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Toddler forgot what he did?

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    We started really early with my son on this one as this type of thing is a very big deal to us. If he does some behavior that we don't like or feel is inappropriate we immediately stop him, get down to his level, get eye-to-eye with him, hold him by the shoulders and say a firm, "No. We do not [whatever the misbehavior]. Tell [whoever] sorry for [whatever the misbehavior was]." We don't say it in a soft voice and we don't yell. We give the "cold, hard, stare" that means we mean business. If our son sees this look he knows that he'd better behave--it is rare that he sees this from us.

    My 11-month-old has developed a habit of throwing her head back when she doesn't like something in a tantrum-like way and even though she is 11-months-old we correct this behavior. We tell her, "No. That is not okay." again with the same, "cold, hard, stare." She gets the point that we're not pleased with her behavior. Sometimes she will cry because she has been corrected and is not used to us using a harsher tone and look with her--she knows it's for real. She knows she's being disciplined--even though she's only 11-months-old and can't speak in sentences yet or even walk.

    By 19-months-old if your child is verbal at all, he should get that what he is doing is wrong and he needs to be made responsible for his actions and apologize. You should expect him to speak as much as he can in an apology. If the only thing he can say is "Sorry. No hit" then that's what he says but it's very important that you get this under control now or you're going to fight it in the future. Seems he may already have a habit developed.

    I wouldn't have breastfed him unless the issue had been settled properly. To me "ignoring" children (turning your back) is a form of discipline used a lot in Hong Kong that is pretty ineffective. I see a lot of parents get angry with their children in public for example and the children are throwing a fit and meanwhile the parents are standing there turning their backs trying to "ignore" the child hoping it will stop--it usually only escalates.

    It seems to me in your situation the issue was not resolved. It was sort of a passive-aggressive stand-off between you and your son. Now, if the child had been directly corrected and had taken the correction to heart and had said sorry and all was forgiven then I would have gone ahead with the breastfeeding. I see the breastfeeding as similar to giving a hug. If the child is still being naughty and hasn't properly understood the lesson and apologized why would one give a hug--it sends a confusing message that the behavior is okay. Hugging after the issue is resolved only seems natural, though.

    In our case, if my son were corrected for hitting us (which he would not do because he knows absolutely that this behavior is not tolerated in our home--actually he has never hit us in anger like you described because he tried it once with our helper and he was corrected and really never tried it again--we don't reason with him or try to use logic in this instance--absolutely not tolerated) and he continued to throw a fit and not respond to the correction he definitely would have had something like this said to him in a very strong tone, "You DO NOT HIT your mama and dadda. That IS NOT OKAY." I would have then removed him from my bed and put him elsewhere as a punishment. I just don't tolerate that sort of thing. That would be a serious issue to me.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    marie313 is offline Registered User
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    my daughter went through a hitting phase at about that age. I think they get frustrated because they can't express themselves verbally, and are still testing the boundaries. Every time she did it we held the hand she hit with (not hard enough to hurt, but firmly) looked her in the eye and said "NO, that hurts. that is not ok." SHe would then cry and scream a bit, but we would try make her say sorry, or give the person a ****.
    As soon as she said sorry or ****ed, we would act normal again.
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  3. #11
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    I have a follow-up question, my daughter, who has just turned 2, will say sorry in a contrite way. However, after she is forgiven she often repeats the behavior (usually jealously grabbing toys from her baby sister or even doing the hand flap at her sister's face which is effectively hitting her in the face). We repeat the firm admonitions plus asking for the apology. Sometimes it repeats again. Any advice on this one? Thanks.

  4. #12
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssheng View Post
    I have a follow-up question, my daughter, who has just turned 2, will say sorry in a contrite way. However, after she is forgiven she often repeats the behavior (usually jealously grabbing toys from her baby sister or even doing the hand flap at her sister's face which is effectively hitting her in the face). We repeat the firm admonitions plus asking for the apology. Sometimes it repeats again. Any advice on this one? Thanks.

    Seems like it's time for a stricter punishment. Just "saying sorry" doesn't always get the message across. If the problem is that she is taking toys, then not allowing her to play with the toys is a fitting punishment. If my son says sorry for something and then immediately goes back to the behavior obviously sorry isn't really getting through to him so I would literally go over and say, "Done. You aren't playing nicely with the toys." I would then remove him from the situation--maybe in another room without toys until he gets it.
    carang likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #13
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    yep, i started time outs around the age of 2. kids were put in their bedrooms on their beds. if they got off their beds, then time out started again.

    i still use this for my two (5 & 7 years old now), but i use it about once every 3-4 months, instead of once every hour! LOL!

  6. #14
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    By 19-months-old if your child is verbal at all, he should get that what he is doing is wrong and he needs to be made responsible for his actions and apologize. You should expect him to speak as much as he can in an apology. If the only thing he can say is "Sorry. No hit" then that's what he says but it's very important that you get this under control now or you're going to fight it in the future. Seems he may already have a habit developed.
    He are really watching for any sign of aggression and trying to correct it as soon as possible.

    Time ago, he had the bad habit of throwing things: He would put something on his month, i would tell him not to do it, and he would get upset and throw that object away. I would firmly tell him "No, you cannot throw things. It might hurt someone". After doing it for a few more times, he seemed to have stop doing it.

