Well, Brex is learning. I've figured out a few consequences that seem to work very effectively for his current behaviors. For each of these I give him a "When/then" statement as I see the willful moment approaching.
"When you touch that, then..."
"If you keep pulling those out, then..."
1. Move him
When he sits there staring at and scooting closer....and closer...and closer to whatever I've told him not to touch, I just say, "If you touch it, you get moved out of the room." He looks up at me and then back down. Slowly his fat little finger oozes toward the object of desire. As he touches it, I swoop down, grab him and move him out of the room. Not in any mean way, but not in a cuddly way either. He wails and gnashes his eight teeth as I leave him there to go back and finish whatever started the conflict. Then I come out and say, "I'll pick you up when you stop crying." He whimpers up at me with tears in his big brown eyes. Sniffs. Gets quiet. I pick him up and he grins and all is well.
2. Let him go
His other favorite reaction is to arch his back away from me if I say he can't touch something. (Example: we're in a store and he wants to touch the display items. God FORBID he can't touch them. What do you MEAN, 'it's not for you'?! The outrage! The horror! AAAAGGGGHHHH!!)
I have zero tolerance for that kind of tantrum, so I just put him on the floor as he's arching. (I do it gently enough that he doesn't bang his head, but quickly enough that he knows he started the motion) I leave him there to wail and again say, "When you stop crying, I'll pick you up." He usually stops fairly quickly. Yes. I've done this in a store. No, it's not fun. I figure the fits will only get worse, so it's worth it to do now when he can't yet walk away.
3. Walk away
He's just recently started shrieking if he's not getting something he wants (usually me). I refuse to pick him up and reward the shriek. So I repeat, "When you stop crying, I'll pick you up" and then walk out of the room. The volume increases exponentially of course! When it winds down to a low whimper, I go in and get him. As soon as I pick him up, he grins like none of it ever happened. For some reason that's when I think, "Little punk!"
I figure all of this will have to be adjusted again once he can walk with confidence (since he will get up and run after me). That day is coming soon! Yesterday he had multiple times where he took 10 little robot steps (mostly towards the dog. Must. touch. her. Must. not. get. licked. in. face. Must. stand.)
So, as in most parenting thus far, as soon as we figure out a working system, we are due to enter newly uncharted waters.
|For Halloween, I dressed him appropiately as a 'curmudgeon'. The shirt says "This is my costume".|