Tuesday, 24 May 2011

No!

Our first born child knew the definition of No well before he ever got himself into too much trouble.  A simple No would always result in him moving away from something I didn't want him to touch. 

Over the years I've had many clients ask me how I am able to keep all my books and bits and pieces in place on our coffee table with a little one in the house.  I have always been a firm believer in leaving all my precious objects around the house and teaching  my children to respect my things which will eventually become theirs {whether they like it or not}.  

HOWEVER, I have to say that I have entered into a completely new way of life with our Max.  Ever since Christmas I have had one very tall pile of books perched right in the middle of our coffee table.  Not because this is a new way I am experimenting with arranging my things.  It is the result of a child who seems to have determination which rivals my own.

Late this afternoon I had an appointment at Betty's lovely home and as I was leaving I spotted her big old amazing tree bearing lots of fruit.  She very generously offered me a few which I brought home and placed into one of my vintage blue and white plates.  I bravely placed it on our coffee table amongst my other things.  It took Max about 5 seconds to arrive at the coffee table.  He snatched his very own lemon out of my lemon bowl and then proceeded to put it into his mouth.  I said no and then I said no again and then again...I think I am starting to sound like a broken record!

I caught the moment with my camera and then I moved the lemons to higher ground.  It seems I need to work out a plan of attack as I can't keep this Leaning Tower of Pisa book arrangement thing happening... 

Any tips?xx

35 comments:

Not Perfect But Nice said...

I so agree with you concerning keeping things where they are and making the child adapt around that. Some kids are just harder than others! Bon courage :)

pve design said...

I think one can live happily amongst pretty bowls of lemons and books as long as the little one has his bowl of legos or favorite toys and own books. Maybe you can keep a stack under the table for Max.
pve

brismod said...

Minimalism?

NAPATELIER said...

Unfortunately, I have no tips for you. I believe there are children for NO and those against NO. Mine is way to curious to accept simple NO.
Have a lovely day!
p.s. love, LOVE your blog.
Darija

Bec Hem said...

I would also love any tips! with a little one on the way soon i know in about 6-12 months i'm going to have the exact same problem.
actually, what am i saying, i already have this problem with one very cheeky Jack Russell who thinks HE owns the place too!

Louise (Table Tonic) said...

Oh, Anna. I swear it's a second born thing... And the worst part is, THEY'RE DISOBEDIENT AAAND FEARLESS!!!
Ugh. Good luck with that!
xLouise

meenal bishnoi said...

i love that eager little hand the most in this fabulous image..its funny how most kids learn to say 'no' at the earliest..maybe its us mamas how say it all too often!! xx meenal

IAMSNOWFLAKE said...

I'd wash and rinse the lemons and leave them in a place within his reach. Tell him "no" again as he goes for them and then pick up your camera and capture the expression on his face the moment he bites into a lemon (or half lemon if you want to go for a quicker result). Priceless! (harmless) and a lesson learned.

Karena said...

Anna that is a tough one because children are so inquisitive and of course are drawn to bright colors, making new discoveries so to speak.

A tableau that is his own of unique items that he can touch and feel and even play with everything there?

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Ashley said...

I know discipline is such a controversial subject, and am aware that my answer might be met with ridicule by many, but we're firm believers that if a simple "no" does not work, that a "no" followed by a flick on the hand is rather affective! My daughter is 18 months old now and got her stubbornness from both of us. We've been using the flick method for a few months now with great success. I always give her a chance to obey first by just giving the oral command, but if she continues to disobey I move to the physical discipline. So there you go - take it or leave it!

Anna Spiro said...

Ashley, I am totally with you. Discipline is such a controversial subject and I had to be very careful in the way I wrote this post. But it seems that the little tap or flick as you call it on his hand still doesn't seem to stop him. I think Louise is right in that the 2nd child is so much more confident than the 1st child and also like some have mentioned above he seems to be way too curious to accept no so maybe that's a good thing.

Brismod - loved your answer! I wish I could like minimalism but THINGS just keep on creeping onto tables! I can't help myself!!

Sharnel said...

William was/still is so much more defiant than Olivia. Keep persisting with Max and perhaps move the really precious things out of harms way for the moment.
It's an ongoing thing, but in a few years he will be trained well I'm sure.

Kelly Green said...

Those chubby little hands are sooooo cute though.......KG x

ashleighelizabeth said...

all you say is no, and that is all he hears. he's a curious little person discovering his world he only wants to see, and touch and feel with his whole body. with my children if I say No it is almost always followed by an explaination as to why. ex: no, that could burn you. etc. I have made my home more minamilistic to accomidate this for a time. I have the rest of my life to have fragile pretty things on display. but my little ones are the most fragile and precious and will only be small for a time. I'd rather say YES! look. feel. touch. do. discover.

Boho Farm and Home said...

I TOTALLY understand you dilema-I have the same problem over here. I just try to be consistant and the flick is good too. The suprising thing is, before you know it he will no longer care about what is on the table and then you'll miss it, because he is no longer a baby but a little man.
xo
Caroline

Anna Spiro said...

Another very intersting side Ashleighelizabeth...

In some ways I agree with what you are saying but I personally will continue to keep my pretty things around me because that is the way I live and I want to teach my children, who I love more than anything in this world, to appreciate lovely things and all the hard work which goes into having lovely things and also I think it's important to teach them to respect the things of others...
It is definitely a controversial subject...

Hello*Lucky*Holly said...

This is a stage for Max, he won't always be a grabber :-) For now though he is so little and still learning. How about you help him to look at the things carefully and then pop them back?

You made to compromise a little until he get's that 'No' means 'Don't touch' and pop a few things up higher. I like to do the swap method by when I take something away I replace it immediately with a child appropriate object (toy, book, etc)

Peta said...

