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<p>I will try to make this as concise and unemotional and possible. </p>
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<p>I have a 20 month old. She is very high energy. She is friendly and cheery too.</p>
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<p>My problems are </p>
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<p>1.** She won't STOP doing things. Example, playing with the dog food and water-over and over we tell her not to. Today she kept closing the computer while I was on it. She also climbs on top of tables, is rough with the dogs etc.</p>
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<p>I don't know how to discipline her. So far "no" has been what we do. It hasn't been too much of a problem but now I feel like there was some subtle shift and she and/or I need more leaning about NOT doing things.</p>
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<p>HOW on earth do I do this??!! I have no experience with this age. I have heard that they can not yet stop themselves from doing things at this age. She is so young and doesn't understand everything. I know she understands "no" in some ways. She will ALMOST do something she is not suppose to and says "no, no, no" to herself or me. It is actually very cute and smart.</p>
<p>So, again HOW to you teach a child to not do things? Consequences? Time out? If I remove her from the kitchen she will stop for the moment playing with the dog food but it does not keep her from doing it later. I am not sure I like the disconnectness of time-outs and if I was going to put her somewhere then how to you keep the negative association away. I don't want her to hate her chair (more) because she has to sit in it if she plays in the dog food but then again how else to I control her? Here is another example of today-I was going to the bathroom, she pulled the closet doors off their track and while I was trying to fix that she climbed up to stand on our (tall) dining room table and threw salt everywhere.</p>
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<p>2. Waiting-she can not wait. I know that understanding waiting to get something comes with age but how do you teach her to wait?Example, after eating I wash her tray while she is still in her chair. She just says "pull" over and over (meaning "out"), If I am in  another room and she wants me (which is all the time) she will say/yell mama, mama over and over. By the way when she does this I am talking constantly " I am almost finished, I will be right there etc.</p>
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<p>So ANY advice, experiences or book suggestions would be most appreciated. I am sort of desperate at this point.</p>
<p>thanks</p>
 

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<p>Oh, I have a 25 monther that answers to this description too :)  Honestly, at this age, it's just a lot of redirection and distraction.  And picking your battles.  If she's doing something that she needs to stop (like closing the lid on the computer) you might just have to physically remove her from the situation and put it out of her reach for a while.  If she won't get off the table after you ask, you might just have to go over, take her off and say, "We don't climb on the table". </p>
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<p>If she's playing in the dog food, but not eating it, I might be tempted to just let her play with it for a while and let the novelty wear off.  If that's not an option, try providing her with something else tactile like Play Doh.  My daughter loves to peel stickers and will entertain herself for over an hour sometimes, just peeling stickers and putting them on paper (I need to start buying them in bulk ha ha).  If she gets into trouble when your back is turned, you might just need to keep her with you ALL the time for a while.  My daughter has gotten a little better about some things lately, but there was a time when I'd take her to the bathroom with  me.  If I had to run to the garage to pull something out of the deep freeze, I put her on my hip and took her with me.  </p>
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<p>The closet doors thing is a big safety issue (as I'm sure you know) because they could have fallen on her.  Is it possible to babygate some areas and just keep a babyproofed area where she can't get into too much trouble? </p>
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<p>Mostly, my advice is just to be as patient as possible and know that they DO outgrow these things.  These are things that just come with time and maturity--they aren't really things you have to 'teach'.  I remember with my first (who is now 7 1/2)  thinking, "I have to nip this in the bud NOW or he'll do this for the rest of his LIFE!!!!"  But in a lot of cases, they just outgrow things (and move on to other behaviors to stress you out :D).  Hang in there, it gets better ;)</p>
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<p>I'd mostly pile on to LemonPie's comments.</p>
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Sometimes I hear myself with the "no no no no no no no" and I actually cringe. How random it must all seem to a little person who doesn't truly understand the logic of why endless laptop opening/closing would really be an issue. DH and I are still working through how we respond to these kinds of things. DH feels like there need to be "consequences" to her refusal to listen/acknowledge/stop doing something when asked, I have maybe a more laid-back approach. Since we don't even have it figured out ourselves, I hesitate to give advice. Bu I mostly:</p>
<p>-Pick my battles (do I really care THAT much that she's playing in the sink/wasting dish soap/getting water all over the floor?)</p>
<p>-Say "yes" instead of "no" when possible (O, I see you want to play with some water, let's go play in the bathtub!")</p>
<p>-Redirect like crazy</p>
<p>-Physical intervention when necessary, especially for non-negotiable items ("Mama asked you to get into your car seat by yourself. You didn't do it. Now Mama will help you get into the car seat.")</p>
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<p>I don't personally feel that there is any real benefit for DD or I to a punitive process at this point or that our relationship would really benefit by me giving her a timeout for not listening when I ask her to stop throwing her rabbit, or whatever. I figure logical consequences, when I need them for my sanity, are probably as much as she needs right now.</p>
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<p>DD has the same strong desire for instant gratification. It's started to get better in the last few months, so you may be just a few months away from some improvements in that area. Most of the time, I just have to deal with the repetition and get to her as fast as I can. I definitely get better results when I really connect with DD so that she knows I know what she wants. So, I get down to her level, make eye contact, touch her hands or something, and then say as clearly as possible what I hear her asking for and indicate that it will happen soon. Sometimes I notice that I'm just saying "in a minute, in a minute" over the top of her head while she's down there clutching my legs and moaning so loudly there's no way she's really hearing me. So I try to be better about making sure I talk to her, not over her.</p>
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<p>Lately, she's been responding better to hearing a sequence of events and understanding--but I don't know if that would have worked at 20 months. So I can say. "You want Mama to hold you. I will hold you soon. First, I'm going to put the chicken in the oven. Then I'm going to get a glass of water. Then I will hold you. Do you want to sit on the counter while you wait for me?" And that works sometimes. But DD's definitely a very sequential thinker.</p>
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<p>20 month olds are still very much babies, they aren't going to listen to you. Redirect is your best options. Punitive things are not a very good idea because they really don't understand. I still don't do time outs and mine are older but if I wanted to I still wouldn't done it at that age. They are so young!! The only thing my older daughter (turns 4 in Jan) gets taken from the rest of us and put in her room is for causing physical harm to someone or Im worried she is going to break/damage something. Then we put her in her room and tell her when she calms down she can come back out. Thats after she caused multiple bruises on me and I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd (and got kicked in the stomach during one of her fits). Other than that I still mostly use redirection..</p>
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<p>Playing with the dog food- could you give her something similar to play with? Beads (larger ones, like large lacing beads), rice and cups (my girls LOVE this one) etc. If she isn't eating it I would be tempted to give her a bowl to play with and when shes done give it to the dog. The dog isn't going to mind!</p>
<p>Water- when we had a cat and a dog my oldest would play in their water dish, I found either giving her a bowl of water to play with, pitchers/cups to pour back and forth, letting her play in the sink or anything similar stopped her from playing with the dog water and cat water.</p>
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<p>Try redirecting to another activity and see if it helps. It helped a lot with mine..</p>
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<p>As for waiting, shes not even 2, they don't have a lot of patience at that age. My almost 4 year old still doesn't have the patience at times. With things like the tray I tell them exactly what Im doing. For mine they don't like it when they are hungry and dinner/lunch/breakfast doesn't magically appear before them so I have a running commentary and enlisting their help.. Im getting the eggs and bowl out, anyone want to help? Im breaking the eggs, who wants to get the pan out to scramble them in.. Lets turn on this burner, careful its HOT. Looks like the pans hot, lets pour in the eggs. Wheres my spatula? There it is, lets scramble up the eggs, what color are eggs? Right they are yellow, do you remember how many eggs I cracked? Yeap it was 4 because one was yucky. Oh look the eggs are done, where are the plates. Lets put some bread on each plate. Now lets put the eggs on top and pour some water. Awesome! Its time to eat, yum.. It takes a bit of energy but it helps when they know you are really doing something to help them. So for the tray something like "Oh look this this is so dirty now, we need to wash it. Lets take the cleaner and spray it down, you want a rag to help me clean? Now lets wipe it down from left to right to left.. Look its clean again, now I can help get you out of this thing, I know you want down" As for yelling for you from the other room, good luck with that one! My oldest still does that. I usually will tell her that Im wherever doing whatever and if she needs me to come get me. Otherwise she needs to wait for 1,2,3, whatever number of minutes until Im done.</p>
 

