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"She can't always have her way"


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  • 1 Post By alittlelost
  • 1 Post By KMH
  • 1 Post By shen7

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  #1  
February 16th, 2013, 10:09 AM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
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Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
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DH and I had a bit of an argument today because Avery wanted to pull all her diapers out of the package and he took it away. I told him that it wasn't hurting anything to let her play with them and to give it back to her.

He feels that we cannot always give her what she wants when she gets upset because then she will always expect to have her own way.

I feel that if she is not hurting herself or someone else, then she should get what she wants.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
February 16th, 2013, 10:21 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I actually think it's important for children to learn to respect property (including their own). I also think that even if you think he shouldn't have taken it away, it's better to stand by him THAT time, then talk to him in private and agree on how to handle it next time; this shows your daughter from a young age that her parents are united, which gives a feeling of stability. As for the diaper situation, if you weren't worried about it, I'd talk to your husband and tell him you think you guys should pick your battles; she wasn't hurting anything so maybe that's not worth it. Another option would be to say that you will have her help you clean up afterward. OR you could redirect her to something else to play with. We like to set up "exploration" opportunities based on their interests in environments that we deem appropriate. (For example, my oldest loved shaving cream, so we went into the yard with shaving cream, a cookie sheet, and cars. He got to spray shaving cream all over the cookie sheet and drive cars through it). Would it have been the end of the world if he did this on my living room floor? Not really. But I've learned our family benefits from setting up fair expectations of how we treat the world and settings around us. Would I let my kid take apart a display in a grocery store? No. So at home, I don't let them do it either. but I will make a tower of toys in their room for them to knock down, if they want
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Last edited by alittlelost; February 16th, 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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  #3  
February 16th, 2013, 10:34 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This is actually a pet peeve of mine with my DH and with some of my family members. It is one of the few things that I have actually snapped at my DH about in the moment. I think that 1) it is important for babies/toddlers to be able to explore safely in their environment, and 2) it is important for the parent/toddler relationship to limit the boundary-setting to only those situations that really matter (like it is a safety issue or something is actually getting destroyed/broken). If Eleanor is getting into something that maybe isn't technically a toy and might make a mess, but it is otherwise harmless, I absolutely do not get into a battle over it. My DH will sometimes, and it does frustrate me.

I think there are a lot of things toddlers can learn from this kind of exploration. Like for your diapers example, Avery can learn:

1) This is where her diapers are, and maybe in the future she can help out by bringing mommy 1 diaper when you need one.
2) She can practice counting the diapers with mommy or daddy as she takes them out or puts them back in.
3) She can practice putting the diapers back in the package (Eleanor sometimes does this on her own, or I will help her).
4) She can do pretend play with the diapers and dolls or stuffed animals.

If Eleanor does not put something back right away, I will absolutely work with her on cleaning up, but I do think it is an important learning situation to let her play as she wishes with normal household objects that she is treating properly. If she isn't hurting it, I let it go.
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  #4  
February 16th, 2013, 11:14 AM
Destiny
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I think it's important to set boundaries, but I also think it's important to pick your battles.
Diapers is not a boundary I would set because it's simply exploration. If I freak out at my kids playing with anything that isn't a toy I would do nothing but haul them around all day.
I keep it limited to safety hazards and destruction of property.
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  #5  
February 16th, 2013, 11:25 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My advice may have been colored by my son, too (so keep that in mind). We let him "explore" whatever he wanted as a baby. The result? One time I went to the bathroom for a 30-second pee and walked into a living room COVERED in a whole box of potato flakes. It took me HOURS to get most it cleaned up. That's when I realized that for my own sanity, there needed to be some limits on what he could play with. So if he showed an interest in playing with water, for example, I'd set up a water "station" in the backyard for him to play with instead of letting him splash water all over my bathroom. Gives him the chance to explore while also teaching him "time and place" and to be respectful of property and not make a mess. My guess is most parents don't have to deal with kids like my son though LOL
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  #6  
February 16th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Agree with everything Ohnicole said...kids like to explore , and if it isn't hurting anything I let them do it.