I'm no expert on this stuff and hesitant to offer my opinion as I'm not yet a parent but I've observed my cousin use the phrase "please don't do that" with her children (4yrs & 18 months).

Some children from an early age seem to dislike being instructed what to do (I was definitely one and I'm often reminded of when I was 2yrs old and got cross with a shop keeper for telling me what to do. I told him only my mother could talk to me like that!).

"Please don't do that" seems more suggestive and leaves it open to the child to decide rather than being instructed what to do. Who knows? it might work?

I agree about leaving things as they are and letting the children adapt to that environment. It might be just about trying many different tactics until you find the one that works for both you and Max.

Good luck, Anna! I bet you're a wonderful mother and I'm sure you will find it! In the meantime, I bet it will challenge your creativity and design skills! xx

count it all joy said...

You must, must keep your lovely things around you Anna. Regardless of the small, busy and often grimy hands I have constantly wanting to snatch and grab, it's important to still have a visually pleasing environment. It's good for them and as someone who spends so much time at home, it's really important for me. They soon learn anyway.

I ordered that "Summers in France" book just last week - I can't wait to get it! Like you, when I receive it, it will take pride of place on my coffee table where it will bring joy each time I look at it...there's sure to be a bowl of lemons lurking somewhere nearby also:)
Meredy xo

Ann said...

Never mind the knick knacks, I'm wondering about the white chairs I see in the background! I have two Max types at my place and now they're older they're unfortunately even grubbier... boys! A x

brismod said...

I was joking about minimalism. You should keep your lovely things around. Maybe put the very precious breakable things away for a little while...My little one had a thing for throwing things in the bin! Yikes. xx

A-M said...

Oh I sort of miss the little chubby hand stage! I'm afraid to say I can't remember what I did. I said 'ah-ah' a lot... loudly... so much so that my neighbours stood to attention next door in their kitchen when I disciplined my 2. I also kept all my pretties out. I never moved a thing. They just learnt the rules. Same at Grans place. Rules there too. Now I want them to touch things... like the folding pile, unpacking the dishwasher, clearing the dishes! A-M xx

Sketch Book said...

Yeah I agree, it's a second child thing... I caught our little monkey perched on top of our sideboard one day... she actually learnt to climb before she walked!! She is four years old now and still has the mischievous streak. I keep all my nice things around me - no point locking them away for years and not enjoying them!

Tina Kent - Lady Chatterley's Affair said...

Funny Anna! Same thing has been happening at our house this week! Monday- Henry pulled over the vase on the side table, Tuesday it was the lantern on the coffee table & wednesday the wine in the pantry! At least Max has great taste right!? I'm dreaming of a big coloured resin bowl as a stand-in. Good luck. . . Or get some new superglue! LovT

amlokmer1 said...

Distraction, the next best thing when the discipline doesn't work. Perhaps have an object (book, toy, noisy pot) nearby (change it daily or weekly) so when he does go where you don't want him to you can distract his attention ("Max - where's your favourite book!").
You could also try using "no" in another language - something new for them but means that same thing.
Nein, Non,etc

Fiona said...

It does seem to (mostly) be a second-born thing. I wonder why?

Yer Cinnamon Girl said...

That's a hard one Anna! In my case my second is in the autism spectrum so a simple "no" sufficed. He just wasn't that adventurous but my daughter the first was unstoppable. I read so many parenting books and I wasn't comfortable with corporal discipline so I never tried flicking but I did follow one tip I read: " It said to say no at the child's level and then to physically remove the child to something that may distract them for a while. The most important part of this is that if you start you have to do it consistently until your child is too tired to continue. From experience it was hard to be consistent but if I wasn't it just turned into a game for her. Just take each time one at a time. Sometimes I pretended I didn't notice that time so that I didn't have to remove her 20-30 times (he he) but it actually was effective.

Fi said...

Oh Anna, you're doing fine. Just take a deep breath...

Fi said...

Oh Anna, you're doing fine. Just take a deep breath...

Marrianne said...

Lolo... I feel your pain! For my first and second (both girls), I kept my pretty things and breakables out and the girls just learnt to be gentle with them - I couldn't get them not to touch but they touched gently... But now I am floundering... I now have twin 19 month old boys who are irresistibly gorgeous.... but highly, highly destructive. My vases of fresh flowers get turned into 'mulch' and my breakables do just that....lol. Its a work in progress - maybe I will just have to revert to the minimalist look.. or try to remember that the flaws (ahem..cracks) and imperfections add character. Love your blog.

Sherri Cassara said...

No advice.. just wanted to say how darling those little hands are and your lemons look lovely ;)
Enjoy the challenges ... they grow up so fast!

Patti said...

My two were so opposite... just like yours, but I refused to put up the things I loved and the one who did not choose to acknowledge the "NO" ; ) got with the program... kids learn, and while they make 'break a few things' things are replaceable but memories and lessons taught early on, cannot be replaced! lovely blog!

Camille said...

I want to tell you that I can very much relate. My little girls (twins) are 2.5 and they have always responded well to 'no', which I can tell you I have congratulated myself about.
Well, things have changed, and I am forever shoving books back into our shelves and putting items back into the drawers of my husband's desk. 'No' is not quite as effective as it used to be!

elzaan_orpa said...

I cannot live without 'my things'...our son will just have to learn to handle it with care of listen to my NO! Some glass/pottery things I packed away..but photo's wooden bowls candles.. I tell him..we only touch and put back..it works.

The Scott's Crib said...

Hello...this is an interesting post and I can definitely relate. See I commend you on bravely displaying pretties on your tables and such. I am such a coward and wouldn't consider doing so with my 16 month old. My tot has never grasped what no means so I often have to say "at at" and she will start crying. Sometimes this doesn't even work. They definitely try your patience.