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Can you spoil a 15 month old?

  1. #9
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Carang, from the use of capitals I take it I may have offended you somewhere! I wasn't disagreeing with anything you said. When i said it's in a child's nature to explore rather than sit quietly and to let them go with it I was refering to parents who absolutely insist that their child sit quietly upon command and for however long they deem fit. I agree that putting them into certain situations over and over (like a formal playgroup with a structure etc) will help them learn when to sit still etc.

    But I must also say that every child is different and should be allowed to develop at their own pace and according to their own personalities. My first son was an early talker, is extremely curious when it comes to learning and just loved going to a formal thrice weekly playgroup from the age of 2. My second son, now coming up to two is the opposite. He is incredibly co-ordinated (walked at 10 months, can hit tennis balls, catch balls etc) and is an outdoorsy type. His nickname in the playground is 'actionman'. But, he has little interest in books despite us reading to him every day and his talking has only just started to get into the two words in a sentence category. There is no way we'll be putting him into any sort of school as early as we did his brother, it would just do a disservice to who he is.

    Personally, i love seeing the huge differences in my children and working with these differences. I also find that some things just happen when they get to a certain age. One day they go from being an uncontrollable rascal to an angel who sits still because they realise there is more to be gained from doing so (i.e. they want to know what happens in the story rather than just turn the pages). They learn to use the toilet rather than wee in a nappy. They understand the concept of sharing. Timing is everything. You can try to pre-empt development but if it doesn't happen easily they are just not ready. Let it go for awhile then come back to it later.

  2. #10
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your valuable feedback guys. It is great to hear the views of those who have been through this stage.

    Carang, thanks for your thoughts. I knew you ran a playgroup so I thought you would be a helpful person to answer this post! I do believe that children are happy if they are encouraged (as you say) to have some structure.

    Aussiegal, my son sounds like your second son. His nickname is "non stop baby". Even when he was a tiny baby he is constantly kick his legs like he was trying to run around!!

    I am with all of the posters 100% that I don't want to try to turn my son into a docile child. I love that he is energetic and spirited. The way he just jumps up in the morning and embraces life is fantastic (thank goodness I have a helper though as I would struggle to keep up!).

    It's more that my husband and helper and such softies that they think that I child should never whinge or cry. Personally, I think it is ok for them to whinge or cry if you have said "no" to them for a good reason. The kind of examples I am thinking of are my son whinges and so my heper picks him up and he points to where he wants to go and she carries him around. This can go on for ages. If I was home I would say to him (after a few minutes) - "mummy is tired (not to mention 6 months pregnant) and she wants to sit down now. If you want to book you can walk over and get it yourself". Obviously I wouldn't use all of those words but you get the gist!

    I think that the nub of my worry is coming from the fact that if we were back living in Aust my son would just have to fit into the family routine. i.e. if I was doing the ironing I would stand in the playpen to do it and bad luck if he cried because he wanted to come in. If I was cooking and he wanted to come into the kitchen he would have to be strapped in his high chair for his own safety and tough luck if he didn't like it. Having a helper in HK is a real luxury and allows for our children to have so much more attention than they would otherwise get. I just won't want my son to be a "little emperor" who thinks that the world revolves around him and what he wants at any particular moment.

    I grew up as one of 5 children in a house where both parents were workaholics. I certainly would not wish the lack of attention I received as a child on anyone but I have also seen the effects of over indulgence on children. My sister is so soft on her children that her 7 year old still isn't toilet trained - seriously, she poos her pants just to show her mum who is boss!

  3. #11
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    I also find that some things just happen when they get to a certain age. One day they go from being an uncontrollable rascal to an angel who sits still because they realise there is more to be gained from doing so (i.e. they want to know what happens in the story rather than just turn the pages). They learn to use the toilet rather than wee in a nappy. They understand the concept of sharing. Timing is everything. You can try to pre-empt development but if it doesn't happen easily they are just not ready. Let it go for awhile then come back to it later.
    I so agree with this. Every child is different and they will get "there" (whatever it is that we think they should be doing), in their own time. Sometimes, as parents, we fall into the trap of "benchmarking" our kids against other kids of the same age, and while it's completely natural to do so, we just have to remember that each child is unique and we should celebrate that uniqueness.

