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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...ds is very, very sweet.<br>
He's going through this phase, though,(is this the next 10 years in a nutshell?...lol...) where he thinks it's hysterical to do the exact polar opposite of whatever he thinks I want him to do...<br>
Example:<br>
We have a table/lamp combo piece of furniture. He's compulsively drawn to knocking it over against the wall.<br>
It isn't so much a facination with what happens when he does it, so much as it is a curiosity about what *I'm* going to do to stop it.<br>
He gives me this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"> look before and while he bangs it against the wall...<br>
Redirection is pointless at this point. He's hip to the whole redirection thing, and is absolutely determined to not be led astray from his mission....and his mission appears to be to simply find out what lengths I'll go to to stop him from doing this.<br>
This is just one a-typical example of where we're at....<br>
It's by no means constant throughout the day...but it's regular, nevertheless...<br>
How do I handle this?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blueman.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blueman"> He he he he .... I'm sorry but that is so funny!!!<br><br>
I have no advice for you but can't wait to hear what some more experienced Mamas say.<br><br>
My first impression though is that, as you know, he just wants your attention so maybe .... does it happen when he's bored or you've given him space? Or perhaps he's tired and grumpy when he does it? OMG! How am I gonna deal with this in another 10 months? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/drink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="drink">
 

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No advice, but I'll commiserate with you-- My 14 month-old DS is going through a similar "phase"... his favorite things to do (until last week when we re-arranged the livingroom to make room for the christmas tree, which is another story) generally involve pulling all the books off the bookshelf and throwing them at the cats, then pulling himself up to peek at the pictures on the table in the corner and hopping up and down to make them shake... Redirection from these very important tasks is hopeless-- he throws his head back, screams and stomps and won't stop until we let him go back to his mission... He usually throws the tantrums when he's exhausted but "too busy" to sleep (also another story!)<br><br>
Toddlers are fun, aren't they?<br><br>
-k
 

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Ok- you have to be really careful about deciding what he "means" by his behavior. You are giving him adult ideas and feelings. I do agree he is having fun. He is playing with you. Why not? He is learning just how powerful and important he is... you want that... you really do. Baby proofing is an endless battle because they will always find something else. He will get bored if you get more boring. If getting a reaction out of you is fun, he will continue. You are going to need to be a superstar redirector with this one. I mean go crazy- when he goes for the lamp, you go for something way more fun. Get out the pots and wooden spoons and start banging, fill the sink with bubbles and make a huge mess, fingerpaint with yogurt, tear the newspaper to shreds... you can find something more fun then messing with the lamp, right? I suspect you have a very bright child and when bored, you are his best toy. So be a good toy and be entertaining. Good luck.
 

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The only other thing I can offer is to support the last poster in "re-casting" what he is doing. When you use terms like "defiance" that automatically pits "you against me." The opposite of defy is to "obey," but I'm guessing that's not really what you want. You'd prefer cooperation? Or respect for you house/time/things etc? When they pull out the books or knock the lamp - what's he doing? Is he really "defying" you? Or trying to get your attention? Testing limits? Perhaps just trying to be playful.<br><br>
Yes - I went through the phase, too (My dc is now 21 months). At first I tried to keep putting the videos back on the shelves, but it was endless. After awhile I just left them in a pile in the family room. Eventually I put them back and one day I noticed they stayed there. She lost interest. I know it's not much help, but it's par for the course.<br><br>
Does he want to see the lamp and how gravity works? Can you take him over to the lamp and show him it and how it works? Drop a ball or knock a cloth off the table? Anything playful on your part?
 

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I agree with the PP. Using terms like Defiance sets up a specific behavior on his part.<br><br>
How do you know if he is defying you or just testing your consistancy?<br>
It IS a game. Children aren't born with this ability to obey. Heck, nobody is.<br><br>
You need to teach him why that table is not ok to be knocked over.<br><br>
Keep working on redirection. He will get it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well...I guess I should have said "playful, experimental, intentional opposition".<br>
He's totally just having fun with checking my consistancy. Sometimes he'll just lightly touch it with one finger while he's looking at me.<br>
I'll say "That's ok....you can touch it <i>gently</i>".<br>
Then he'll take it up a notch and lightly tap on it.<br>
(understand, too, he's giggling and smiling during all this...)<br>
I'll say "gentle", and try to let him know I'm serious...<br>
It's usually at this point that I'll try and get him interested in other things...(haven't tried the pots and pans yet...guess I need to keep them close.)<br>
That's when he gets this look of pure, gleeful determination on his face and starts shaking the table and trying to push it over.<br>
I'll go to physically remove him, he'll "flee" , screetching in laughter...<br>
I know this isn't "bad" or anything...totally normal, and actually quite cute.<br>
It's just becoming a tendancy that's bleeding over into everything.<br>
Getting dressed, eating, hitting...<br>
Anything I ask of him, he decides to see what happens if he does the polar opposite.<br>
I know he doesn't really have any real impulse control yet, but at what age should I expect some degree of cooperation some of the time?
 

