My 18 month old daughter dances and jumps constantly in public, anyone have experience with this?

Tiffany - posted on 12/14/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )




My 18 month old daughter dances and jumps constantly in public and I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with this and some behavior discipline tips you used? I'm talking about a little dancing or playing around being fine but this is constantly, incessantly, and especially at the worst times! Busy crowded restaurants she'll stop right in the middle and dance and jump!


Laura - posted on 12/14/2010




There is absolutely nothing wrong with the dancing and jumping itself; she is practicing her new skills!

If, however, you wish to set boundaries for WHEN she can dance and jump, then do so. I agree that crowded spaces may not be the most appropriate spots for her to practice these talents, especially if their are elderly people around. A gentle but firm "no, this is not a good place to practice" with a gentle but firm hand on the shoulder to stop the movement should be all that is needed. If space allows, squat down to her level so that you are speaking to her on her level, eye-to-eye if possible, as this can grab her attention and focus more directly. Be consistent in your expectations and verbal cues. It shouldn't take very long for her to understand just the verbal cues. Make sure that either before entering a crowded space or afterward (as a reward for following instructions) you give her some time to dance and jump in a more appropriate space. This is what I did with my daughter who also loved the freedom of movement; I worked on teaching her the "when" and "where" to do this though.

In the meantime, Kylie makes a wonderful suggestion about involving your daughter in a structured class like Gymbaroo. The YMCA generally offers classes in basic dance and gymnastics, though I don't know about the ages. It might be worth checking out nonetheless. The point is not to STOP the behavior altogether but to teach your daughter appropriate times and places to engage in it. Hope this helps and good luck!

Louise - posted on 12/14/2010




This is something she will grow out of. If you ignore the behaviour she will stop. Make sure you do give her time to dance at home as she obviously loves it so encourage it then. When out and about just ignore it and carry on what you are doing and she will soon get the message that there is a time and a place.


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Theresa - posted on 12/14/2010




Sorry, but that's part of being a little girl (or boy). When she does it in crowded places try to get her to move off to the side. If you're in a hurry. Try telling her that you need to hurry right now, but when you get home the two of you will take special time to dance together. Make sure you follow through with the special time, that way she'll learn to trust that it really will happen if she's a good listener. This stage will pass all too soon and then you'll miss it. Enjoy it while it lasts, chances are others passing by in public are enjoying too.

Tiffany - posted on 12/14/2010




Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and tips! I'm very proud of her and encourage her to dance and jump but hopefully we'll learn the appropriate times and place, I'll look into the gymbaroo class...I looked into gymnastics class for her but they don't start until 2+! Maybe I have a future entertainer on my hands :)

Kylie - posted on 12/14/2010




My son was just the same, hes 25 months now and still jumps and squeals and dances when he is excited or happy. I think it's beautiful and it always make me smile. Sometimes I have to join in, even in public. Most children dont 2 feet jump until after age 2 so be proud she is doing so well! Maybe get your daughter a trampoline so she can burn off that excess jumping energy and perhaps she needs to go to gymbaroo classes to help channel her physical urges. She sounds like a natural performer and there's nothing wrong with that :)

Katherine - posted on 12/14/2010




Um, they aren't even supposed to be able to jump at that age. That's some great gross motor skills she has.
Plus she's only 18mo, she's being a kid :)

Angie - posted on 12/14/2010




Yes, all of my children did this. It's part of being a healthy toddler.

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