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Sunday, January 15, 2017

EH, EH!!

EH, EH!!
A cranky re-run
A recent post Che che che che che  http://joeh-crankyoldman.blogspot.com/2017/01/che-che-che-che-che.html  reminded me of this post from March 2014.

It reminded me of how I protected my children in the good old days. 

Parents today childproof their homes as soon as their children start to crawl.  There is a whole industry built around protecting toddlers.  There are child-proof locks to keep children out of cabinets which hold medicine or cleaning products which could do great harm to a curious child. Electrical outlets are all blocked by plastic plugs.  Pointy objects are padded.  Toilet seats are closed and locked.  Gates stop children from investigating dangerous stairs and hot ovens.

When I was a young parent we did not child-proof our houses.  We did not child-proof our houses because there were no products to do so.  I am not knocking these child-safety devices; if they were available we would have used them as well.  I think parents today go somewhat overboard with attempting to create a completely child-safe environment,  but it is understandable when you realize how quickly a small curious child can get into trouble.

In lieu of these protection devices, how did our children survive?  I kept my children out of trouble with the "EH, EH!"method.

When my toddlers approached an electrical outlet, for example, I would wait until he was just about to explore the little outlet holes with his fingers or any object, usually a pencil, and then would stop him with a sharp admonishment…"EH, EH!"

The EH, EH would always stop them from whatever they were doing.  Toddlers typically will stop, look up, and then proceed with their exploration.  That is when I applied a second EH, EHwhereby I would get up and give said toddler a firm smack on the back of his hand, and one more EH, EH.

It took only two or three EH, EH incidents and my children would stop whatever they were up to when they heard "EH, EH!"

Crudely put, the EH, EH to a toddler worked pretty much like a shock collar works on a puppy.  In retrospect, perhaps this was not the most enlightened method to safeguard my children, but in lieu of today’s safety devices it enabled me to supervise them without having to get up out of my chair a thousand times a day.

My children now range in age from 45 to 18.  Sometimes when they reach for something I will give them a sharp "EH, EH!"

It still stops them in their tracks for a split second.

I’m old.  

I am easily amused.

20 comments:

  1. I did the same with a sharp ah! ah! and a smack on the hand if necessary. my oldest got her first hand smack at seven months when she reached for an ashtray. My mum told me off, "it's just an ashtray". I said "yes, but next time there might be a lit cigarette in there, she needs to know NOW that she can't touch ashtrays." I safely raised four children on this method with a very particular tone of voice for "stop!" if they were nearing the road. My grandchildren got the safety plugs in electrical outlets method as well as all poisons in a high, locked cupboard.
    There's a you tube video that shows an Adelaide toddler, still in nappies, climbing a vertical rails "child proof" gate and opening it, in 21 seconds.

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    1. The old ways worked...at least...when we were in the same room anyway.

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  2. I didn't baby proof the house when my kids were young, but I kept an eye on them and diverted them when going into dangerous situations. It didn't necessarily involve a physical restraint or a word or action, but more of a remove you from the site of temptation, though they did come to learn the word "no" (albeit it reluctantly). Now with the grandson, we did a bit more baby proofing, but still am doing the "no we don't touch (or whatever)" and constant guarding. He's getting it (I hope).

    betty

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  3. I raised 5 with the same "Eh, Eh" as you. Nobody died or was maimed under my watch. I think too many artificial artificial safety measures are making the young parents lax in their parenting.

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  4. We coped, and coped well. I have noticed that modern parents seem to have less control over their children.

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  5. I remember when my first grandchild was born my daughter came down with a bag of stuff and proceeded to child proof my house room by room! I couldn't get into my cupboards for days!

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  6. Heeheehee! Yep, they can be trained just like puppies.

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  7. We used a combination of child proofing locks and loud NO's.

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  8. You are developing a theme on guttural communications...so far, works on men and on toddlers. (I am old and easily amused myself)

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  9. I don't remember that phrase when I was growing up. Nothing was child proofed either. We survived. You survived by the Eh Eh method and I guess I just got lucky.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

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  10. Cute post. We had a special signal we'd yell out hen little CJ was in the tub so we'd know he was okay.

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  11. That it still works on your grown children must make you smile. I'd be sorely tempted to abuse it just for the reaction.

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  12. I baby proofed as I'm part of the younger generation. Still there were accidents. Corner cabinet falling on toddler, dum dum lollipop choking incident, various falls and bumps, some trips down the stairs even with gates, hmmm, sure there were more. Point is, can't keep children in a bubble. Thankfully they survived the baby Years. Now how do I teenage proof?!

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  13. I did the Noooo method raising my son. It worked (most of the time) because he's 35 now. There were times a swat on the butt was necessary by the 3rd Noooo and he wanted to push my buttons!

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  14. I was raised in the EH EH method. I don't remember using it on my kids. With Genius, we never childproofed a thing, and he luckily survived. The cleaners under the sink didn't interest him nearly as much as climbing the refrigerator shelves to get to his juice.

    When The Pony was born 3 years later, we discovered that as a toddler, he had a way of quietly disappearing. We put the cleaners up high, and put drawer locks on the knives and silverware. The locks are still there. I think we could probably remove them now, to save me from jamming my wrist a couple times a week. They're not exactly protecting The Pony while he's in his college dorm.

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  15. My oldest son was very active and into everything. I somewhat baby proofed my house, mostly by removing the most tempting things. When I visited my parents, whose house was not baby proof, I was an exhausted mess.

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  16. I must be easily amused too. I am laughing heartily right now.

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  17. I raised my kids very similar but I have to admit. When the grandkids came along I did everything but wrap them in bubblewrap! :)

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  18. Just found your blog by the way the crow flies. Like this entry. I raised two daughters with the razor strap until they hid it in the crisper of the refrigerator under the lettuce.

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