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I am so with you on this... I don't have any advice, but I'm learning a lot reading cuz my little guy is doing the same thing now too. Its so cute, its hard not to laugh, but its frustrating at the same time.<br><br>
I'm anxious to try some of the suggestions and read more later.<br>
Good luck to you, kellyb, you're not alone!!
 

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kellyb, I too have seen that little sparkle in the eye of my ds when he is about to do something he knows I will be less than thrilled about!<br><br>
I too was notorious for attracting negative attention as a child (with a 17 mos apart sibling, it was always quicker to get negative attention than to hold out for positive, my poor mother!)<br><br>
Anyway my ds is doing the same type of stuff from time to time with not eating or not wanting to have a diaper on or the like. My approach has been to pretend not to care for a couple minutes and then try again. It seems like he starts to realize I am more persistant than he is.<br><br>
I have also used the how about redirect the destructo impulse to something more destructable, like allowing him to tear pages from an old phonebook instead of daddy's calculus book. Pots and pans have been working too. He is 11mos.<br><br>
Good luck with the table, can you hide it for a week or two?
 

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A toddler is supposed to be somewhat defiant. It's an important developmental stage. Just get used to it. You can work on having him listen better at about . . . age 20. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Just kidding! He'll come around when he's older. At that age distraction, humor, and removing the objects that she wouldn't leave alone were my best strategies.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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I was reading all your posts and I guess I just don't think this is such a big deal at all. I think we make it a bid deal because we have these expectations that are not age appropriate for a 15 month old. Just my thoughts is all.
 

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I also have a 15 month old, and she can be challenging too. I'm a novice at the discipline thing. One book I would read is The Discipline Book by William Sears, MD. This book is very enlightening and clues you in to the why's etc. of kids behaviors. Good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>USAmma</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A toddler is supposed to be somewhat defiant. It's an important developmental stage. Just get used to it. You can work on having him listen better at about . . . age 20. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Darshani</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Oh... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><br>
That's it, isn't it... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy"><br>
This is just the reality of having a pre-verbal kid.<br>
Just keep on being sweet to him and deal with it, in a nutshell?<br>
When he's ready to cooperate in a mature way, I won't be wondering if it's time...I'll know it's time.<br>
This is just the wacky world of living with a little caveman....???<br>
LOL...that is just too funny... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce"><br>
OK...but if he's still like this at 16 I'm soooo going to dig this thread up and flame you all...<br>
BTW...I'm planning on getting the Sears book...need to get that soon... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I also have a 15 month old. He loves touching things I don't want him to touch (and there are very few of those, like my computer mouse or keyboard when I'm doing something important like making a purchase online). The thing is, a 15 month old has no impulse control....none. We can tell them no until we are blue in the face, and they will still get that mischevious smile and bang/touch/hit/bite/whatever. At this age, redirection is really our only tool. We have a game where I will get down on my hand and knees and crawl after him making kissing sounds, and he'll run off down the hall. This is very effective at getting him away from my computer...lol. Plus, I get to kiss him when I catch him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> It's also a gentler way of dealing with an annoying issue.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Karlin, I <b>love</b> what you do! That's so cool! And, yes, 15 months can be an aggravating stage ... if we allow it to be. I guess this has been established, but the word "defiance" really has no meaning at this age--and won't have for quite a while. (okay, nak now)<br><br>
i have always found it easiest and most sanity-preserving to just hide or place out of reach anything i truly couldn't stand to have messed with, or dangerous, etc. or else temporarily blockade it or, well, if you can't put the table/lamp away for a while, can you weigh it down or anchor it so it won't tip?
 

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From your description it really sounds like he WANTS to know what he can and can't do. So I would get some piece of crap breakable (old saucer, fragile playdoh object made for the occasion, anything) that I want to get rid of anyway and put it there, and then tap the table together with ds till the ugly piece of crap breakable falls off and then do the very upset game and clean up. So he learns what can happen, and learns to understand that very dear precious breakables are thrown in the trash after they fall. I think the gleam has to do with your sternness, he likes seeing you do that special thing with your voice, but he's not aware yet of the connection with the object breaking. So you gotta show that connection, it seems like he suspects there is one, he just can't know what it is until he sees it.
 
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