When our two year old daughter Briani was born I thought my wife had gone overboard in baby-proofing the house. More than a year before Briani could even walk, Angela installed special locks and covers for almost everything in our house ranging from wall sockets to kitchen doors and beyond. Needless to say, it cost a pretty penny to do this.
Today, Briani is a baby proofing business’ dream child. She touches and pries open anything and everything she can get her little hands on. The other day she even plucked off keys from two of our laptops.
The situation has been so desperately bad with her that a couple weeks ago I finally developed a new trick for how to deal with kids like her. I call this trick “No Se Toca” or “Don’t Touch” Trick. This trick is not just about telling your child to not touch something or about telling them that and lightly spanking them to remember you said not to touch something. This is an advanced version of that method.
Here’s how “No Se Toca” Trick works
When Briani touches or is about to touch something she’s not supposed to, I get right in front of her face, motion to the object she’s not supposed to touch with my hand and tell her loudly “No Se Toca” as my hand motions to not touch it from side to side. I repeat the “No Se Toca” phrase several times consecutively in an almost jingle form and continue to move my hand. I then urge her to repeat the phrase and hand motion with me. I don’t stop repeating this until she follows along with me. (See the accompanying video at top for a short illustration of the “No Se Toca” Trick in action).
In terms of connecting a consequence to the phrase, that’s up to you. In my case, my daughter knows her threat is being dumped in the crib. I rarely have to mention the crib because she already knows this.
The idea is that when Briani’s tempted to touch something that’s off limits she will mentally and maybe even physically mimic the “No Se Toca” movement. In fact, sometimes she’ll walk by something she’s not supposed to and she will instinctively motion “No Se Toca” to me, a clear sign the lesson’s been learned.
It goes without saying that this trick will only work if you are consistent. You must use the same phrase, loud repetition, cadence and hand movements. Occasionally your child will forget that something’s off limits but this trick has had a 90-percent success rate for me thus far. There’s still a bunch of things Briani’s learning not to touch but at least right now we don’t have to worry about our laptops.
What’s your trick for keeping your toddlers from touching something?