Discipline or ignore?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Discipline or ignore?

Postby Dulcie » 20 Jan 2014, 20:23

Hi All, I seem to be posting a lot recently but little man has changed so much in the last few weeks I feel I can barely keep up with his development at the moment!

He'll be two in Feb and has started to deliberately chuck food/beaker/cutlery on the floor for attention. He's never really done this before as I've always ignored him if he does, as per BLW advice, so it never became a problem. Recently however, I've started to calmly discipline him a bit more in general, mostly action and consequence, i.e. "if you throw that toy at the cat again, I will take it away". He's responding reasonably well to this most of the time as he realises he has the power to make decisions for himself. I've been trying the same approach recently when it comes to the food throwing, with the theory that he's now old enough to start to learn some table manners. i.e. "if you throw your raisins on the floor again I will take them away". but the throwing for attention seems to be getting worse. He always does it with a massive cheeky grin on his face. He's also started putting his feet on the table into his food, to which I use the same threat to remove the food if he continues. I've been saying it quite calmly and in a way that lets him know it's his own decision to make, I haven't been losing my rag over it.

Do you think I'm going wrong in disciplining him over this? I know the rules of BLW are to ignore any unwanted behaviour so that it doesn't become a problem and up until now that has worked well for us. Should I just carry on ignoring it even though he's nearly two? Or is discipline the way forward at this age? Of course i'd much rather ignore it as I hate to introduce a battle to mealtime but it can be difficult to ignore a toddler in his high chair screaming "drink! drink! repeatedly at the top of his voice after he's chucked his beaker across the room at the cat (he finds this almost too funny to bear) and now wants it back again.

Any advice from you lovely people please? xxx
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby fourweewonders » 20 Jan 2014, 20:34

Id not give the cup back, he not going to die of thirst any time soon, and give him a drink later. One thing you need to be at that age (acctuly most ages) is consistant, if he throws something its gone, we had some terrible attention seeking competative throwing from the twins, kind of 'who can get mummy or daddy to pick up the most stuff for them'. Now i just leave it on the floor
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 20 Jan 2014, 20:37

Ickle Pickle does this as well. She's 18 months and whatever it is that has been thrown is left there for about 2 minutes. If it is thrown again, it's left.
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby StJuniper » 20 Jan 2014, 21:35

We started a lot sooner (like 10-11 months) so maybe it's too late, but we had success with "Pass x to mummy instead of throwing it," and then heaping on praise when he did. A positive choice vs a negative one, and a reward instead of a threat, IYSWIM. At this point (23m) if he deliberately threw something he'd get removed from the table for a few minutes but it would be massively out of character.
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby mamapup » 20 Jan 2014, 22:00

We also started early with the "dont throw it, if you don't want it give.it to me" line. At nineteen months we.are.just getting to some deliberate throwing of.cutlery though. My view is stuff that's.dropped.by accident or.through carelessness is returned to the table whilst anything deliberately thrown stays where it is.

I.take.toys.away if they're used to hit. He gets a warning and then the offending object is removed. A thrown toy gets a reminder that we don't throw toys, if he wants to throw he has to find a soft ball. If he does it again then I'd probably remove the toy but only by distraction and dumping it in the toy box.

Edited to fix my stupid phone not letting me type last night.
Last edited by mamapup on 21 Jan 2014, 07:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby Sallie » 20 Jan 2014, 22:03

How long has it been going on for? If it's really recent I'd maybe hang on a bit to see if it stops as this method has worked for you before. If not I'd try stating my expectations in positive language eg 'we keep our feet nicely under the table at dinner, don't we?' and 'let's see if we can keep our food on the table today' or even 'who will be the best at keeping all their food on the table today?' If that didn't work I would go down the route that the floor could be dirty so we don't eat of the floor. Then if food goes on the floor we can't eat it anymore. Cobster now accepts you can't eat off the floor and if it's dropped, it goes in the bin and sorry, there isn't any more. I know she's a bit older but I'm sure I started saying this before she was two. Same reason for feet staying off the table.
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby Dulcie » 20 Jan 2014, 22:45

Thanks! yes, we've always done the "if you don't want it, give it to mummy" thing too, and he's alway been really good at that until recently. I have noticed that the last couple of times he's been ill, his behaviour's been extra challenging during his recovery period. He was ill for 24hrs on Thurs/fri and been sleeping 12hrs at nigh and 3hr naps ever since so he's clearly tired. I wonder if that's half the problem? Maybe I should ignore the behaviour as per usual and see if it improves in the week...? He's always been a very helpful little fella and enjoys doing things right/nicely so this behaviour is new and unexpected!
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby catkin » 21 Jan 2014, 00:14

I wouldn't describe it as discipline, but I've always gone on the theory that if they're throwing it that indicates they don't want it any more. After the very very early days of weaning anyway!
Similarly if they're messing around with feet on the table it probably means they've finished eating and need to get down from the table.
Maybe he's just not got much appetite after being ill?

The throwing and asking for it back thing, I'd then let hamster have the cup again if she actually wants to drink but hold onto the cup while she does. (Well, that's not one of her habits, our equivalent is blowing bubbles in her drink or trying to pour it into her plate.)
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Re: Discipline or ignore?

Postby Dulcie » 22 Jan 2014, 08:10

And we have our answer...teething again! I think the long awaited last two teeth are on their way. This would explain a lot of the behaviour. Think I will carry on with the "ignore it" strategy until normal calm is restored!!
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