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Old 06-14-2007, 10:15 PM   #21
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Every child is different. I definitley wouldn't ask my ds to do something 15 times though. When he started standing in his high chair, we stopped using it. He stands in a regular chair at the table. I couldn't think of any reason not to allow this. Sometimes it is easy to feel like arbitrary rules should be enforced but is there really a need? I'd put the dog in another room during dinner.

Is there any real reason to say please, thank-you or excuse me? Is there any real reason to send a thank-you note or to hold open a door for women? Is there any real reason to wave a friendly hello as you drive past your neighbors or to take someone sick a home cooked meal. Is there any reason not to say "No thank-you" as opposed to "wow, that tastes gross" or to teach children that burping shouldn't be encouraged, at least not any other place than at home, because it can be offensive?

Many things in life are arbitrary but they are usually done to show respect and to make others feel comfortable, welcome and cared for. Is there any real reason not to stand in a chair other than to be polite, probably not. I am not saying that you should feel obliged to teach your child this but those are the reasons others do. It doesn't make it "right" to teach it and it doesn't make it "wrong" if you don't. It is a culturally accepted practive to sit at the table when you eat in our culture and that is usually why people teach it just as they teach other "manners".

That doesn't address the movement of people that think manners should only be taught by example and never by request.

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Old 06-15-2007, 01:36 AM   #22
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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When can we realisticly expect those things? Please tell me it's soon. I'm starting to feel like a broken record!
It probably won't be soon. Your DD is going through a first "adolescence" - she's learning about her as a separate individual from everyone else. She's learning how to do things for herself, and how to exert her will. She's not being naughty or anything, she's just being a toddler. And it will probably last until she's at least three.

Some tips (I am no way an expert, these are just things that have worked for us): You've heard people say "pick your battles", well start picking. Kids will tune you out if you're always giving direction to them, so choose when it is important to direct them (like "don't stick your finger in the light socket!!", and not "stack the blocks like this" or whatever). Let them explore their independence with things that in the end don't really matter. Give your child lots of choices, too. Let them choose between two things (both of which are acceptable to you) - like "do you want to wear the red socks or the blue socks?" or "do you want one more cookie, or two more cookies?". Small things that may seem silly to us help them feel like they have a measure of control in their life. When they feel they have a little control over things they are more likely to go along when you say "hold mommy's hand in the parking lot". If they do put up a stink you just tell them "this isn't a coice."

I think that actions speak louder than words, too. If DD is feeding the dog her dinner, take away her food and tell her she's done with dinner (not in a lecturing way, but a sympathetic way). You may want to actually have DD help you give the dog the dog food. My DS's first household chore was feeding the dog breakfast. He loves doing it! I supervise, of course, but he gets the dish and takes it to the dog food bag, scoopes the dog food, and sets the dish down. He even tells the dog (who has been sitting at attention and drooling since DS first picked up the bowl) "OK" to let him know he can eat now.

It's hard (for me, too!) to not have them obey right away. But it will come with loving persistance, and consistent, and gentle, discipline. Hang in there mamma!
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:17 AM   #23
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

Cody is nine and still doesn't listen lol
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:52 AM   #24
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Every child is different. I definitley wouldn't ask my ds to do something 15 times though. When he started standing in his high chair, we stopped using it. He stands in a regular chair at the table. I couldn't think of any reason not to allow this. Sometimes it is easy to feel like arbitrary rules should be enforced but is there really a need? I'd put the dog in another room during dinner.
I don't allow it beause A) she can too easily fall if standing at the table, and B) when she is standing at the table the temptation is too great to climb onto the table, and C) we expect better table manners than that. As for the dog, we do usually move him, but DD gets snacks during the afternoon and likes to feed him then, too. I don't always want to have to move the dog when she's eating. I don't think I'm expecting too much from her when I ask her not to feed the dog her food.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:36 AM   #25
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Is there any real reason to say please, thank-you or excuse me? Is there any real reason to send a thank-you note or to hold open a door for women? Is there any real reason to wave a friendly hello as you drive past your neighbors or to take someone sick a home cooked meal. Is there any reason not to say "No thank-you" as opposed to "wow, that tastes gross" or to teach children that burping shouldn't be encouraged, at least not any other place than at home, because it can be offensive?

Many things in life are arbitrary but they are usually done to show respect and to make others feel comfortable, welcome and cared for. Is there any real reason not to stand in a chair other than to be polite, probably not. I am not saying that you should feel obliged to teach your child this but those are the reasons others do. It doesn't make it "right" to teach it and it doesn't make it "wrong" if you don't. It is a culturally accepted practive to sit at the table when you eat in our culture and that is usually why people teach it just as they teach other "manners".

That doesn't address the movement of people that think manners should only be taught by example and never by request.
Jessica, I can tell from your post that we have VERY different ideas about parenting (to put it mildly). This is obviously perfectly fine. I posted my words to answer the OPs question, not to tell others what is right or wrong.

I do not agree with setting arbitrary rules for my children to make others feel more comfortable. I actually think it is ok if others learn to feel comfortable with different ideas. I like the idea that my children my question ideas and change them. The status quo is often not actually the best thing.

As far as manners go, yes there are reasons to say please and thank you. Saying thank you lets the other person know that you appreciate whatever you are thanking them for. How is that arbitrary in anyway? There are other words that can be used instead of thank you such as "I appreciate that" and that is perfectly fine by me.

There are reasons to do every example that you gave. You are in no way relating to what I wrote.

