How to work with children who like to throw things

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to work with children who like to throw things

Postby anastashia » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:06 pm

Original Title: throwing things

My 24 months girl is I think a high spirited child. Very active, talkative, and I suspect she's still learning how to control her emotion and reaction.

She likes to throw her things e.g. her cup, remote control etc. Sometimes she throw things into toilet bowl! She moves so fast sometimes we can't catch up with her.

When she throw her cups or toys etc we'd ask her to pick up the thrown item and return to us to let her know that it's wrong. Sometimes we would beat her hand for doing that.

At this moment, I don't feel any significant change yet in her behaviour. I don't feel good beating her hands, but sometimes when I think about it, I grew up like that and my parents and IL are advising to do that too. Nowadays worried that the children would become more violent instead of understanding the punishment.

Any advice from the rest of the mummies how to deal with the throwing habit?

anastashia
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Postby sashimi » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:33 pm

If you prefer not to hit, then use the tone of your voice instead. Be very firm and stern about it.

I'm not sure the part about asking her to return her makeshift missile to you is a good idea, cos she may not understand that you are asking her to do that as a form of "punishment". She may even think it's part of her game.

You realize of course that throwing things is fun for her. If you can't stop it, then give her an alternative to throw - try balls, soft toys, plastic blocks, boxes. See what amuses her. It could be, for example, the way the things bounce, or the "splashdown" in the toilet....

Anyway, it's just a phase. :)

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Postby thebusybee » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:16 pm

Sashimi's right, throwing is fun for her, and also a way of getting attention from you.

The picking up actions of adults amused her, so do not pick up things that she throw.

My 24mth son used to throw things, we'll go along with him (ie join in the fun) you can improvise the game, get a basket, 'show' her it's more fun to throw in the basket instead of the toilet bowl.

Next, you should be concern about teaching her to pick up/keep toys. My son refused to keep toys previously until he learn the song 'Everybody keep your toys' ( the same tune as 'London bridge'), he enjoys keeping the toys while singing the song. I was so surprised that a simple song can get him interested to do chores. All thanks to the CCC. :salute:

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Postby nkthen » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:08 pm

Children at 2 years old cannot understand a lot of things.

Actually, beating of hand works well. You won't see the change fast, but the kid will learn sooner or later.

To the children, the logic will be: Throw things -> Hand pain. Soon enough the kid will learn.

This applies to other things like touching electrical appliances, etc.

nkthen
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Postby anastashia » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:38 am

I also believe that my daughter think throwing things are fun as we can tell from her facial expression or esp when she plays. But the challenge is to control her reaction. It's like a natural reaction for her some times after she drink from her sippy cup, she'd just throw the cup onto the floor. She hears the phone ring, picks it up and throw the handset on the floor.

She is also going through the terrible 2 phase. She throw things when she's throwing tantrum. So now we are teaching her to recognise her emotion and teaching her to control. Then she'll have to pick the things she throw.

I am hoping to teach her by not beating her hands, unless when she's throwing her tantrum. Cos I feel it's not really her fault when she doesn't understand and couldn't control her motor. I am also scared beating her hands would encourage her to beat other people too.

What do you think?

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Postby autumnbronze » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:14 pm

Hi Anastashia,

I agree with all the suggestions/advice/rationale put forward here.

My son is 27 mths and he does throw things as well. I believe its because:

1.He's going thru a phase
2.He's testing our reactions
3.He thinks its fun

But most of the time, its no 2. He knows its wrong. In fact, when he is really cheeky, he'll say "mummi, throw book" and then he'll throw the book while looking at me.

I only smack his hand when (not in order of priority):

1. Reasoning out with him has failed
2. He refuses to pick up whatever he has thrown
3. He throws things continuously
4. Despite counting 1 2 and 3, he refuses to hand over the item he is abt to throw and instead throws it
5. My most severe look doesn't seem to be affecting him

I let him know that I am giving him a few chances because I really don't like smacking his hand (even though he knows I am good at it and its really painful), because now, the cheeky boy volunteers to smack himself on the hand :roll: before I can even say anything aft throwing.

So I am going to try this method of 'withholding his privileges' ie taking away the item he has thrown and not allowing him to play, touch or hold it by placing it somewhere where it is out of reach, even the telephone. Lets see if this will work.

autumnbronze
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Postby mrswongtuition » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:40 pm

My boy used to be like that. My hb would smack him but my boy did not care.

Then I realised it depends on our REACTIONS when the action is done. Cos we get so 'excited' when they throw stuff, they think it's FUN & we are PLAYING with them!

