Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I had originally planned on writing a blog today about Heursistic Play, but "MINE and NO" was mentioned a few times. First off, thank you all for showing you're love and appreciation. I am so excited! Second, remember I'm a first time parent like most of you. I am still learning, educating myself and adjusting to the fact that I have a TODDLER! So your thoughts, ideas and suggestions will help me as well. I don't have all the answers, what I'm sharing with you are my experiences with Kieran.

At 20 months Kieran knows the power of "MINE" and "NO". Some of you know that I own a family daycare. I have 9 kids total and 2 assistants. Can you imagine what Kieran feels everyday with all these kids in his space!?!?

By the times Kieran was 18 months he started getting fed up with all these people coming into our home, taking his toys and getting in his space. I don't blame him, I would be annoyed as heck too!

So my husband and I sat down and brainstormed the best way to approach this. We came up with the "MINE BOX" or "TREASURE BOX". We went out bought Kieran a toy chest and lunchbox. We bought him a few new toys and put them all in his box and lunch box. We explained to him that these were special toys, just for Kieran! He didn't fully understand the concept then but he understood the word "MINE".

I started role playing with him. I took his toy and said MINE! He would yell "back" (give it back)! "MINE"! My goal here was to teach him the words mine and give it back. Once we got that mastered we went upstairs to all his SHARE toys. I would play with him and while playing I kept saying these are "share toys". I needed him to differentiate what were his and what were share toys.

I guess this case is different for everyone. Some kids go to daycare and they will grab toys. If I was in that situation I would have a special lunch box for Kieran that he gets whenever I pick him up. The goal is for them to recognize what are share items and what are "MINE"! It's ok to be selfish and have MINE toys. It's better they have that then having to share everything and constantly grabbing at whatever they want.

Like any other behavior we have to teach them everything. We have to compromise and be fair. Also keep in mind the MINE stage is a phase that will pass. We can't prevent it or stop it, but we can shape it.  It will not always work but it will give them a sense of power.  Let them have some control sometimes.

We are still at the MINE stage and working on it daily. Throughout the say I offer Kieran time to play with his MINE box, space for himself. This so far is working for us. Give it a try!

NO, is a very powerful word! And in my home it is ONLY used when something is absolute NO! We don't want NO to lose it's true powerful meaning so we are careful not to use it. I taught Kieran to use the word STOP when kids are pushing or grabbing from him. Which is more appropriate, since what he wants them to so is to stop bothering him.

NO, is used when he tries to touch the oven, tries to run off the sidewalk, etc. Basically we only use it when he is being unsafe. I know it's hard not to say NO, were are human beings and it's an automatic word that pops out of our mouths when our little ones are running like mad mans. Try your best to refrain from it, as mentioned in the first blog try SHOWING THEM WHAT TO DO VERSUS WHAT NOT TO DO.

Remember just like us adults, we have things we're selfish about and don't like sharing. So give your little ones that same opportunity.

Lastly, one huge detail I nearly forgot to mention. DON'T EVER EVER grab or take away things from your child. You grab they will grab! They learn from what we do right?! With Kieran we count and frontload him with everything! For example, Kieran has a toy a friend wants to play with. I tell him Kieran after I count to 10 we are going to give our friend a turn. And I sit there going back and forth counting for both kids while they take turns.

Same goes with taking something from him. Or moving on to another activity. Kieran loves holding onto his sippy cup, I don't ever take it from him without letting him know what I'm planning on doing. If I do that I am asking for a melt down! Who likes things being taken from them without being warned?!?! Planning, frontloading and counting will makes a huge difference in Kieran's behavior. About 98% of the Kieran will give up the item happily and do what I ask of him.

P.S. not only are you working on behavior by doing this, but your also teaching him to count! Only 20 months and Kieran can count to 5! So give it a try Mama's, I know it takes a lot of time and energy. But I promise you it will make a huge difference!

Things I count for: (saying 5 more minutes or giving a time like that makes no sense, but counting they can understand if you keep at it)

  • When it's time to leave
  • Before changing clothes or diaper
  • Bath time
  • Turning off the lights for bed
  • Sharing
  • Turning off a movie
Basically anything that can trigger a melt down I plan ahead, give him time and then follow through.


  1. I am really enjoying your blog :) Thanks for all the tips. My son is 16 months and he is starting to have meltdowns and etc when we take something away. So I am going to do the counting method and see if it works.

  2. It's a great method! I hope it works for you guys. Please share your experience :)