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How do I get my 22 month old to listen and not grab everything he sees?

My DS is constantly grabbing and touching things. I know it is a toddlers nature to be curious but when he ventures near something that he could break he doesn't listen to us anymore. Telling him "no" and "no touch" is not working. Time-outs are the the only thing my husband and I have tried since we thought he would outgrow this behavior. For awhile they worked but now when he comes out of time out he goes for the object(s) again we have to put them out of his reach. With a Thanksgiving dinner coming up with lots of shiny and breakable objects within his reach, I need ideas on what else we can do. Thanks.


Asked by Alexsi1 at 3:42 PM on Nov. 18, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (24 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • Re-direction and moving stuff out of his line of sight. He is a toddler, punishment doesn't really work.

    Answer by kmath at 3:49 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Also, shifting your habitual response from focusing on what you DON'T want to focusing on what you DO want can be very helpful. "Connect before correct" is part of that dynamic (since he is more likely to pay attention, listen & care when he feels a connection to you, rather than experiencing you & your responses to him as perpetually negating.) But another part is "what you focus on you get more of."
    Think of how abstract "don't," "stop" & "No" are. They keep the focus ON touching & grabbing (with a negative in front.) This is not the best way to communicate with a toddler. Both because HE is very in touch with his own validity (the stuff is interesting & exciting! He knows following what intrigues him & persisting with compelling goals even when there are stumbling blocks in his path is good--this is how babies learn & grow, by paying attention to whatever captures their interest & LOVE, and persisting!) and it's confusing.

    Answer by girlwithC at 3:58 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Conveying some understanding for him AS you redirect can help to bring him along with you because he is not triggered to resist your resistance of him. This is seeing how his impulse & instinct makes sense, and conveying this to him, even as you provide a physical limit that prevents him from breaking or endangering something.
    "Yeah, that looks fun/interesting/pretty, doesn't it?"
    "Yes, you wish you could....."

    Sometimes you can recognize what is compelling to him & offer guidance along the lines of, "Oh, you like that. Pretty lamp. We have to be careful with the lamp. Here, give me your hand. This is how we touch the lamp."
    Some things can work that way, other things you may not want to go there at all. Take responsibility for setting the limit and realize that he may be upset, and those feelings make sense. Hold him & convey understanding of his feelings. It is hard to find yourself powerless & frustrated, as he does then.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:06 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Re-direction and lots of patient talking through things.

    Picture yourself that little surrounded by awesome, unknown shiny things. I know I'd do the same thing.

    Answer by staciandababy at 3:46 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Remain patient as he learns and grows out of it

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 4:04 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Two things that worked for me. Pop the kid on the hand. While saying not touching things. Pull them or their hand away from what ever they are trying to touch.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:31 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • Do hos things over nd ove again. They will stop touhing things.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:33 PM on Nov. 18, 2012

  • What is wrng with my computer????
    Do those things over and over again. They will stop touching things. (There much better)

    Answer by louise2 at 4:45 PM on Nov. 18, 2012