When we realised this, we all agreed to not overreact when he throws something. We'll just give a disapproving look & one of us will tell him to stop as it's not nice to throw things. It improved after a few days. The only things he throw now are his toy balls & his pillows (throws them on the floor so that he can lie on them).

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Postby acforfamily » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:42 pm

anastashia wrote:She is also going through the terrible 2 phase. She throw things when she's throwing tantrum. So now we are teaching her to recognise her emotion and teaching her to control. Then she'll have to pick the things she throw.


If she is throwing a tantrum, pick up one of her toys and throw it into the rubbish chute. After a few times, she may stop.
It worked very well for mine. I marched into the kitchen, hid the toy in a shelf and pretended to slam the rubbish chute, so he thought it all went down the chute !
:lol:

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Postby sashimi » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:40 pm

anastashia wrote:
She is also going through the terrible 2 phase. She throw things when she's throwing tantrum. So now we are teaching her to recognise her emotion and teaching her to control. Then she'll have to pick the things she throw.

I am hoping to teach her by not beating her hands, unless when she's throwing her tantrum. Cos I feel it's not really her fault when she doesn't understand and couldn't control her motor. I am also scared beating her hands would encourage her to beat other people too.

What do you think?


I am skeptical that you can actually get her to understand by "teaching her to recognise her emotion and teaching her to control. "

The thing is, at this age, they simply don't understand the entire concept of emotion, discipline or control. Emotion is not something a 2-year-old can control, simply put. It just is. I think you understand this.

So, unless you say your child tells you she understands, your reasoning will go nowhere. Note that even for an older child, control today does not necessary mean control tomorrow as well. They don't think "long term" so to speak. In a child's mind, everything is in the moment. She won't even remember any of this ! :)

What I'm trying to say is - if you see that it doesn't work, dont get frustrated. Just accept that it is a phase, and that understanding comes later. You are likely to be better off being more blase about it, not to worry or fret too much. Manage the situation by providing emotional resolutions rather than direct reasoning - remove situations which cause conflicts, rather than allow the conflict to occur then you tackle it head on.

Don't think about it long term, like "I need to reason wiith my child and train her to be better". Instead, think about just the moment "I should remove this situation which causes the tantrum." Eg. if u know a particular toy causes her to get frustrated, then remove it - chuck it in the storeroom and bring it out in 6-12 months' time. By then, when she's older, she may enjoy the toy better.

A good example is shape sorters - you know those plastic boxes with holes in different shapes. Many parents, enthusiastic over the traditional notion that sorting shapes is good for a kid's intellectual development, throw their 18-mth-old one of these. The poor child tries his best with the dodecahedrons and hexagons, and after a few failures, screams and hurls the whole thing across the room.

If your child gets into such a situation, immediately remove the toy from her collection, and store it away. Bring it out again in 6-12 mth's time when she's more suited for it.

sashimi
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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:54 pm

Sashimi, agree with you that they don't understand the concept of recognising emotions & controlling yet.

Finding out the cause of the tantrum helps alot.

When my son throws a tantrum, we'll tell him nicely to stop and tell us what he wants. When he throws a tantrum, we have no clue on what he wants cos he's screaming.

At first he did not understand that he had to calm down and tell us nicely until we keep telling him to stop screaming and drink some water first. Usually he's thirsty from the screaming so he'll pause to drink.

While he's drinking, we quickly tell him to tell us what he wants nicely. He'll do that and if it's something we can give or do, we'll do it.

It's to show him that there's no need to throw a tantrum.
If it's something you don't want to give (like snacks or sweets), just explain that he can't have it now and try to distract with something else.

Like my son requested to eat my snack, I told him it's spicy and not for him. I offered him his fave snack (dried cranberries) instead and he took up the offer without a fight.

My mum won't tolerate such tantrums. 1 glare from her & my boy will stop immediately! I have no idea what 'power' my mum has but she has the same effect on us since we were young too.


Sometimes reasoning won't help and having an authoritaty figure at home helps.

I remember there was once my boy said he was hungry. I brought him to the kitchen to ask him what he wants to eat. I point to the different snacks and he'll just reply 'No, I don't want this". And after 3 or 4 items, he started to get frustrated and scream at me.
All my mum did then was randomly take a snack, shove it into his hands and said "you eat this, if you don't want it, then you'll have nothing". My boy just quietly take the snack and started eating. No more screaming. It's just so amazing. My mum says that parents now give our kids too many choices until they can't make up their minds & get frustrated. Just make the decision for them after giving a few chances. Don't give in all the time.

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