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Thread: What Age Do You Think They Start Understanding Reason/Logic...

  1. #1

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    Default What Age Do You Think They Start Understanding Reason/Logic...

    DD is getting right into tantrums at the moment which I am trying to convince myself are not a bad thing just a sign that she's very determined and THAT'S a good thing. Sigh.

    So the thing is, she's only 20 months so obviously she's a bit young to really understand when I say, "no you can't do that because ... "

    But she does sometimes, not always, seem to understand me when I say something like, "change nappy, get dressed then we go out" as an incentive to get her nappy changed (which she hates).



    So at what age did your little one really start to understand what you were saying when it was something they might not necessarily want to hear?

    I'm not explaining myself very well because I'm tired. What I'm getting at is that DD understands a lot - I'm not worried about her development or hitting milestones at all, I'm just curious as to when you felt you were able to explain things to your kids to get them to do/not do something.

  2. #2

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    Good topic, I've been wondering the same thing. I think we had a huge tanty here today cause I didn't do "mummy cuddles" after his nappy change, before nap.

  3. #3

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    ds is 3 and a half and now starting to get the you do this and this happens..

    kids like "patterns" you need your socks then shoes and then we can go outside..
    if they are things you always do then they know what your saying will happen..
    my dd 20 months can understand to DO things more then to NOt do things... but she talks so much now that i need to stop babying her in my explinations(bad mummy for babying)

  4. #4

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    DD is almost 15months and I can sort of do this with her on a very few things. EG if she has just put a huge piece of toast in her mouth and asks for more I can tell her to eat that one first THEN I will give her the next piece. I can't reason with her at all for things that I don't want to happen or are in the negative EG: dont do that or you will fall off. I still have to make it a positive like sit down please, and then praise. She is still only working for the positive things. No way can I say No or I will take it away. I still do it but there will be a tantrum because of not understanding.

    There is no doubt that it is a gradual thing to learn. Hey, look at primary school kids: they are still learning that stuff! (actually I am still learning it and I'm 35!!!)

  5. #5
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    I am not quite sure scientifically when they understand. But I have said time and time again that babies are a heck of a lot smarter than what people think. DD is into the tantrum phase at the moment and she knows EXACTLY what she is doing, so much so that we have introduced the "naughty corner" she has clicked onto that very quickly. It took a while for her to understand that she has to sit in the same spot, about half an hour of picking her up after she follows me and putting her back in the corner, but she understands now that when she is there it's because she's been naughty. We're going through a "slap mummy and daddy in the face" phase and it's driving me nuts, but she knows it's wrong. So yeah im sure it will only get better with time ( the understanding that is, i know the tantrums only get worse lol) Good thread though darl, i'll be interested to see the replies.

  6. #6

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    I've been thinking about that too. DD is 13 months and throws tantrums and hits us and takes my glasses off my face. When she tries to take my glasses off I tell her "don't touch mummy's glasses" and then she will laugh and smile while she tries to do it again, almost like she's waiting to see what I'll do.

    She's starting to jump if she hears our voices when she wasn't aware that we were watching her while she was doing something naughty, I think she knows when she's doing something naughty which is why she jumps when she realises that we're watching.

  7. #7

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    I think it is individual according to the child. I know some 3 year olds who don't seem to have a grasp of reasoning - but I also know some 18mth olds who definitely do. It's like development, you can say that a child should be doing something by a certain age as all children are different.
    Children do seem to know when they are doing the wrong thing from a fairly early age in toddlerhood though, once they show evidence of knowing they are doing something wrong, they can begin to learn about reasoning.

  8. #8

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    From working with 1-2 years old for a long time, I would say they all understand from about 18 months. The frustrating thing about this age group is that they're really in a pushing boundaries stage. You can say "Put it back on the table" and it will go back on the table, only to be picked up 5 seconds later.
    It's the same with "Shoes on, then we go outside" You might have to say it a billion times. It's not because they don't understand, but are craving consistency from you and ensuring that they're getting a clear message.
    Having done 3 years of one-on-one care with this age group, and two years of childcare, I'd say that it's easier to look after 5 of them than it is one. At least every time you say that same message "Sit down while you're eating" (or whatever) they're all hearing it!

