I can't be the only one who struggles with getting my kids to stop throwing things, right? My second kid threw a toy train when he was 2-years-old that cracked a huge, custom-made, wall-sized window. I was not happy when I had to replace it, two years later, when we were selling that house. So when my newest toddler started throwing things, too, I was desperate to stop it. So I did what all good millennials do and I asked Facebook how to get my kid to stop throwing stuff. You guys, this is why the internet is awesome. Well, you know, when it doesn't suck.
Thanks to my friends from all over the country, not only did I get some immediate (and not to mention necessary) laughs, but I also get some advice that really freaking works. I don't know about you, but when you're a mama of three littles it kind of seems like you're always just winging it. The internet, as shitty as some stuff you can find on it is, is also a real life sanity savior when I'm at the end of my rope. I need to know I'm not alone in not always having answers to my children's less than ideal behavior. I also really needed ideas on how specifically to handle said behavior.
Facebook friends, you sure came through.
"Try Clicker Training & Using M&Ms"
Says a successful dog trainer. You know? More that I think about it — from peeing on the carpet to eating off the floor — my brand new toddler is a lot like a dog.
"Duct Tape The Object To Their Hands"
This, surprisingly, was a common suggestion. Duct tape really is for fixing everything! I'm not quite sure if the angry screaming that would accompany toddler's discovery of object's sudden inability to fly would be worth it, though. Duct tape is expensive!
"Get Some Foam Balls & Redirect To A Designated Throwing Area"
This was a fabulous idea that I actually tried!
Then my teething toddler ate the foam balls. Do you think it will come out in their poop?
"How's Their Aim? Might Be Time For Some Baseball!"
Always the troller for talent, aren't you, Ma?
"Stop Giving Them Things?"
Says this well-respected mother of five. I guess I should learn from a master, hey?
Now here's a wild idea. Using a toddler's sometimes annoying and potentially destructive, but developmentally appropriate, behavior as a teaching moment.
Emily, a mom of two from Colorado, graciously shared with me that she "tend(s) to take those things away with the message that it will stay away until we learn how to respect the object."
She provides an alternate activity in "introducing an appropriate throwing item and space to do that when possible." She also cautions, "It doesn't always work, but when it does it's magical. Now if my Little throws something and I ask them to stop, the response I get is "throwing this is not respectful. Can I have my ball?" That's the awesome part!"
Dear reader, I've tried this. Let me tell you something, I didn't think it would, but it actually worked. Now my little picks up things that look like delectable throwing objects and mindfully walks them over to hand them to me without throwing anything. I owe it all to the miracle working Emily and her trusty sidekick the awesome internet.