I don't view a young child standing in a chair to be impolite. If others view it that way, it is a learned response and I'll be happy if my children doing so helps reverse that view. Children aren't going to keep standing in a chair until they are 13 years old, lol. They stand because their body isn't long enough to put them at an acceptable height while sitting and they don't always like booster type attachments for reasons that I think are reasonable. Why would I deny them of that because others may think it is impolite for no real reason?

I think it is harmful to my children to teach them to do things against their own human nature when it is completely arbitrary. What does that teach them?

I'll be happy if my children question everything in life and make changes within our society that is extremely flawed. I don't think I have all the answers for them and have no desire to mold them into mini versions of myself or what I think is best. Their own self interests will mold them into something better than anything I could create for them.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:53 AM   #26
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

Basicly, you're saying that there is no real reason to view standing at a table as impolite or not in good manners, that is actually goes against human nature. I think that's a little extreme. There is a reason every culture in the world, as far as I am aware, sits on chairs or the floor to eat their meals- it's easier! It's very difficult for a toddler to learn to use utensils if they are also using one arm to balance themselves on the table. Food is going to be all over them, the chair, and the floor. They are going to be more likely to fall or climb on the table. If you don't want to teach your kids to sit that's fine, but please don't say those of us who expect manners are forcing our children to go against their human nature.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:59 AM   #27
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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I am afraid I am training my 17 month old DD to only listen to me after I've asked/told her to do something 15 times. I do not want to do that! But when can we expect them to listen to us? My top complaint is probably not sitting when I tell her to (she likes to stand at the table and in her highchair). Usually I just remove her from the table and let her come back later, but not always. I don't want her to miss all of dinner! It's also annoing that she likes to feed her food (often expensive, orgainc food!) to the dog. Or just to come inside when I call her, etc., stuff like that. When can we realisticly expect those things? Please tell me it's soon. I'm starting to feel like a broken record!
Okay, I know that I have a tendency to baby my 17 mo DD sometimes because she is the baby (I have a 3 year old DS too), BUT I do think you may be expecting too much. If she's feeding the dog, put it outside. If she's standing in her high chair, belt her in. And IMO, 17 mo is WAY too young to be playing outside alone (if that's what you meant by calling her in).

My DD will bring or hand me things if I ask. And she will "clean up" her mess at the table after she's done eating with a rag, or help me put away toys (we make it a game to see which of the kids can get more toys put away faster). That's about the most I ask of her right now. If she's misbehaving, I sit her down, look her in the eyes and tell her "No!" If she doesn't listen after a couple of warnings, she gets a 1 minute time-out on a child-sized folding chair. I don't give her more than 2 warnings (only 1 for DS because he knows better). When she gets up before her minute is up, I don't even look at her or talk to her, I just put her back in the chair. She is only allowed to get up after she completes a whole minute sitting down. It is very rare that I have to go to the length with her. And the most it's taken for me to get her to stay in the chair for the whole minute was about 2 minutes.

I do the same thing with DS. I do a 1-2-3 count with him when he's misbehaving, and he has this tendency to wait until I say 3 to get up and listen. That doesn't fly with me, and he knows it. So, into time-out he goes (3 minutes for him.) I don't make it personal, I just explain that that's the rule, that I'm sorry he chose to make the wrong decision, but now he has to have a time-out. It really does work because the fault is on him, not me, so he can process what he's done wrong.

Is she your first child? I know that expected way more from DS than I do from DD. They have very different personalities too (DS was much more difficult), but I found that the more I struggled with him, the more unhappy we both were.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:18 AM   #28
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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And IMO, 17 mo is WAY too young to be playing outside alone (if that's what you meant by calling her in).
Mainly I meant when we're both outside, usually on the porch, or when we're getting home from somewhere and we're walking from the car. Although I do let her play on the deck sometimes while I'm in the kitchen. I leave the screen door open, and can see her from where I am.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:20 AM   #29
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Basicly, you're saying that there is no real reason to view standing at a table as impolite or not in good manners, that is actually goes against human nature. I think that's a little extreme.
Mama, can you explain how a baby standing in a chair at the table is impolite? I can't think of any reason that it would be. I don't think I'm being extreme, it is my child's nature to want to stand - that is all I meant by that.

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There is a reason every culture in the world, as far as I am aware, sits on chairs or the floor to eat their meals- it's easier!
I haven't studied every culture so I'm not sure but I think you are talking about adults. I seriously doubt that there aren't other cultures who allow babies to stand while they eat. Why? Because it is easier, lol...easier for the child to stand and easier for the parent as opposed to enfocring arbitrary rules.

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It's very difficult for a toddler to learn to use utensils if they are also using one arm to balance themselves on the table. Food is going to be all over them, the chair, and the floor.
My child does not balance one arm on the table. If he did, I suppose I would try to help him do it another way but if in the end he really wanted to stand with one arm on the table and eat that way, I don't think I personally would try to stop him because I can't think of any good reason to. My children get food on the chair and floor regardless. This is just my choice mama, if you feel a different scenario is best I can fully respect that.

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They are going to be more likely to fall or climb on the table.
I don't enforce rules because they are more likely to do something else. I am absolutely opposed to such thought. First, I don't even agree that they are more likely to climb on the table, second - climbing on the table is a completely seperate issue. That is not the message I want to send my child. Just as I would not appreciate such actions against adults.

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If you don't want to teach your kids to sit that's fine, but please don't say those of us who expect manners are forcing our children to go against their human nature.
I didn't say that. If you ask questions you are going to get responses. Please don't ask questions like this if you are going to get upset at honest responses about what we expect.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:25 AM   #30
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Mainly I meant when we're both outside, usually on the porch, or when we're getting home from somewhere and we're walking from the car. Although I do let her play on the deck sometimes while I'm in the kitchen. I leave the screen door open, and can see her from where I am.
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