Teaching a young one

Today my husband and I were talking, or was it yesterday? Anyway, we do talk and were talking about our grandkids. We had 4 granddaughters born in one year. This year they are or have, turned 3. The oldest of the four was born in May and the youngest was born in December. The December baby is the one I babysit all week long.

Scout loves her kitties, but she can be mean and sometimes scares them, laughing about it.  So many times I have to tell her to be gentle that it hurts them, scares them or what ever.

When Rick and I were talking the other day I realized how much I use things to teach things. I guess raising 5 kids of my own helped me see this, but we realized that is seems to come natural to me.

Let me explain.

Several weeks ago Scout and I went to where my husband works to get the company credit card from the plant manager. I have a cleaning contract with the company and needed supplies. Tim was teasing Scout and Scout was not sure how to take him. Suddenly Tim said “I’m gonna get you” and started after her. She panicked and ran to hide, shaking and scared. We had a talk about it after we got in the car. We talked about being afraid and how it felt and how Tim was playing and not trying to scare her.

Fast forward to last week:

She was scaring the kitties and thinking it was great fun. One was hiding and shaking. I took the little kitty and we talked about how Scout felt when Tim was playing with her and how the poor kitty must feel now. Scout got the point.

Another example. We have a goat that is now an it. He came to us only a few days old and was bottle fed. Scout helped take care of him and as he grew he acted like Scout was his sister. He would butt her, try to play with her and as he grew was way too rough.

Jack is now over a year old and when he sees Scout he wants to play and tries to push her and butt at her. He will push the stroller with her in it, but gets too rough. He wants to walk with us when we go out on the road, but then thinks that part way down the road he should get in the stroller too. He will then try to push Scout or climb on her lap. (NO! I do not take him any more!)

Last week we wanted to go for a walk and Jack saw the stroller and came running. Scout got scared since he is too rough with her. I juggled the stroller out the drive and then carried Scout to the road and put her in the stroller. Jack wanted to play!

We had another talk about how she feels when Jack plays too rough and how Jack must feel wanting to play and not knowing he is too rough. We then related it to her and how she is with the kitties.

Good teaching is taking someone from where they are to where you want them to be. It takes steps and takes things they know to understand what they do not know.

Your children learn by taking the things they know and using it to making the unknown known to them. We need to be observant!  You have the ability to take teach them. So often we yell, criticize or put down because they are doing what they should not be doing.

Use what they know to teach them, it is much more relaxing and they do get the point.

That Explains It!

It is Works for me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer and I am going to share something that works for me with kids. People kids that is since anyone following this or Ain’t No Place To Put A Sticker knows I have goats now.

My granddaughter Scout is allergic to cows milk, at least to the kind you buy in the store. As a result, she needs goats milk.

I am a great fan of teaching your children in their terms, their understanding. A one year old understands different than a two year old or a ten year old. We have talked to Scout (17 months old) about her milk and it comes from the goats. Since I am not milking my goat yet I knew she did not fully understand.

Today I went to the farm where I get the goats milk. We happened to show up at milking time and what a blessing it was for us. They people were gracious enough to not only let us come back and Scout see the milk coming out as the goat was getting milked, but also let Scout give milking a try.

You never saw such a bug eyed girl when the milk came out of that funny bag, nor such a proud girl when she got to make the milk come out!

Whatever it is you are saying to your children, say it in words and pictures they understand. Let them see hows and whys of things that they can’t understand yet when it is at all possible. Demonstrate. Act like a kid if you need to for them to understand what you are saying.

So many times I have heard parents say something to a child too young to understand what is being said and then react because they did not understand and did what they were not supposed to.

Actually, same goes for us as adults. Too often, when we are new at something, we do not understand either. Remember how you reacted and felt then and make sure you explain well to your children.

Works for me!

Dealing with the 17 month terrible twos

It has been a long time since I dealt with the “terrible two’s” but the one thing I remember is they started at 16 months with my kids. I had forgotten that point. Forgotten how independent and defiant that cute little darling can be. Forgotten that all the laughter and fun can turn to a tantrum with one of several words: “no”, “come here”, “don’t squeeze the goat” or “Jack (the goat) can’t run around the house and jump on the furniture with you”.

Yes, that sweet, adorable, little angel turns at the drop of a hat into a monster. How can this be?

Independence and wanting her own way comes early in life. She says “shower” while fully dressed and trying to turn on the water and I am trying to get her out of the shower. She runs from there to the dog food, or water and dumps it. I am cleaning up that (after a long talk) and she defies me and does it again.

She was so cute! And, unfortunately she is still cute doing it!

Today I went to bottle feed the goat and she wanted to do it. I tried to show her how to help me. No, she wanted to do it herself. She tried to hold the nipple straight up and got mad when I showed her that he could not drink it that way. From there it went into a temper tantrum! I mean, throw herself down on the floor, clench her fists and scream and I mean SCREAM!

