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Cause I feel like I am doing it way more than I'd like.<br><br>
I have 2-year old twins. They are spirited little things and my intention is to practice the type of parenting described in Unconditional Parenting, but I am at a total loss as to how to do this when my girls engage in certain behaviors.<br><br>
Here's an example. The girls like to bash their toys into the windows. Fiona has broken two windows in the house. When she bangs a toy into the windows I remind her that we do not bang the windows because windows can break & hurt her, but that she can bang her toy on the floors if she'd like. When I remind her, she'll stop and bang away at the floor, but seconds later is at the glass again. I then tell her if she cannot stop I will have to take the toy away because it is not safe to bang on glass. Invariably I have to take the toy away.<br><br>
Same scenario for drawing with crayons on anything other than paper. I am taking crayons away from the girls 3 or 4 times a day because they continue to draw on the floor after being reminded to only draw on paper. The girls really like to color, so it's not an activity I want to totally shelve.<br><br>
Also, I often find my self asking them to do something and they ignore me. For instance, today we were eating lunch outside and the girls were standing on chairs that weren't stable enough to stand on on the patio pavement. So I said, Phoebe please sit on your bum. She ignored me. I said it again. After the third time I said, if you can't sit on your bum by the time I count to 3, I will have to sit you down on your bum myself. (Meaning I would pick her up and sit her down.) They always sit down by 3. I feel like crap doing this. I understand their desire to assert their own opinions and preferences, but I really don't feel these are chairs that should be stood upon and would feel upset if I went along with it and something happened.<br><br>
Anyway, sorry to write a book. Anyone have any ideas about how I can stop taking things away and threatening without having more windows broken or walls drawn upon. I would like to avoid consequences, but am not very creative.<br><br>
TIA.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:<br><br>
My DD is the same way, would love to hear some opinions!
 

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I know it's frustrating, but this sounds very age appropriate to me. At 2, impulse control is almost non-existant. It sounds to me like you are dealing with the situation well. You can't let them keep doing those activities, but I don't think that they can control themselves yet. You are their source of self-control.<br><br>
Sorry I don't have any advice, other than keep a close eye on them and redirecting them. I personally would keep the crayons up except for when you are with them so that you can keep redirecting them back to the paper. Or, you could start putting huge pieces of paper on the floor and let them draw on that paper.
 

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I would block access to the windows, have crayons only in a confined area, and put away the chairs if they're unstable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
But I'm all about not making things a fight. At 2 they can't be expected to control their impulses to do fun stuff.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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My son is the same, and I pretty much do what you do. I don't expect him to control his impulses, but neither would I child-proof to the extent of trying to block access to windows. Actually my mind boggles when I try to imagine how I would even pull that off. With crayons and paints, we do it all outside on a tiled balcony now so if he draws somewhere that's not paper it's easy enough to clean and he gets involved in the cleaning. He generally only draws on paper now anyway - I guess these things just come and go in phases according to what feels irresistable.
 

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For the crayons I would simply plan to set the situation up so they can succeed rather than having to intervene in the moment after they've messed up. I would do this by keeping the crayons put away and once or twice a day having a coloring time or a craft time where you are right there with them and can supervise. The majority of two year olds can't be left unsupervised with craft materials and I think it is asking too much of them to do so. All of the situations you described sound kind of like attention seeking behavior to me, and a very predictable schedule including stuff like craft time may help them feel more predictability in the day and feel more like they've got your full attention.<br><br>
For the windows, I'm surprised after having windows break on them that they'd still do bang on the windows. For both the window and the chair I wouldn't issue warnings, count or otherwise engage about it. To me saying it again and again and counting is what is making it into a game of noncompliance. I'd simply take action the first time in a calm nonemotional way. I don't read anything in Unconditional Parenting that says you are supposed to risk your kid breaking a window on themselves. With the situation with the chairs I would also consider a limited choice. She can stand on the ground or she can sit on the chair which would she prefer but the firm rule is that we don't stand on chairs.
 

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I agree with Roar about the crayons. Certain activities can be kept put away out of reach, and brought out during times when you can facilitate some structure. "Coloring time" can happen at the table, under supervision, for short periods of time. I would not have given my kids free access to crayons at 2 years old.<br><br>
That said, I think the way you are handling the situation is fine. Taking away misused toys is a big part of parenting a two year old. Not a fun part, mind you. But if they are going to smash windows, then you have to step in, kwim? One thing you might try: I would not give the object back until the next day. You need not take something away 10 times in a day, if they don't get it back until the next day. It doesn't need to be excessively punative -- I used to take something, put it out of reach and also out of sight (too sad to look at it all day long,) and I would say, <i>"We can try again tomorrow. Lets find something else to do."</i> I also think acting as you speak, the first time you say it, is important. You want to be standing up, walking over, reaching for the object to stop it mid-air -- while stimulataneously redirecting verbally.
 

