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Thursday, March 6, 2014

EH, EH!!


EH, EH!!
Susie @ “peaked in junior high” recently posted a story involving a toddler and an electric outlet: http://peakedinjuniorhigh.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-finger-in-outlet.html 

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, EH whereby 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 43 to 16.  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.

17 comments:

  1. Jim whistle trained his boys and to this day, if he whistle's they stop immediately. Fun to watch 50 year olds come to a screeching halt.

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  2. I put everything up high. I did use outlet covers, though. Thanks for the mention.

    My mother had this loud bell that she would ring...I still have nightmares about that.

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  3. sort of like 'clicker' training for dogs. :) not that i've ever used that method, either.

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  4. (and you're the only one, so far, to notice i purposely changed up the 'handsome' and 'pretty' adjectives.)

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  5. I don't recall doing much to childproof our home when our boy was small. We put poisonous materials up high and out of reach but that's all I remember.

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  6. We did roughly the same thing. It worked on 2 of my 3 girls. I once saw her pick up something she wasn't supposed to touch, look it over, set it down, then spank her own hand and walk off saying EH- EH!

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  7. I was raised on the EH EH method. Worked well for me. Over here we have gates up that restrict our crawling baby from roaming free in the house. He has the family room, which has his toys and nothing harmful, all to himself. But I still use the EH EH method on him, when he reaches for the outlets and such. All kids need to know the EH EH sound, even if the house has been baby-proofed.

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  8. Great training, Joeh. Small children do seem to be just like pets, don't they?

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  9. And the response to disobeying--I told you you'd get hurt doing that. Stop crying or go to your room.

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  10. we managed to be on the cutting edge of the child-proof, helmet, car seat craze that has swept the nation. expensive days those were for the summit household.

    when i was toddling i apparently was an outlet poker and derived much pleasure from scaring the parents. come to think of it, that might explain some things that Queenie wonders about .....

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  11. Was raised on the EH Eh method but was spared the swatting. Seems my 4 legged, furry sibling Susie would attack the bigger person's ankles during any corrections. Thanks to the family pet, I enjoyed a bunch of time outs instead.

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  12. I used a mix of both with my kids. For the dog and cat I use a water pistol. Don't know if anyone's ever tried the water pistol method with toddlers?

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  13. We didn't do any of that "child proofing" crap either. We still don't put medicine in the medicine cabinet, but all that other stuff was in whatever cupboard it needed to be in. Bleach was under the sink etc. They knew not to bother with those things. Kids were never left unattended though...
    There was the warning (like your "EH EH!") and then the sh*t would hit the fan, so to speak. Hence, I'm pretty sure they were more afraid of the Old Man, than most anything else. And later, that included the boyfriends.
    Daughter Number One did managed to get zapped once in her bedroom. Never did that again.

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  14. I'm not quite sure how my siblings and I survived. My parents were busy dairy farmers who couldn't do the EH EH while they were in the barn milking cows and five kids were in the house, with unprotected outlets and a woodburning stove in the kitchen.

    I do remember that my sister once stuck a knitting needle into an outlet. She reported a "funny tickling."

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  15. It must be a regional thing, because here in Missouri, my parents cautioned us with EH EH EH. Maybe my sister and I were just slow, thus requiring the extra EH.

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  16. I used the exact same method with my kids. First attempt got Uh Uh and I removed the child from the area, second attempt got Uh Uh and a smack on the hand. Better a smack on the hand than a trip to the emergency room. They all survived and are now 33 to 41. My eldest used the same method with the added protection of safety gates on the stairs.

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  17. I remember the Eh, Eh! :)

    Somehow, it was enough for my brother and me. My mom didn't even put away the breakables. I think she called them "whatnots."

    With my kids, Generation Millennials, my husband and I were brainwashed with a few of today's stuff. We plugged the outlets, but by the time 3rd kid was here, I'd gotten tired of all that junk and threw it away. I remembered that eh, eh works.

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