    About the hitting issues, somehow I am not sure if he is really "hitting" or just waving his hand in frustration (which just somehow ended on someone's lap?). Anyway, we treat it as hitting, and have corrected it in the past (again, telling him "Cannot hit - whoever he was hitting -. It hurts"). The bad behavior just seems to have come back (as he is starting to have more meltdowns and tantrums as well), or probably never got corrected completely....?

    Last night he had another episode of spitting water while he was on his high chair. We told him "no spitting" and took his cup away, and in frustration, he waved his hand down, like hitting the air. We again tried to correct him "No, you cannot hit".

    This morning I asked my helper if he has ever hit her, and she said no, but that he would sometime hit the floor in frustration instead. She seemed to find that behavior "cute", or probably funny, so I told her that she should correct him if she sees him doing it again in the future.


    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    I wouldn't have breastfed him unless the issue had been settled properly. To me "ignoring" children (turning your back) is a form of discipline used a lot in Hong Kong that is pretty ineffective. I see a lot of parents get angry with their children in public for example and the children are throwing a fit and meanwhile the parents are standing there turning their backs trying to "ignore" the child hoping it will stop--it usually only escalates.
    Actually I was ignoring my boy not because of his aggressive behavior, but because he was having a tantrum. Isn't ignoring (and somehow, timeout) a way to deal with tantrum?


    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    It seems to me in your situation the issue was not resolved. It was sort of a passive-aggressive stand-off between you and your son. Now, if the child had been directly corrected and had taken the correction to heart and had said sorry and all was forgiven then I would have gone ahead with the breastfeeding. I see the breastfeeding as similar to giving a hug. If the child is still being naughty and hasn't properly understood the lesson and apologized why would one give a hug--it sends a confusing message that the behavior is okay. Hugging after the issue is resolved only seems natural, though.

    Yes, I was thinking the same thing actually (after I did it). But I was also wondering... if the child doesn't know the word for his feeling, can we just take his action as apology, considering that he stopped his tantrum and came to me?. I wouldn't have breastfeed him immediately if it wasn't late at night... actually I was really dying for getting him back to sleep.

  7. #15
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    About the hitting issues, somehow I am not sure if he is really "hitting" or just waving his hand in frustration (which just somehow ended on someone's lap?). Anyway, we treat it as hitting, and have corrected it in the past (again, telling him "Cannot hit - whoever he was hitting -. It hurts"). The bad behavior just seems to have come back (as he is starting to have more meltdowns and tantrums as well), or probably never got corrected completely....?
    To me, personally, whether it is purposeful hitting or not isn't really the point. The attitude that goes along with it is the big deal. I just remember when my son was younger than 12 months (he was an early walker and physically developed really fast--walking independently at 8 months) any sign of "throwing a fit" (stomping, flailing arms, throwing things, screaming) got shut down immediately. We just never, ever put up with it at all. We never even thought, "Well, maybe he's frustrated so it's okay..." Instead we decided to teach him ways to express himself better or we would talk for him like, "Yes, we know you feel upset right now. It must feel really bad to not be able to do what you want but you still cannot act this way." I guess every child is different but I can honestly say that we've never had a tantrum problem either at home or while outside with our son and I really do think it comes from just never letting the habit develop.

    Actually I was ignoring my boy not because of his aggressive behavior, but because he was having a tantrum. Isn't ignoring (and somehow, timeout) a way to deal with tantrum?
    I wouldn't say that "ignoring" is ever the appropriate response. The limited amount of times my son tried to pull a temper tantrum we would correct him immediately, remove him from the situation and leave him there until he decided to act differently. We never just turned our back on him and decided to pretend the behavior wasn't happening. I think you have to make the child definitely aware that they are being corrected. With small children, a change of environment is the way to do it. That's why "time-out" happens in a specific place away from everything else--or on the "naughty step"--not just wherever the child happens to be at. A change of environment is a signal or cue that something is different. I think if you left your child in the comfort of the bed and turned around there wasn't much correction going on. If I was in that situation with my son, I would have probably corrected and then taken him back to his own room. But, then again, we didn't co-sleep with our son until he was that age so him being in our bed was actually a luxury for him.


    Yes, I was thinking the same thing actually (after I did it). But I was also wondering... if the child doesn't know the word for his feeling, can we just take his action as apology, considering that he stopped his tantrum and came to me?. I wouldn't have breastfeed him immediately if it wasn't late at night... actually I was really dying for getting him back to sleep.
    I dunno. I think it's a fine line and it depends on how often this happens. Sometimes tantrums just "run their course" too--the child gets bored with it or maybe the child was just too tired to continue. And sometimes all of us engage in "accidental parenting" (doing what we have to do in order to make peace and get back to sleep for example). The problem is that this can easily develop into a bad habit especially if your child co-sleeps with you regularly. It's really up to you to lead the way and decide what behavior is and is not okay for your own child but be aware that whatever you choose to do and not do has consequences. No matter what we do/don't do we're teaching our children something about what behavior is and is not acceptable. Just something to keep in mind.
    Gataloca likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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