aware.
She had lots of on-your-feet songs and encouraged leaping like frogs during the frog song, etc. The toddlers usually were at least as interested in each other and in the gathering itself as they were in the activities. Some would go and sit on the librarian's lap, or parade around the circle checking out every mom, or simply twirl in the middle until they couldn't stop laughing! I LOVED that librarian and how she created this space for little children to be themselves, and take from it exactly what they wanted, and to offer themselves fully in whatever way suited them!

At all of the other libraries around here, the children's programs are very sit-in-mama's lap, be-quiet, listen-to-the-librarian. The parents ended up bossing their children around and apologizing to each other for their babies' "bad" behavior (like going right up front to see the book better!).
: In that setting I saw my children getting restless very early on and I was thinking: "Good for you! You want to be more a part of things than this! Let's go out into the book section and see what we see!" And so we bailed from all of the other library programs in the first few minutes!

I think your 18-month old knows what she wants, what will mean the most to her, and you can decide if you feel this program is a good fit for her or not.
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My ds is 2.5, and still would never sit still for storytime at the library. I tried taking him when he was 2, and it was the same thing you mentioned - he just wanted to wander and play with the books and toys. He loves to read with me at home though.

I think it's a personality thing - some kids are more likely to sit still than others. My ds has never been one to sit still for anything (besides Sesame Street.
: )
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