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When my 16 month old son is about to eat soil from a potted plant, or eat finger paint, or go into the garbage can, or put the stopper from the tub into his mouth, or anything else that is potentially harmful, I say NO in a firm voice.<br><br>
Generally he listens. Sometimes he doesn't. I REALLY try to limit my no's to things that are dangerous so he knows that no means no. However when he doesn't listen, I just take away the problem or remove him from the problem situation.<br><br>
Is this the right way to discipline a 16 month old? Or is there a better way?
 

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At 16 months, they probably do not grasp what NO means, so as you are saying no, remove them at the same time, so that way they "learn" what no is. Doin great mamma!!!
 

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I would approach it from a slightly different angle. I would quickly tell him what *to* do. For instance, when he brings the potting soil to his mouth say "Timmy!! Put the soil here! Soil is for plants. Thanks!" All in a cheery voice, enough to get his attention off of eating the stuff. This coming from a mama whose 2 yo eats EVERYTHING. We have lots o' experience redirecting...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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You can also suggest things that he CAN put in his mouth. If he snacks on cheerios or something, if he uses a pacifer, whatever works. This is the age they start wanting to defy you and testing limits (my daughter is 18 months we are so all over this territory right now. HA) and sometimes suggesting something else without focusing on what they shouldn't be doing is better.<br><br><br>
And, yeah, I need to take my own advice i'm constantly forgetting and doing it wrong so I see the reaction of the toddler. It just goes on and on and distracting her is harder once she sees my reaction to whatever it is she is doing (and she LAUGHS!)<br><br>
aisling
 

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I am more of the "no" and then remove variety. I found saying "you can ___ with the soil" was simply not effective in keeping them from doing whatever I did NOT want them to do. It simply made no impression on them.<br><br>
But saying "No dirt in your mouth, its yucky" and then gently removing them or their hand from the dirt had them "get it" and fast. For my kids (and this might not be true of all kids) it meant they did not do this again.<br><br>
The other way only confused them.
 

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At 16 months, I had plants up high. If he was getting the garbage, I'd move it to the counter and redirect him. As much as possible, I tried to provide an environment that he could fully explore.
 

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I would just redirect him.
 

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I use a "no" (to be very specific) and then follow that up with an alternative that will honor the impulse.<br>
So with the dirt, I'd say "Don't put the dirt in your mouth. (add explanation). You can put the dirt in the pot." Or some other alternative that would satisfy his impulse- maybe he thought it was really fun to play with his hands in the dirt, so maybe I'd give him water to play in, or give him playdough to squish up in his hands. kwim?<br><br>
But what you're doing is gd. Ime, though, redirecting to an alternative that honors the impulse "works" a lot faster! lol
 

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I let my oldest eat dirt. He was very squirmy, curious, veeeeeerrrrry rambunctious and frankly it wasn't worth it...low NO's would scare him/hurt his feelings...also he was VERY hands on...had to teach him 'hands down' very early on which worked, but only if used sparingly...pick your fights honey, pick your fights!!! I would use low no's and redirect him on safety issues, not the day to day eat dirt, carry worms in pocket, lick floor, eat candy that he found under the refrigerator type stuff. If I had, I'd have been saying no all day every day...<br><br>
My 2nd is more manageable on a low intensity level...I am able to redirect easily, unable to use the low NO because it hurts his feelings and begins to cry (very sensitive like his older brother!). but he (unlike his brother) is easily distractible and can be 'teased' out of a funk...<br><br>
we'll see about DD!
 

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Our family functions very similarly to pp; I let my children eat dirt, rocks, sand, grass, dried cheese from behind the end table in the very corner of the room where I missed, etc... nothing poisonous though, of course.<br><br>
I always laugh when my dh husband jumps in with, "Don't eat that! It's disgusting/gross/inedible!" as he rushes to 'rescue' the child from ickiness; my response to him is, "Huh. How do you know? (giggle, giggle) The funnier thing is that all three of our children always ask me if they can eat the thing they found before they do. I tell them what it is and then let them decide. Only our nearly four yr old now decides more frequently than not to put the 'thing' away and not eat it. So the other two eat lots of nondescript 'things'. I think it's fine, especially if they can outgrow the impulse around four years or so (or eight or nine, like my brother). Mind you, I did meet a man whose friend shared with me that he reflexively runs his finger along their filthy stovetop and licks his finger afterword... that's gross, but I'm not sure that it's a result of his mum letting him experiment with his sense of taste. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Or maybe it is...<br><br>
Other things are strictly 'redirect' for our 16 month old. Every now and then he can take a 'no', but only if it is not a serious situation. A quick or louder than normal speaking volume 'no' scares him too, like his brothers when they were younger, and always did, which is why we don't do it, unless we do so reflexively (which does still happen). I do say no to the two older ones now, though, and they take it well. It is always accompanied by an explanation and alternative where it is possible and acceptable to dc.<br><br>
And yes, op, I do think what you are doing is gd, although I'm still learning what that means in the deepest sense. I'm assuming your 'firm voice' is still gentle/loving since your redirection seems like a gentle approach.
 

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My reaction to gross stuff in the mouth is always;" eeew yuck not in your mouth. "<br>
DS will often throw the objectionable thing down if I say that then stick out his tongue and go "aacckk" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I reserved "no" for things that were potentially deadly or injurious - running in the street, playing with outlets and touching the stove are the only things I can think of. Other than that, I redirected.
 

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We used STOP (in a panicked tone of voice) for dangerous things and moved all "no" sort of items where the baby couldn't reach them. For our DD, she clued into the emotion of what I said rather than *what* was said. She knew when I was frightened and stopped immediately.<br><br>
It makes many mamas lives so much calmer if the house is redecorated to reduce the redirection needed to keep the babies from playing in items we don't want them to play in. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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