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I think you are doing fine, at 2 they are not going to be able to just do as you tell them. You do need to physically get up and go over and redirect/intervene to make your words clear. I agree with Roar, I wouldn't get into a cycle of ask-ignore-ask-ignore-ask-ignore-take action. I would take action the first time with the window situation--I wouldn't ask, just announce "The window can break" and move her and/or the toy away from there. With the chair I'd say the first time "It's not safe to stand on the chair, you can stand on the ground" and pick her up and put her on the ground.<br><br>
I also agree, at 2, they cannot be left alone with craft materials. Put them away until it's time to color, and then sit near them while they use the crayons. Or, if the weather is nice, let them color outside at a little table they cannot hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7977006"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For the crayons I would simply plan to set the situation up so they can succeed rather than having to intervene in the moment after they've messed up. I would do this by keeping the crayons put away and once or twice a day having a coloring time or a craft time where you are right there with them and can supervise. The majority of two year olds can't be left unsupervised with craft materials and I think it is asking too much of them to do so. All of the situations you described sound kind of like attention seeking behavior to me, and a very predictable schedule including stuff like craft time may help them feel more predictability in the day and feel more like they've got your full attention.<br><br>
For the windows, I'm surprised after having windows break on them that they'd still do bang on the windows. For both the window and the chair I wouldn't issue warnings, count or otherwise engage about it. To me saying it again and again and counting is what is making it into a game of noncompliance. I'd simply take action the first time in a calm nonemotional way. I don't read anything in Unconditional Parenting that says you are supposed to risk your kid breaking a window on themselves. With the situation with the chairs I would also consider a limited choice. She can stand on the ground or she can sit on the chair which would she prefer but the firm rule is that we don't stand on chairs.</div>
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I should have made it clear that I am not leaving them alone with crayons. I can only imagine what they'd do to a room if left alone with crayons. Yikes! The crayons are in the kitchen along with a huge pad of paper and they can color when we're in the kitchen together. I am always there, although not always sitting on the floor with them. Coloring is often what they choose to do when I am making a meal or cleaning up a meal and they want to be near me, versus in their playroom. They color on the floor, however, even if I am sitting right next to them.<br><br>
Anyway, thanks for your reply. I think you've hit it exactly on the head. It's become a very funny game to get warnings and reminders from me. I was feeling conflicted about it because in UP he advises advoiding consequences, but it is obviously untenable and unsafe to have repeatedly broken windows. (Right now the windows in the house are very old and we're having them all replaced with newer, thicker windows that will be harder to break, so hopefully these are the last broken windows.) I find UP to be very difficult with young toddlers who despite being reasonably verbal, not enough so to engage in problem solving and certainly not able to manage their impulses enough to keep up their end of solving a problem even if they could. So, thanks again. I have taken your advice to heart.
 

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Buy washable crayons! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>f&p'smama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7983041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Coloring is often what they choose to do when I am making a meal or cleaning up a meal and they want to be near me, versus in their playroom. They color on the floor, however, even if I am sitting right next to them.</div>
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I would put the crayons in a high cupboard. They come out when you are 100% focused on the activity of coloring with the kids. Before you start coloring with them, explain in a serious tone that any coloring on anything other than paper and the crayons will be put away and craft time is over and you stick with it. I think that will set them up for success and put an end to this cycle of getting your attention by coloring where they shouldn't.<br><br>
I'm wondering if for the time when you are cooking you can find some other alternatives for them - magnadoodle or something where a mess can't be made. I think that would lower everyone's stress. Even if you are close by it can be so hard when you are cooking.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>f&p'smama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7983041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was feeling conflicted about it because in UP he advises advoiding consequences, but it is obviously untenable and unsafe to have repeatedly broken windows.</div>
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It may help to read a really mainstream parenting book that advocates time out or making up consequences - you colored on the table, no TV for today or whatever. I think it might help give you an idea how far removed you already are from this approach. I really don't see Kohn saying you have to allow your kids to endanger themselves or property. There are times with little ones where you really have to act. A lot of it though is setting them up for success by telling them ahead of time what to expect and by physically setting up the situation (childproofing, etc.). And, I agree with the poster who said the minute they bang on the window you are physically there and redirecting them 100% of the time. It isn't allowed period. I personally wouldn't allow it with thicker windows either because it isn't an appropriate activity. I'd be glad to honor the impulse that they want to bang by directing them to other places they can bang, but windows aren't for banging toys into. That isn't about issuing a consequence but about providing appropriate protection to them.
 

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I really like to redirect into things that are as close to 100% positive as I can get. for example, if DD is drawing with crayons off the paper, then I dont really like the framework of saying "we only draw on paper". its true, and I'm not saying one should never do this, I just prefer to find an option that's less constricting for the child, especially when its about the child's artistic expression. In this case, I'd rather find bigger paper, or better yet, find a wall/ floor that CAN be drawn on.<br><br>
I found out that you can let the kids paint on tiled surfaces or glass windows to their heart's content and it just washes off. this is great in the kitchen when I'm cooking; I just set dd up with a palette of paints and a brush (or fingers) and let her go for it on the tiled floor. then when I mop after dinner its all cleaned up. (um... yeah, I do actually mop my floor every day after evry time I cook - yeah right! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
with the windows, I agree, this is unacceptable behaviour, and I think if we make it clear, then the kids learn really fast. like most of the pps said; stop the child immediately and firmly, dont leave any place to give the idea that this might be possible, or that there is a choice. but I wouldnt leave it at that; I'd be into seeing why the child is doing that in the first place, especially since its a recurring thing. maybe the window makes a specific noise that the kid likes, and this noice can be recreated in some other safe way. stuff like that.
 

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would they be interested in writing with a pencil as a change of pace? at least you can erase. or those paint with water books? or sticker books? or maybe they are bored of coloring...you could do playdough? play in the sink while you cook next to them?<br><br>
i think you are reasonable with the chairs.<br><br>
jason was being destructive with his toys. it was easier to just put most of them out of his reach for a while. then i put a few in his room and let him only get one thing out at a time. when he gets like that i just say looks like you need some time outside.<br><br>
you are my hero. twins..i cant imagine. go you!
 
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