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Old 05-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
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Random questions

My mind has been a whirlwind the last couple days, and instead of posting a bunch of different threads I thought I'd combine all my questions into 1 post. To give reference DD is 19 months old.

1. I find myself saying things like "Brooke, are you ready to....go inside, go take a bath, get your diaper changed, start cleaning up etc." Then I realized that even if she said no she was going to have to anyway since the things I was asking her about were non-negotiable. It's not like I was asking her if she was ready to go to the zoo and if she said no we wouldn't go. Does anyone else ask questions like these, and should I start consciously trying to re-phrase so I'm not actually giving her an option/choice? It doesn't seem right to ask for her decision if I'm going to disregard it anyway.

2. What to do about biting? Her canines are coming in, and that may be part of it, but daycare thinks it's because she's not "strong enough in her words". She's biting when she doesn't like the answer you give her or at daycare if someone else has a toy that she wants. At home most of time she'll be far enough away with a wide open mouth so you don't actually get bitten, but if you were closer you would be. We are reading "Teeth are not for biting" every night and when she does it we tell her in a very stern voice "Ouch. Biting hurts" but it's not seeming to make a difference. A lot of people have suggested biting her back. I'm not comfortable with that, but for those parents that do, does it really work? I know they all outgrow it, as I haven't met many adults who still bite, unless asked to , but is it something we just have to live through or is there something we can do to stop it sooner?

3. Do you always have to give a warning before a time-out, or are there different rules for different infractions? DH wanted to give her a timeout the other night because she wasn't listening and was trying to grab a pen from him. He gave her no warning at all and tried to put her in timeout. I told him that he had to at least tell her the first time she didn't listen that it was a warning, and the next time she tried to grab the pen she would be in timeout. He said she was told earlier in the week that she wasn't listening. Um, hello? Toddlers are like dogs. You can't punish a dog for something they did 5 hours ago. They have no clue why they're being punished. I told him that a warning has to proceed a timeout.

But in the case of a more serious event, see biting question above , can that go straight to timeout or do you have to let them bite once, give a warning and then put them in timeout the next and subsequent times?

Okay, I think I'm done for now.


I am a WOHM to one smart, funny little girl.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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Re: Random questions

1. We just tell ds what were going to do, like ok it's time to clean up your toys, or ok in a few minutes were going inside. No point in giving an option if there really isn't one. That way they can't really argue it.

2. Ds wasn't really a biter, when he did it he was young like 7-8 months. The doctor told me the second he does it put him down on the floor, make a stern face and say ouch no biting! Or she said to pinch his ear. I choice placing him on the floor, and it worked like a charm.

3. Time outs- ds gets a few warnings when it something simple like trying to take a pen. But if he does something hurtful or mean ts right to time out.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: Random questions

I personally would start trying to rephrase what you say. I agree 100% that if her answer doesnt matter then it's rude to put the activity into a ?. I say 'time to brush teeth! do you want to start or to finish up after mama?' That way there's hardly ever any fight over what needs to be done but she still gets a choice.

2/3-I'd keep reading the book and telling her 'ouch biting hurts!', I would also walk away from her after wards. If she did it again I'd give a time out. I always gave my girls a warning before t/o at that age. They have a small amount-if any!-self control and need to be reassured the rules are the same each time. Having said that it's unrealistic to expect a one year old to not only remember a rule told to her days ago but also to control herself every.single.time. If the daycare provider/s feel she needs work on her words then maybe teach her sign language. It helped curve the tamtrums SSSOOOOO much with my girls b/c they could actually tell me how they felt and what they wanted. Also show her good ways to release that anger. Stomp her foot, growling, a 'clue' word, something, then say 'oh Brooke is MAD/UPSET/FRUSTRATED!! Brooke wants xyz, mama said no now Brooke is mad mad mad!(this lets her know someone understands how she feels) and then help her fix the puzzle, change activities, ect at that point

eta-the 'cave man talk' is also great for other feelings. Once they know someone actually 'gets it' 9 times out of ten the fit will stop. Describing their feelings also helps them learn the different feelings and then later with understanding other ppls feelings. Be warned though that if you talk like this to her in public you WILL get strange looks
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Last edited by my2sweets; 05-18-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: Random questions

1. Yes, I do it too sometimes. However, yes, you should rephrase. If you try to break the habit now, it will be helpful to you in the future. I give a warning for things like, "We will be going inside in 5 minutes." and then, "Okay, time is up. Let's go in now."

