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Old 05-06-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
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Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

**Mamas, I posted this in the main Parenting section, before I realized I should've probably posted it here. . TIA.

Mamas... my almost 19 month old twins are really, really testing me lately. Not that I didn't excpect it, but I just need to figure out some discipline techniques before it really gets out of hand.

Here is just one example of their behavior of late:
We have a large floor plant in our living room... its huge. It has this stringy dried grass stuff all around the top of the pot. Previously, they could have cared less about it.... however, lately, its all they want to mess with. They pull the grass out and it gets ALL OVER the living room. Sure, I could easily just take the plant out of the room and stash it in the unused bedroom upstairs - however, I feel that it is important for them to learn what is off limits. Plus, if I take the plant away, it will just be something else. Anyway, I tell them 'bad' or 'no' or 'yucky' (I try not to use NO too much). I make them put the grass back into the pot. I have also made them leave the room and go to their playroom in the next room over, which has a swing gate from when they were smaller. I pull out the vacuum and sweep the entire room (they do NOT like the vacuum). Basically, I try to make a big deal out of it so they know they did something wrong. However, they don't care. As soon as I turn my back again, they are back in the plant. I have been dealing with this probably 25 times a day.
I got so frustrated yesterday that I tapped Sadie's fingers as she was reaching into the pot. She lauged. Its a game to them.
Right now as I'm typing this, I just had to take them out of the living room, and close the gate on their playroom. Which I don't feel is right either - I don't want to use their playroom as the 'punishment' area.

Any suggestions Mamas?? TIA. Off to go clean up more dried grass...

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Old 05-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

hi laura! i was thinking about you the other day. sorry you're having such a tough time. i don't know that i have real specific advice, but one thing i can say is i don't think they CAN control their impulse to explore at their age. toddlers are programed to find out about their world. i found/find that the bigger deal i make of something, the longer it lasts, and the more frustrated i become. so maybe with the plant if/when they get the grass all over, have them help clean it up---not as a punishment, but more a natural consequence of making a mess. "oops! looks like we got some grass on the floor. let's clean it up." redirection is still a good option too. or maybe you can figure out what they are trying to learn with the plant. do they want to dig? how about a sandbox or a pot of dirt outside to play and dig in? is it the picking of the grass? maybe come up with some similar but more appropriate fine motor activities. does that make sense (pretty tired here!!)?

i like this series of books by louise bates ames. they are great for knowing what to expect for each age. they are kind of old, but still very relevant. here is your one year old. our library has some, yours might too.

hope that helps a little anyway.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #3
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

Hey there! Good to hear from you!
Yeah, after I posted this last night... I started thinking that I'm probably just being unrealistic in my expectations. I was talking with DH last night about getting them a sandbox, I think they would love having that out in the yard. Today I am going to pull all of the dried grass off of the top of the plant and see what happens.
I've just had a few long tough days (it has been raining for the past 5 days straight, so we are stuck inside, aggghhhh) and I think the whole plant situation just really got to me yesterday!
Today we are supposed to have some breaks of sunshine... lets hope! I think some time outside will do wonders for all of us!
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

I know lots don't think 19 month olds can be taught not to touch, but my experience has been completely different. All 3 of my kids have learned from a young age (less than a year) what "no" means and what they aren't allowed to touch. My 16 month old boy/girl twins know what it means when I say "no" and they stop what they are doing and go do something else. My 3 year old was the same way.

So, I'll just tell you what I did. I used short time outs. I use a pack and play as the time out area. When they were doing something they weren't supposed to, I'd walk over to them and get down on their level and say, "no, don't touch," and direct them to something else. Then, I'd leave them alone (not alone in the room, but let them be. You know what I mean?). If they touched again, I'd go back over, pick them up, say, "Mommy said no." and plop them in their pack and play. They would sometimes fuss about it, sometimes not. I left them in for a minute or less. Then, I'd take them out and we would go back to what we were doing. I would repeat as needed. Before long, all 3 of my kids understood that when I say "no" I mean "no" and they all listen the majority of the time. (They aren't perfect, they are kids. ) Now when they start getting into trouble, I usually keep washing dishes ('cause I'm always washing dishes ), but look over at S getting into something she isn't supposed to and say, "S, no, no, don't touch" and she turns and walks away and on to something else.

Some things are just too much of a temptation and I do remove them. I'm not out to get them, KWIM? Especially with 2 of them, sometimes its easier to just remove the item. Your plant might be one of those things. One of mine was.