I ignored it, walked away and she stopped. Right away. Tantrums stop quickly when they do not get the attention they want.

But, what about the defiance? The dump the water when you just said “no”?

I find a tap on the butt will make her think. If this does not work, the chair and not being able to play for a bit helps. Some of this stage is hard to handle. However, she will get over it. Terrible twos only lasts from 16 months to about 3 1/2, but it will end.

Of course I am older now. I made it through my kids, but I think my granddaughter may just turn me grey!

How Young is Young Enough?

We see that little baby born and think he/she is so innocent. How could anybody that tiny and cute ever do wrong? It does not take long before we begin to see that sin nature come out. We wake one morning and our darling is now throwing temper tantrums, slapping, biting etc.

I realize that babies bite when they cut teeth or that they can’t express things and it is frustrating, but I am talking about the rebellious times. You say no and they do it and scream at you. For some parents the terrible twos start at 6-8 months old!

What are we to do? How much do babies understand?

I am always amazed when parents, or many grandparents, think a baby can’t understand or know, and then wonder why they turn into such a hard to manage child. Babies understand more than we give them credit for much of the time. I have some suggestions to help you understand your child and for you to know when your child understands what is being said.

  • From the beginning, talk to your baby. I do not mean “baby talk” I mean really talk. Tell them what you are doing as you are doing it. ( I am making dinner, this is a tomato and I need to cut it) etc. I talked about everything like they were understanding. As long as they were awake in the food store I talked over the shopping, showing them things. I had my granddaughter in the food store when she was about 3 months old and was telling her everything as I walked up and down the isles. One woman was watching me and finally said something to me about how much fun I made shopping for my granddaughter. She had not seen anyone do that before and saw how intent Scout was as I shopped. She is now 13 months old and we shop the same way, but now she knows what I buy and will point to it.
  • Do not talk “baby talk”. They will not learn to express themselves right it we talk wrong.
  • If they get hurt, tell them what happened. “You tripped on the dog” as you are hugging them. If it was something they were not supposed to do, tell them. “We never touch the oven door, it is hot”.
  • Tell them “no” when they do something wrong and be persistent. Remove their hand and say “no” as you are doing it.
  • Say “yes” and “no” to them. It takes little time for them to know the difference, usually a baby will know about the time they begin getting into things! You say “no” remove the offending item and replace it with a “yes” item and they catch on.
  • If you talk to them they will understand words like “shoe”, “head”, “hurt” etc and will be able to in some way express things. They other day my 13 month old granddaughter climbed on the couch (something that is allowed) and then hit her head on the wood between the windows. I did not see this, but she cried loudly as she hit and I ran to her. I hugged her and asked her what had happened. She took her head and put it against the wood between the window and bumped it. I then said “Oh, you klunked your head” and she shook it yes. I then held her and talked to her about the hurt. At13 months she also told me her shoes hurt her. I put on her sneakers and she put her hand on her toes and said “ahhhh soose” The “ah” was a hurt “ahhh”. I took them off and thought her sock must be folded or something, fixed the socks and then put the back on. She complained some more and finally I looked inside and saw her toes were rubbing on the top of the shoe!
  • Pay attention to them. So often we get to talking to our spouse or another child that talks and we do not hear that they are telling us something. It may be good, may be bad and may be a rebellious “no”.
What do you do when they persist in the “No no’s” or in tantrums?

Tantrums are to be ignored. Much of the time, if right from the beginning, you ignore it they will not last long. Sometimes you get a persistent one that when you leave the room they follow and throw it in the room you are in. Yeah, I had two like that! You just move to another room and continue to ignore it.

Two of my daughters would sit on the floor and spread their legs out and bang their head on the floor between their legs. I wanted to laugh at first! It was so funny, but they were persistent and followed us room to room as we ignored them. It stopped and all we did was not give them the attention they were trying to get.

The deliberate disobedience of doing something you are telling them “no” about is something different. To handle that it means being firm and being consistent. This is hard if you are like me, sometimes they are so cute or so funny, but it is important that you nip it as a baby.


  1. Tell them firmly
  2. Remove their hand or the object
  3. If they go back to it, repeat the procedure
  4. What? They are still doing it? Believe it or not, they will! A tap on the butt with a very firm “no” is usually enough if it is started early enough. Remember, they have diapers on and you are not hitting hard, just the startling of the tap will usually stop it IF YOU START THEM YOUNG ENOUGH! (from experience, do not hit their hand. They will learn if you do not like what they are doing they can hit your hand!)
How young is young enough? When you can see that they are disobeying they are young enough for discipline.

God expects us to raise our children to be obedient and well behaved. Sin shows up young, very young, yet parents wait too late to start trying to deal with it. Nip it in the bud and it will not flower.