Friday 10 December 2010


What to do if your toddler insists on banging the table during meal time?

We don't allow banging on the table during meal time. It is loud, disrespectful and bad manners. I have told J, "no, no, no", but he insisted on banging. I comtemplated giving him a time-out, yet I don't want to hamper his development with learning about banging. But yet I don't want to give him the idea that it is acceptable to bang the table/tray of his high chair. This thus vexed me for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday morning, I suddenly thought of an idea. I gave J a drum to beat to, when he started banging the tray of his high chair at breakfast this morning. I also explained to him that it is not acceptable to bang the table/tray, but that it is acceptable to beat the drum. It worked! He listened and was willing to stop banging the table/tray :-)

We began to sing and beat the drum, and he began to think that it is more fun to "beat" the drum, than to bang the tray/table. If he start banging the table, I will stop singing.

I began to hand him the drum at every opportunity e.g. potty time, etc. This is because once the novelty is lost, J will no longer be attracted to banging the table.

The Toddlerwise book teaches the general principle of substitution. With substitution, an equally desirable experience is offered similar to the original one that caught J's attention. I just couldn't think of a good substitution in this situation for the last 2 weeks, but I am glad I now managed to :-)

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