This has just been my experience. If someone doesn't agree, that's totally fine. My kids are fine. They are not traumatized. They have imaginations. They know I love them. They also obey from a young age. Makes life easier for me. Anyway, you don't have to agree. You can try it or not. I'm not looking to debate and definitely not looking to be flamed. Just offering a different perspective. Everyone parents differently. This is just my

ETA-Your twins were born on my 3 year olds birthday.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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Originally Posted by golgi View Post
Hey there! Good to hear from you!
Yeah, after I posted this last night... I started thinking that I'm probably just being unrealistic in my expectations. I was talking with DH last night about getting them a sandbox, I think they would love having that out in the yard. Today I am going to pull all of the dried grass off of the top of the plant and see what happens.
I've just had a few long tough days (it has been raining for the past 5 days straight, so we are stuck inside, aggghhhh) and I think the whole plant situation just really got to me yesterday!
Today we are supposed to have some breaks of sunshine... lets hope! I think some time outside will do wonders for all of us!
i know how it is! oh boy do i! hang in there.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post
I know lots don't think 19 month olds can be taught not to touch, but my experience has been completely different. All 3 of my kids have learned from a young age (less than a year) what "no" means and what they aren't allowed to touch. My 16 month old boy/girl twins know what it means when I say "no" and they stop what they are doing and go do something else. My 3 year old was the same way.
I agree completely. Toddlers are smart and they can learn to listen to what parents say.


So, I'll just tell you what I did. I used short time outs. I use a pack and play as the time out area. When they were doing something they weren't supposed to, I'd walk over to them and get down on their level and say, "no, don't touch," and direct them to something else. Then, I'd leave them alone (not alone in the room, but let them be. You know what I mean?). If they touched again, I'd go back over, pick them up, say, "Mommy said no." and plop them in their pack and play. They would sometimes fuss about it, sometimes not. I left them in for a minute or less. Then, I'd take them out and we would go back to what we were doing. I would repeat as needed. Before long, all 3 of my kids understood that when I say "no" I mean "no" and they all listen the majority of the time. (They aren't perfect, they are kids. ) Now when they start getting into trouble, I usually keep washing dishes ('cause I'm always washing dishes ), but look over at S getting into something she isn't supposed to and say, "S, no, no, don't touch" and she turns and walks away and on to something else.
Sounds like a good plan.


Some things are just too much of a temptation and I do remove them. I'm not out to get them, KWIM? Especially with 2 of them, sometimes its easier to just remove the item. Your plant might be one of those things. One of mine was.

This has just been my experience. If someone doesn't agree, that's totally fine. My kids are fine. They are not traumatized. They have imaginations. They know I love them. They also obey from a young age. Makes life easier for me. Anyway, you don't have to agree. You can try it or not. I'm not looking to debate and definitely not looking to be flamed. Just offering a different perspective. Everyone parents differently. This is just my
I find that toddlers that have been taught boundaries are much happier and parents are much less stressed.

ETA-Your twins were born on my 3 year olds birthday.
Guess I could have just
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:16 AM   #7
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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I find that toddlers that have been taught boundaries are much happier and parents are much less stressed.
Exactly. I should have included that line too. It makes my life easier and theirs too.

(Thanks for the vote of confidence. I usually shy away from sharing my opinion when it might be flamed. )
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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Exactly. I should have included that line too. It makes my life easier and theirs too.

(Thanks for the vote of confidence. I usually shy away from sharing my opinion when it might be flamed. )
no flames from me. its not like you are beating your kids! i will admit, i AM pretty stressed at times, and consistency is NOT my strong point! it sounds like you found something that works well for your family-- no need to hide or be quiet about it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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no flames from me. its not like you are beating your kids! i will admit, i AM pretty stressed at times, and consistency is NOT my strong point! it sounds like you found something that works well for your family-- no need to hide or be quiet about it.
Thanks so much for saying that! I actually really appreciate it. Mamas can say such negative and hurtful things to each other just because they have a different opinion. It makes me sad. Plus, I'm sensitive, so often if I know something can be a hot topic, I just keep my opinion to myself.

Also, I certainly am stressed sometimes. I yelled at my 3 year old at dinner last night. He was driving me up a wall and my husband wasn't home yet. All 3 kids were driving me batty. 3 kids 3 and under, even if they are behaving (which they weren't), can drive anyone crazy sometimes.

Consistency is not my strong point either. I just forced myself to be because I knew it would pay off in the end.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: Help me figure out good discipline for my 19 month old twins...

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Thanks so much for saying that! I actually really appreciate it. Mamas can say such negative and hurtful things to each other just because they have a different opinion. It makes me sad. Plus, I'm sensitive, so often if I know something can be a hot topic, I just keep my opinion to myself.

Also, I certainly am stressed sometimes. I yelled at my 3 year old at dinner last night. He was driving me up a wall and my husband wasn't home yet. All 3 kids were driving me batty. 3 kids 3 and under, even if they are behaving (which they weren't), can drive anyone crazy sometimes.

Consistency is not my strong point either. I just forced myself to be because I knew it would pay off in the end.
yea..three under 4 is not easy. my twins are 3.5, and they alone are a "handful" as they say. plus the baby still needs a lot of in arms time, and i am constantly hungry bc i don't know what the bloody heck my baby is allergic to so i don't know what to eat and yea....i yell WAY too much. i am working on it though. but it is hard.
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