(* I reserve the right to change this opinion when I have 3 kids "exploring" )
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  #7  
February 16th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlelost View Post
My advice may have been colored by my son, too (so keep that in mind). We let him "explore" whatever he wanted as a baby. The result? One time I went to the bathroom for a 30-second pee and walked into a living room COVERED in a whole box of potato flakes. It took me HOURS to get most it cleaned up. That's when I realized that for my own sanity, there needed to be some limits on what he could play with. So if he showed an interest in playing with water, for example, I'd set up a water "station" in the backyard for him to play with instead of letting him splash water all over my bathroom. Gives him the chance to explore while also teaching him "time and place" and to be respectful of property and not make a mess. My guess is most parents don't have to deal with kids like my son though LOL
OMG totally I feel like sometimes people think I am being harsh with M when I set strict limits on where she can go and control her environment quite a bit... like the fact that we use baby gates and do not have bookshelves and I don't let her go at all close to the street without me holding her hand... but that is because of how she is!!!! I say this with pride and love but she is CRAZY compared to lots of kids and she is a big boundary tester and will test the same boundaries over and over and over. One of my local mom friends has a very active and mobile girl too and understands completely, and then most of my other local mom friends sometimes act like I am overboard, but their kids are so QUIET and dare I say meek? compared to M anyway.

Sorry, tangent. I agree with setting some limits and being firm with those, but choosing your battles. M is not allowed to play with the expensive eco disposable diapers we have around occasionally, they just cost too much and once she's opened the tabs they are not usable, but she can play with the cloth diapers at home all she wants. I also agree with trying to discuss things with DH afterwards and supporting him in the moment whenever possible. My DH can be a little strict about table manners and I am super lax, so if M looks at me after he corrects her or whatever, I say "when daddy is here we don't put our feet on the table" or whatever. I think it is reasonable for toddlers to learn about context and that some behaviors are fine in certain circumstances and not okay in others.
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  #8  
February 16th, 2013, 12:40 PM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shen7 View Post
OMG totally I feel like sometimes people think I am being harsh with M when I set strict limits on where she can go and control her environment quite a bit... like the fact that we use baby gates and do not have bookshelves and I don't let her go at all close to the street without me holding her hand... but that is because of how she is!!!! I say this with pride and love but she is CRAZY compared to lots of kids and she is a big boundary tester and will test the same boundaries over and over and over. One of my local mom friends has a very active and mobile girl too and understands completely, and then most of my other local mom friends sometimes act like I am overboard, but their kids are so QUIET and dare I say meek? compared to M anyway.

Sorry, tangent. I agree with setting some limits and being firm with those, but choosing your battles. M is not allowed to play with the expensive eco disposable diapers we have around occasionally, they just cost too much and once she's opened the tabs they are not usable, but she can play with the cloth diapers at home all she wants. I also agree with trying to discuss things with DH afterwards and supporting him in the moment whenever possible. My DH can be a little strict about table manners and I am super lax, so if M looks at me after he corrects her or whatever, I say "when daddy is here we don't put our feet on the table" or whatever. I think it is reasonable for toddlers to learn about context and that some behaviors are fine in certain circumstances and not okay in others.
Our little ones would make great playmates LOL Or cause tons of trouble together! But I found that child-proofing a house can be the best form of "discipline" sometimes. I don't want to constantly be redirecting my child, so I just set up the house so that there's less to redirect from. I think it's all about finding the healthy balance for your child. for some, they can really just let anything go without worry. for others, we have to create the right environment: show them what they CAN play with or WHERE they can play with certain things. It probably all works out in the end either way, but for us I think it's good to show kids the certain settings/situations will have certain expectations. In the real world, we can't do whatever we want. I don't want to stifle my children, but I'd like my children to learn they can still explore while at the same time respecting boundaries
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  #9  
February 16th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlelost View Post