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<p>I second, third, fourth, etc. all the advice above.</p>
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<p>We had a similar issue with the dog bowls. I know it's not always possible depending on where they are, what kinds of dogs you have, how much access the need to them, etc., but we found the easiest solution was just to put the bowls up on the counter once DS, who is now also 20 months old, started walking and wanting to get into them. We also tried to honor the impulse to play with water, explore, etc. We've found the more we opened up other areas of the house to him, with safety limits (bathrooms doors remain closed, etc.), the easier he was to handle because there just weren't many power struggles. So most kitchen cabinets have latches, but he has total access to one with things he can play with. We provided other ways to play with water (if that's the draw to the bowl) - a water table out on the screened-in balcony, a watering can for plants (and the floor, lol), "washing" hands in a sink full of water, etc. Now, the bowls are back down on the floor 24/7, and he shows little interest in them.</p>
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<p>As to the waiting issue, our boy is quite impatient as well (probably normal at this age?). I find that situations are somewhat eased if I talk to him and try to explain things. Maybe he doesn't fully get it, but I think he understands some, and it helps. So I'll say things like "Yes, I know you want your berries right now, but mama has to wash them first and put them in a bowl." And, within reason, I try to fulfill my promise within a reasonable amount of time (otherwise, I'd just let him know whatever he wants is not going to happen). Of course, he's still quite capable of throwing a good tantrum, and then I just sit with him and work through that. It can get very frustrating, but I try to remember that, since he's not a big talker (if at all), and he's only a baby really, what other way does he have to express frustration? He can't reason out a conversation to air out his feelings, or pull himself away from the situation and cool down by himself, or call up a friend to vent about something that made him mad, the way we adults would.</p>
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<p>To be honest, I have friends who put their same-age toddlers on time out, take toys away, etc., but I have yet to encounter a behavior (famous last words, lol) that I felt required this type of reaction. I don't think my child is a saint (hardly: he's very willful and headstrong), but he doesn't scream, hit, bite, break toys, throw things, etc. So why would I need to punish him? Certainly not for acting in the only way a child his age <em>can</em>.</p>
 

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<p>What has worked for us is saying "if you don't stop playing with the x, I will take it away". I know this sounds stupid because it's the dog food, but it somehow works. And you need to follow through a few times too. I think DD prefers that things are in their place and gets quite upset when the plant (etc) is not there. She'd rather it stay and she not touch it than have it removed. Worth a try if nothing else!</p>
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<p>It also works well for handholding while walking (I enforce this). "You can either hold my hand and walk nicely or I will carry you". If I go pick her up she cays "hand?"</p>
 
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