C.K. asks from Mariposa, CA on May 20, 2009
Obsessed with Water!
For the last id say 6 months or so, my 3 year old has been OBSESSED with playing with the water in the house, the sink, taking the water out of her cup all over her table, the kitchen table the counters anything, ive put her in time out because its not a little bit ITS ALOT! and said water play is only for outside not inside, but she doesnt seem to get it, she understands and tells me why i put her in time out because she played with the water inside and its for out side only but she continues to do it still, how can i get her not too?
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So What Happened?™
Thanks for everyones answers! I do understand it is very fundamental for her to explore water I understand that 120% but when my land lord trys to blame my child water splashing on a leak in the wall from the bathroom to the dining room its a little bit uneasy to go about ANY water play with in a house. She loves Cooking with me and she does help me with dishes and loves bathtime and/or shower time, unfortunatly I run a Resort out here in yosemite so Im gone from 7-5 during the week, so we only have the butt crack of dawn together and the later part of the evenings together (which of course include bath time), but on the weekends we spend plenty of time outside playing with water and chalk or we'll make paper boats all kinds of play, apprently it is a stage and most of the kids grow out of it, im in an adventure as well being a new mommy no younger siblings on my end so definatly an adventure, thanks again for your answers appreciate em.
K.G. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
M.S. answers from San Francisco on May 20, 2009
Set aside specific time each day for water play (either inside/outside-whatever you decide). Let her know that if she plays with the water at any other time, the water play time will go away. This will give her something special to look forward too-- It may take a few times, but she will understand that there are certain times its ok and other times when its not. Good luck!
D.S. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
Greetings C.: I spent yesterday with my granddaughter who is much like your little one. She likes the sound that water makes, was thrilled to just sit by a puddle and see how the wind made ripples and waves. We both splashed in a fountain. I am sure she is just as happy pouring it as drinking it. Water is used by doctors all over the world as treatments. You may have a future famous surfer on your hands!! So make it easy on yourself and think outside the box of ways she can play with water and not make you crazy. Can you get her a stool that she can have at the sink and you give her different size containers to pour water into ? This really conserves water and still gives them enjoyment. I have also found that you can make a water thunder toy by connecting 2 large size soda bottles together and they tip them back and forth, the connectors are just about everywhere and this has even entertained my 10 year old grandchildren!! We have a big country sink that a 4 year old likes to take a bath in-- actually she calls it her mermaid time, that way I get things done and she has fun.
We let the kids play in the recycled water we save and let them water all the plants with it so it can filltheir need and mine. Good luck in the adventure of parenthood! Nana G
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L.N. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
I'd suggest closer supervision, if possible, and perhaps doing closely supervised water play in the house if it works with you. Perhaps more play in the bathtub, too? She probably likes to be around you, of course. good luck! I think that water is really important, so I wouldn't do time outs if you can avoid it. Then again, I'm not much for time outs because they seem a bit interuptive for things that aren't clearly bad. just my two cents.
S.M. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
She's curious! Don't punish her for being curious about water! Kids love to play with water. (And if you think water is messy, what will you do when she starts to paint, or play with play dough or clay?) If she wants to play with water inside, take her into the bathroom and let her play in the sink or the tub. (You have to stay with her, of course.) Tell her that when she wants to play with water inside, she has to do it in the bathroom, with mommy to help her.
C.B. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
I think you just have to be consistent with the punishment. We can teach our children right from wrong, but whether to do the right thing or wrong thing is ultimately their decision. she just needs to know that she WILL be punished, not MIGHT be punished and then she'll make her own choice about what to do or not do.
E.G. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
When our daughter was 3 we gave her a lot of freedom in our house to go in any room and play. She would constantly disappear in the bathroom and create a watery mess. I would have her help clean it up and tell her I was very disappointed in her but she would still create a "swamp".
I don't know why it took me so long to create boundaries for her, I thought just telling her to not make a mess would be enough, silly me. We started to limit her time she could be in the bathroom and we would stand over her when she washed her hands after going potty. As her parents, we stopped being lazy (not that you are!) and made sure she was acting properly in the bathroom and with water.
She is 4 now and doesn't create "swamps" anymore!
I don't know if my story has helped but I hope it does!
T.F. answers from San Francisco on May 20, 2009
It's a phase. She'll grow out of it trust me. My daughter did the same thing and she passed through it. Although she is still quite fond of water when it's appropriate to be using it ;-) Now my 14 month old is starting his "water phase". The only thing you can do is try to redirect her. Timeouts didn't work for us although I only tried it a couple of times. We had our daughter "clean up" her water messes and that seemed to have more impact. Cause and effect ;-) Best of luck!
W.W. answers from Sacramento on May 21, 2009
She is normal. Maybe try a swim class to help channel the energy and teach water safety. Good luck!
H.W. answers from San Francisco on May 21, 2009
Yeah, it's normal, and like I tell my 3yold, it's just water, if you are going to spill something water is the best thing! I (had) double sinks in my master bath and would let her play in the sink while I got ready, cleaned, etc. She would pull her stepstool up and I would turn the water on reeeealy low. She had cups, lids, whatever and would occupy herself by filling up, dumping out, and inevitebly I would hear "oops!" and i would just toss her a towel and tell her to mop it up. Sometimes we went through a couple of towels, but I always preferred this activity over watching tv to keep her occupied.