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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS has already mastered the art of tantruming when he wants something to go his way. Oh and he knows how to do the "limp noodle" too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">.<br><br>
My question is this; At his age (almost 15 months), is it ok to kind of give in if it's not disruptive to our routine or what we're doing? I'll give one example. Today I was doing laundry in the communal laundry room in our building. It's on our floor, literally 10 feet from my apt. but I usually go alone. Well DS wanted to go with me and threw a mini tantrum complete with kicking and crying. I let him come because it was fine with me.<br><br>
I *think* he's still so young that he won't learn manipulation, am I right? Should I be placing any boundaries at all?
 

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For me it's all about picking your battles. There are some things that are worth fighting over and there are things that aren't worth it. I would probably make a point of talking to kiddo about, "When you want something you ask nicely you don't throw a tantrum." I hold my ground with that. If she can back off and ask nicely she often (not always) gets what she wanted.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about it at this age. I think he's probably just expressing himself, rather than trying to manipulate you. Maybe just start letting him know that you prefer he ask nicely rather than kick and scream when he wants something (but don't expect him not to tantrum at all, that will keep happening for quite a while).<br><br>
In general I try not to set arbitrary limits just so I can exert my authority over my son (not saying you're doing that though!). I try to be genuine with him, and if I've told him no, and he gets really upset about it, and it's not a big deal to me, then I'll change my mind. I just try to gently guide him on socially acceptable ways of asking for what he wants.<br><br>
Oh you might want to try cross posting this in Gentle Discipline for more responses.
 

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I ask myself "Is this a situation where listening to his screams is WORTH not allowing whatever it is he's trying to do?"<br><br>
In the case of, for example, not pulling the dog's ears, then yes. I don't care how much you scream, you will not hang out by the dog if you're going to pull on his ears even after we've practiced "gentle touching" together. Sorry, scream and thrash all you want... your rights to do what makes you happy do not supercede the dog's right to live pain-free. But when it comes to, for example, playing with my cell phone, I try to find an acceptable alternative. I put it on lock (my new phone has a keylock function!), or offer him the Nintendo DS (after pocketing the stylus, he keeps hiding them).<br><br>
I choose my battles. I don't choose every battle, nor do I forfeit every battle.
 

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I don't happen to think that toddlers tantrum to be manipulative, per se. Maybe I'm naive but I have read so-called experts who say this too, so I'm gonna keep thinking this! So, basically, yes, I think it is okay to "give in" - it's just not worth it to fight the battle for the sake of what?<br><br>
Like blizzard babe said, we also have to draw some lines in the sand- no matter how much my 14-month old cries, screeches, and tries to bite/hit me, throws herself on the floor, she doesn't get to go pet the dog when he's in his baby-free zone. It isn't safe (he's quite territorial) and that's that. In this case, and others like it, I validate her emotions and let the tantrum ride itself out, keep her from biting me. Or we move/distract. But usually I just let her have her "say" - she's frustrated and has no other way of expressing it.<br><br>
If it's something that I don't really care about, doesn't affect her safety or others' safety, is not terribly disruptive- well then I don't see how it really matters. So for example, recently my family had a Day of the Dead celebration at my father's gravesite. My three year old nephew wanted to eat the special bread we brought and my mom said no, it's for the dead. My nephew promptly got pretty upset. And so we decided, okay we can eat it, after the ceremony. Everyone was happy. My brother didn't have to deal with a total meltdown and leave early (which is what he tends to do when his son throws a tantrum) and we were able to have the ceremony. Then we all got to eat yummy bread (and really? saving bread for the dead? Is that so important?). Win-win-win.<br><br>
Sometimes I think people feel like "giving in" to toddlers is going to mean that they grow up to be spoiled, arrogant, self-important ego-maniacs. I just don't buy it.
 

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I think that the biggest key is not saying no, then turning around and saying yes. If it isn't that big of a deal after the fit begins, then why would it be a big deal before the tantrum? I really have tried (still do) to pick the battles I want to wage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone, it all makes perfect sense, I think I just needed some validation of my own thoughts!
 
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