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Old 12-09-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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He understands to an extent, but keep it simple at that age. And cause and effect is harder, as is impulse control. The more complex the sentences, the more likely you are to lose him when giving directions. Id try Do you want to play with X? No throwing.

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

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The first time you ignored thst told him it was "ok" to do that. Three things I have found helpful with toddlers is to 1st remember that they have a delay. An actual neurological delay. Count 5 full seconds. Once they decide to do something it takes 5 seconds to react in a different way so even if you say "please stop" it is often too late. They literally cannot stop themselves. #2 Tell them what you want them to do instead of what you don't want. Exp. "I would like you to please hold baby Jesus nicely" instead of "don't throw baby Jesus" because all they hear is "throw baby Jesus"Last keep it brief and use when then statements. Exp. "When you clean up the puzzle then we will play puzzles". When-then works like a charm on pretty much every toddler I have run across.
These are good tips! I agree that he probably understands everything you're saying. Before 24 months I was having full conversations with my daughter. But I never thought of the delay thing and it totally makes sense.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

I used to work in a 12-24 month toddler room. You learn fast hanging out all day with 20+ toddlers that by around 16-18 months they understand VERY well. We underestimate them way too much.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 PM   #14
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

I've found that warnings don't really work at this age. The second something is thrown, it's gone. I take it away and it's gone. I then say something simple like, "We don't throw things inside the house." It's not that they don't understand, they are testing limits. Ignoring the behavior doesn't always work and at my house I have a 1 year old who mimics everything his older sister does. So I have to be quick and stern. For the most part they get the message and move on to something else.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:13 PM   #15
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

My son's psychologist always tells us that if a kid is allowed to do something once, even if you say no 99 times, since it was allowed once, he will try to see if it will be allowed again. So, for example, if he hits me and I ignore it, even if I punish for it 10 more times, he still will know that it was "ok" once, and it might be ok again. As a part of our plan with him (he has oppositional defiant disorder), we do not ignore problem behaviors unless we are willing to ignore them ever single time he ever does them again.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #16
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

I am sure he understands you fine, but instead of focusing on what he shouldn't be doing with baby Jesus, I bet you would get a better result if you made the main focus what he SHOULD be doing. He threw him, got a reaction out of you, you keep asking about throwing so that is what he is doing.

My daughter is 22 months old and instead I would have said "no, we can't throw baby Jesus, we need to be nice to baby Jesus" and then showed her an appropriate way to touch or play. They might understand, but be too young to think of an alternate way to play from what they've already been doing without your example first.

Don't focus on the negative behavior, or talk about an object that he doesn't currently have (ball, etc) redirect and show him a positive way to play instead. If that doesn't work, just remove the object from his reach for the time being.

And I agree if you ignored it the first time, you were telling him it was okay which is why he say no problem in doing it again. If my daughter hit her brother in the head, I wouldn't ignore it the first time, I would redirect and show her how to interact in a loving way with her brother. If it continued, I would remove her from the situation so she was not able to keep hitting him.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:02 AM   #17
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

Thanks mamas for all of the input!

I'm not arguing/defending myself, I just wanted to add some more detail now that I'm on a computer. Obviously what I thought made sense isn't working. lol.

I try not to tell DS what to do or not do before he has a chance to make that decision on his own. Maybe in this regard I'm giving him too much credit for his reasoning and understanding. If he gets on the bed, I don't automatically say "No jumping on the bed." I figure he might be coming on the bed to give me a hug or to lie down so I don't want to even put the idea of jumping in his mind if it wasn't there to begin with.

But then if he does jump, I give him a warning/reminder. I also don't think it's reasonable at 2 for him not to get a reminder of what proper behavior is. Maybe this is where I'm not giving him enough credit.

Also in the original scenario, when he threw baby Jesus the first time, I wasn't watching. I was changing DD diaper and saw it, but didn't turn my head or react at all. I figured that since I didn't "see" it it didn't reinforce the behavior at all. The reason I ignored was because I wanted him to have a chance to decide if it was something he should do again by himself. Again, obviously this didn't work because he decided it was fun.

Also when I said I took it away and then gave him another chance, it was 5 minutes later. I thought if I just let him forget about it and not put Jesus back until the next day, it was basically just using distraction. I wanted to also incorporate impulse control. I wanted him to be able to have a chance to demonstrate good behavior after he was calm. Again, this was another fail.

Oh, and about the positive behavior comments... I did try that. I asked if he could rock baby Jesus or give him a kiss etc. He was just couldn't get throwing out of his mind.

So I did think through how I was handling the situation... I obviously just have failing logic. lol.

As I wrote this, I started having memories of my childhood flash by that I didn't even realizer had anything to do with this situation but they do. I had a great childhood, but I remember resenting my mom a lot because she would tell me what to do or what not to do when I already knew the correct behavior. It annoyed me to no end! I would say something like "I should clean my room, it's so messy." And instead of resounding with "That's a good idea," she'd say something like "I can't believe you let it get that messy. You need to clean your room right now." And I'd think"Duh, that's what I just said. Next time I won't say anything because now I'm in trouble for wanting to clean my room." And it was like that with everything. Obviously I have these memories so I was older (heck, she still does it!). But I bet that's why I give him so many opportunities to make the right decision without my help. Maybe I should implement that when he's older and I know he knows what's right.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #18
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Just remember you cant reason with a 2yr old. By 3 they start to get it and by 4 their brains are very different from 2yrs prior. Toddlers also have very little to no self/impluse control-depending on the child of course.

I completely agree with not planting ideas in his head. The jumping on the bed example is a great one. If you start with dont jump right off the bat then all he will focus on is the 'jump' part and think 'wow mom youre a genius' and start jumping There is nothing wrong in giving him a chance to make the right choice(unless you see him running into the street or something). Other wise youd consistenly be on top of him and that wouldnt benefit either of you. Warnings or reminders are fine most of the time. Add in an appropriate behavior and you may just get the desired behavior. I personally dont give warnings for behaviors that could harm others or property. Toddler hood is a time of finding (and testing!) limits. They *love* them. They thrive off of them- consistency makes them feel safe and secure. Just hang in there, find what works best and stick to it. 2 and 3 yr olds are challenging to say the least
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #19
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

He DOES understand. Not the symbolism. But, he understand it's making you mad, and he's enjoying that control.

Maybe Baby Jesus can have some "toy timeout" for a while, and only be in his manger when your son is not in the room. If he does throw Baby Jesus, ignore the act, and give Jesus some hugs and kisses, then put him up safely, ask him if he's O.K up there, and tell him, he can go back with his Mommy and Daddy later.

Your son will understand that. He'll think it's weird, but he can wrap his brain around the feelings of having to sleep alone without his mommy and daddy.

Every now and then, stop by and give Baby Jesus a little hug and kiss on the forehead and ask him if he's doing O.K. But, say nothing about it to your son. Give Jesus all the power.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #20
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Re: How much does my 24 month old understand

He should understand. Wesay no a few times for our nineteen yhen take away or take away item.use firm voice.
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