    I am not suggesting that we be permissive and let them run wild, just that we should not be overly fussed about them not being able to "listen" and do what we want them to do all the time. As quite a few have mentioned here, we have to learn to pick our battles. Easier said than done, I know, but that's part of the challenge (and fun!) of parenting.

  4. #12
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    Sherwes, maybe have a talk with your helper and make sure that she is on the same page as you with regard to how much attention she can give to your child and explain why that is, so that she has a better understanding of your child-rearing philosophy. It's not easy for them (the helpers) to let the child cry for fear that you might think that they did something wrong, hence the rush to pick them up or give in to whatever the child wants.

  5. #13
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    no, no offense was taken...again, just using the odd word in capitals for emphasis. i am very sorry if offense was given.

    i totally agree that every child develops at their own pace.

    i do still believe though that some things like sitting down are not as important as say.... throwing toys at the tv...THAT should be stopped immediately.

    walking around during a playgroup is not naughty it is merely being curious. throwing themselves on the floor and screaming their heads off because they are angry is naughty, as far as i'm concerned.

  6. #14
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Sherwes, my son is 15 months old too and look like yours a lot ! he wouldn't stay still in the playgroup, but after a few weeks he is getting used to the group and knows what to do when it's time to play or read or dance... I was already convinced that routine was important with the sleeping/eating/going out things, but is still now with their activities.
    You seem to be aware of what a good balance is, between having his own character but learning about the limits too... just talk to your helper, and little to little she will get used to let him walk alone where he wants to go, cry when he can get something, and learn about respect... and your baby will probably fit into the new situation with no problem.

  7. #15
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i do still believe though that some things like sitting down are not as important as say.... throwing toys at the tv...THAT should be stopped immediately.

    walking around during a playgroup is not naughty it is merely being curious. throwing themselves on the floor and screaming their heads off because they are angry is naughty, as far as i'm concerned.
    Absolutely.

    Sherwes, like Buckaroo I think you need to speak to your helper. It's normal for children to cry, to be unhappy whent they don't get their own way etc. I find that many helpers take the easy way out, which is to give in to the children they are looking after simply to get through the day a little easier! I can understand it but as a parent we need to make sure this happens as little as possible or we will indeed have bratty kids. If she says no, then it's no.

    I think it is very important, particularly for boys, to learn how to express themselves and to be allowed to express themselves. (girls tend to be better at this naturally.) It is ok to be sad/angry/upset etc. When my boys cry because they haven't gotten their own way I always say things to them like 'i know you are sad/angry but you're not allowed to take other kids toys without asking (for example).' In our house you will also hear me say that I am sad/cross etc when they do something I don't like. Giving them a release and a verbal way to express their frustration really helps as they get older. Since we started doing this at home my 3 year old is like another child. He doesn't need to throw himself on the ground any more as it's far easier to just tell me he's angry. My 20 month old responds very well to this too.

    He also hates it if i'm sad so all i have to say is 'i'm sad that you are doing that' and look like i'm going to cry and he immediately stops, says sorry mummy and comes to comfort me.

    Hopefully it will mean we raise boys capable of empathy that are aware their actions impact others around them.

    Hearing about your childhood brought a memory of my own home. My mother was quite moody and prone to yelling. I distinctly remember that in my whole childhood she only ever apologised to me once for yelling or taking things out on me. It's normal for all of us to lose our tempers from time to time but i think it is really important that we are able to apologise to our children when we do. I often do this and even do it for my husband (daddy is sorry, he didn't mean to get angry). At least then our children will grow up knowing it's ok to make mistakes, lose our temper etc as long as you apologise for them when necessary.

    Ahh parenting, such fun!

  8. #16
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Hi all, I just wanted say thanks for all of the good advice and post an update on this topic. I spoke with my helper along the lines suggested. My helper has taken my comments on board and I think that, as a result, my son is actually whinging less. I think my helper was worried that I would be mad at her if she ever let my toddler cry. She now understands that I think some crying is normal when they don't get their own way and it is not the end of the world. My husband is still a complete softie with our toddler but maybe his gentle personality is one of the reasons I married him!!

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