Our little ones would make great playmates LOL Or cause tons of trouble together! But I found that child-proofing a house can be the best form of "discipline" sometimes. I don't want to constantly be redirecting my child, so I just set up the house so that there's less to redirect from. I think it's all about finding the healthy balance for your child. for some, they can really just let anything go without worry. for others, we have to create the right environment: show them what they CAN play with or WHERE they can play with certain things. It probably all works out in the end either way, but for us I think it's good to show kids the certain settings/situations will have certain expectations. In the real world, we can't do whatever we want. I don't want to stifle my children, but I'd like my children to learn they can still explore while at the same time respecting boundaries
Totally with you there it does sound they would make great playmates! Lol. I was just imagining M's work flow when she enters a new environment.
- what is the biggest/heaviest/most elaborate and/or colorful object I can grab? Extra points if it is almost but not quite out of my reach... I love a challenge. If I have to climb up on stuff to reach it, even better.
- get it down, look at its parts. Does it come apart? What if I yank harder? What are the tensile strength of the bigger pieces? Does it make any noises if I push buttons or clank pieces together?
- how far can I throw the pieces? Can I fit some in my mouth? Are there any longer bits that I can chomp my back teeth on? Are there any narrow or small pieces I can wedge between some cushions somewhere?
- when object is completely ripped apart and scattered throughout the room, move on to next most interesting object.

This is why our living room looks the way it does classes of objects that I try keep completely out of reach and off limits include sunglasses, important papers, nice books, anything glass or ceramic, anything with chokable pieces, and food containers. But mostly otherwise, it's fine! I let her rip up the junk mail and play with empty boxes and make a mess of her toys and clothes, even climb and jump off the furniture (she has learned some limits there on her own bc she has fallen and hurt herself before when I was doing dishes or laundry... she is pretty careful and we don't have any super high, climbable furniture).
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  #10  
February 16th, 2013, 01:51 PM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shen7 View Post
Totally with you there it does sound they would make great playmates! Lol. I was just imagining M's work flow when she enters a new environment.
- what is the biggest/heaviest/most elaborate and/or colorful object I can grab? Extra points if it is almost but not quite out of my reach... I love a challenge. If I have to climb up on stuff to reach it, even better.
- get it down, look at its parts. Does it come apart? What if I yank harder? What are the tensile strength of the bigger pieces? Does it make any noises if I push buttons or clank pieces together?
- how far can I throw the pieces? Can I fit some in my mouth? Are there any longer bits that I can chomp my back teeth on? Are there any narrow or small pieces I can wedge between some cushions somewhere?
- when object is completely ripped apart and scattered throughout the room, move on to next most interesting object.

This is why our living room looks the way it does classes of objects that I try keep completely out of reach and off limits include sunglasses, important papers, nice books, anything glass or ceramic, anything with chokable pieces, and food containers. But mostly otherwise, it's fine! I let her rip up the junk mail and play with empty boxes and make a mess of her toys and clothes, even climb and jump off the furniture (she has learned some limits there on her own bc she has fallen and hurt herself before when I was doing dishes or laundry... she is pretty careful and we don't have any super high, climbable furniture).
Sounds ALMOST exactly like my youngest. Except my youngest will climb, jump, get hurt, and do the EXACT same thing all over again (as soon as he's done crying over the boo boo).
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  #11  
February 16th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlelost View Post

Sounds ALMOST exactly like my youngest. Except my youngest will climb, jump, get hurt, and do the EXACT same thing all over again (as soon as he's done crying over the boo boo).
Yeah, she is a repeated tester when the consequence is just "mom reacts and stops me", but when the consequence is a direct physical injury like bonking her head on the floor (we have wood floors), hard enough to upset her, then she learns apparently she is finally developing some understanding of the laws of physics!!! Lol. But that is a recent development over the past several months. And a couple of things she has hurt herself repeatedly on. She often gets stuck under a certain chair and keeps bonking her head trying to get out. But jumping on the couch, she has learned that one, the hard way!
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  #12  
February 16th, 2013, 02:20 PM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My youngest is almost 5 now and STILL does things he gets hurt while doing. He just doesn't "get it" unfortunately.
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  #13  
February 16th, 2013, 09:03 PM
IronMamma's Avatar Intactivist
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There is some great advice here, but I wanted to say that Drake always pulls his diapers down and when we get anew box he plays with the box and slides them around. I see no harm in this at all. I pretty much allow him to explore as long as I know he is not going to get hurt.
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