2. I have never had a serious biter. However, I still have thoughts. No, I would never bite my child back. I'm sure it has worked for some, but I don't think it is the right way to go about it. Ultimately, I think it sends the wrong message, which is, "You hurt me, I'll hurt you." Not the message I want my child to learn, personally. At 19 months, I would definitely put her in time-out EVERY time she does it. Immediately, no warning. She bites, you say, "No biting." very sternly and pick her up and put her in time-out. She doesn't have to be old enough to understand "I'm getting time out because this is improper behavior. We shouldn't hurt people." She just needs to associate going into time-out, undesirable, with biting. She doesn't want time-out, she won't bite. Right now, you are working to stop the behavior. With time and maturity, will come understanding.

3. If you want to teach her first time obedience, I would not always warn about time-outs. When mine are getting into something, I say, "No touching" and redirect. I leave it at that. But, if they do it again, I say, "Mom said 'no touching'" and I pick them up and put them in time-out. They learn very quickly that when mom says "no" she means it. Again, it's about teaching your child to obey and about changing the behavior. The understanding will come as she ages. Some things are more worthy of a warning. Like, if you don't want her to leave the room. The first time she tries to leave, you say, "no, don't leave or you will get time-out." Other things, always and immediately get the same consequence, in this case time out, with no warning or 2nd chance, like the biting or hitting or throwing toys.

In all discipline, no matter what method you take, consistency is the absolute key to making it work and to getting the message across. No matter what you do, if you aren't consistent, it won't work. If you sometimes let her get away with biting, she will keep doing it because sometimes it works! If you always give her 2 or 3 or 4 chances to obey you, she will always take those. She will learn that when mom says "no," then she can do it 1 more time before she gets time out or 2 or 3. Be consistent and give something several days to a week before deciding it doesn't work. It can take time. Don't give up too quickly. It can be confusing for a child to have the consequence changed every couple of days. Then, they don't know what to expect. Consistency is key.

Good luck with the biting!
Heather SAHM to 6 who are 7 and under, including 2 sets of twins and our last little miracle, a surviving identical twin, born Oct 2012!

Last edited by HeatherlovesCDs; 05-19-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: Random questions

DS will be 19 months at the end of this month -- so very close in age to your DD

I ask questions like that sometimes, too, but I've been trying to instead say things like 'In two minutes we'll have to go upstairs for the bath!', or give DS a choice like PP suggested: 'Do you want to read this book once before bath, or just go to bath?' It seems to work pretty well; we still get protests occasionally but most of the time with the 2-minute warning he's cooperative.

DS is a biter, and a pincher, as well. For him it's clear that he's biting/pinching without really realizing what he's doing, and that he forgets that it hurts the other person. I remind him that biting/pinching hurts (calmly, when I manage) and that we have to use gentle touches, and usually that's enough for him to stop. If he's really bitey it's usually because his teeth hurt, so we try to address that with painkiller or a cold washcloth to chew. I also ask him if he needs to bite/pinch, and when he says yes I give him something he *can* bite or pinch (like a stuffed animal, or chew toy). DS bit one of the other kids at daycare, and they just said that he's too little really to understand what he's doing, and that they will shadow him and move him from the situation before a bite. No 18 month old is going to be very strong with their words, IMO.

We don't do timeouts (and don't plan to); we use natural consequences in our discipline instead of punishments. So if DS does something that's unacceptable behavior (for example, pinching/biting after our reminder that pinching/biting hurts), we tell him why he can't do what he wants, and then he gets put down and the interaction stops (in the example with him trying to take a pen, I'd say 'Mommy needs to finish using the pen, would you like to see the pen when mommy finishes?' and then I'd finish and let him see it ).

Good luck! Every day is an adventure with this age, isn't it
working mom to Owen 10/29/2009 and wife to Brad.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: Random questions

We don't really give choices either except maybe the potty. We are very easy going on many things but we don't give choices (though going out of the house is never an issue) and we just say, its potty time, its time to eat (or if we aren't eating we may ask to see if he is hungry if we are not), its time to go bye-bye, its time to go to bed. Like you said, they don't have a concept of time so to say we are leaving in 5 minutes at this age is worthless.

Teething - our nightmare for the past year. We just pulled the pacifier and found 2 tethers that seem to be working so we keep them on had (have a few of each after trying many) and hand those to him when we think he's uncomfortable. The dentist we saw suggest raw carrots which he seems to like. We don't have biting except if we deliberately stick our hand in there if we think he put something in his mouth and that annoys him (but that's not biting in my mind).

Time outs - I think they are pointless at this age. We redirect, we give one-two chances, we remove the item/object from him, and worst case, PNP (only a rare few times) or crib/in room. We also pick our battles carefully and if we can find an alternative to make him happy we'll do that first.
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