  9. #9

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    I am still waiting for my 17 yr old to understand reason and logic LOL

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    It depends on the child and the upbringing. I think given the opportunity children can grasp these things earlier than previously thought. My kids started to show signs of this from about 12 months, in small things and its only progressed from there. Now at 3 DS is extremely aware of logic and reason and I found due to the fact we've always explained everything it has prevented tantrums or stopped them. I think if you allow them to have the opportunity to learn reason and logic they will. But often people automatically assume a child/toddler/infant couldn't possibly understand so they don't communicate this way with their children. Everyone used to be flabbergasted that DS understood things so well at such a young age, a gf of mine (who had 3 older kids) adopted our some of our communicative skills and found that her son benefited greatly.

    My advice is talk to you kids, when they start to get it you'll know, but don't automatically assume they don't understand

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niliac View Post
    It depends on the child and the upbringing. I think given the opportunity children can grasp these things earlier than previously thought. My kids started to show signs of this from about 12 months, in small things and its only progressed from there. Now at 3 DS is extremely aware of logic and reason and I found due to the fact we've always explained everything it has prevented tantrums or stopped them. I think if you allow them to have the opportunity to learn reason and logic they will. But often people automatically assume a child/toddler/infant couldn't possibly understand so they don't communicate this way with their children. Everyone used to be flabbergasted that DS understood things so well at such a young age, a gf of mine (who had 3 older kids) adopted our some of our communicative skills and found that her son benefited greatly.

    My advice is talk to you kids, when they start to get it you'll know, but don't automatically assume they don't understand
    :yeahthat:

    DS has had good comprehension, reason & logic from very early on and we've always put it down to explaining things to him, whether we think he'll understand or not.. but obviously he did! hehe.

    DD has understood for a while now different warnings, such as careful of your fingers when you close the drawer.. you can see her little mind tick over and she flattens her hand out as she shuts the drawer.. or when she's in the bath I say to be careful when she's standing up because she'll hit her head on the tap.. she'll look up at the tap, stand up and point at the tap. So she knows exactly what I'm talking about and why.

  12. #12

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    I agree with Niliac, children understand more than they let on. I always worked on the belief that if I half expect a certain behaviour they will produce it, ie if I expect my 1 yr old to have table manners they very soon will.
    Same went with reasoning, I would just talk that way, "you need to pick up your books so you will be able to find them next time" "you need to put your bike away so daddy doesn't run over it" " don't climb on the table because you might fall off, sit on the chair instead"
    DouDou also made a good point with children reacting better to "do ...." than "don't do ..."
    Also with the time out corner get a timer so she knows how long she has to stay there.

    Have fun, you are coming up to a very trying time.

  13. #13

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    I am absolutely sure that DS understood these concepts from about 14 months. From about 18 months he definitely understood some before and after concepts (eg. lets put our shoes away first then watch some tv) and that made it a lot easier to communicate. I think there are a few tricks. Use short sentences and cut out words that don't contribute to the sentence meaning (eg. say 'shoes in the show box' rather than 'see the shoe box over there, you need to put your shoes in it'). Speak clearly and slowly, use familiar words and emphasise the important ones, and give one word reasons (eg. safety, dangerous, hot etc). We have some miscommunication and differences of opinion.
    I think with your DD it is probably that she understands but is going through that toddler stage of realising that she can say no, and can have control over some aspects of her life (very normal and healthy).
    I do give DS a lot of choice even if something is non-negotiable but I try to give him options he can live with (eg. if he needs a nappy change and I can tell he doesn't want to I would give him the option of me or DH doing it, or maybe doing it on the couch or on the change table). I think though the most important things about enforcing house rules is firstly having as little rules as possible, having logical rules with good reason, having consequences that match the situation if you need to enforce the rule (eg. not allowed to play with the dog if he is mean to it), and having no empty threats - say what you mean and can carry out, then do it if you have to.
    Anyway I am sure you know what I mean and I am now way off topic. lol.

  14. #14

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    I am pretty sure my DS could understand the concept of 'this first, then that' from quite early on. I know he could get his jacket for me if he wanted to go outside from 10 months, and now if he wants to go out he puts on his shoes and says 'shoes on, outside'.

    He has also been very good with consequences like burn/jam fingers/bang head and if I give him the warning he will stop what he is doing and look for the danger and be careful of it.

    He isn't as good when it comes to something he doesn't want to hear, but he does know what I am talking about even if he grizzles about it a bit ie if he is banging something and I tell him to stop or I will take it off him, he knows that he has to stop banging or he will lose it.

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