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Thursday, March 6, 2014
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 am easily amused.