How do I discipline my 1 year old?

Julie - posted on 09/24/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I get very frustrated with how to discipline my 1 year old. He sometimes throws really big fits when we will not let him pull the books off the bookshelf or go to another room we do not want him in or open cabinets. I know that obviously you can not expect much from a child this young, but how do I start now letting him know that this behavior is unacceptable. I want my son to be a Godly young man and I want to start by rearing him the right way early. I do not like to yell. I tell him firmly, "no" and redirect him. This seems to have no effect whatsoever. He goes right back for more and actually cries while looking at us because he knows he will get told no. Does anyone have an encouragement or ideas on how to discipline a 1 year old?

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Rebekah - posted on 09/25/2009

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Julie, my son is 1 years old as well and he does the same things - testing all of his boundaries and wondering if mom and dad will keep them. :) This is just the beginning, lol. Hopefully this will help you with how to disciple your 1 year old. When my son throws a fit, I walk away and ignore it - it ends it quicker than me trying to redirect him to something else, plus by doing that he has realized that the action he did was wrong. If my son does something I don't want him to do, I do the 1-2-3 counting with him, when I reach 3, I put him in his crib for a time out - this has helped a lot and he is learning - slowly, but surely. I don't resort to corporal punishment unless if it is absolutely necessary - I try other things first. I've only gently smacked my son's leg once and that was because he was trying to have power struggle over a diaper change - ever since then he doesn't fight anymore over diaper changes. It wasn't a hard smack, just enough to scare him a little. I also try not to use the word "no" ALL the time - I save that for dangerous situations, like trying to play with electrical cords or jumping with the oven door or trying to reach for a boiling pot of water, etc. The other thing I do is PRAY - asking God to relieve my frustration and to give me wisdom and I also pray for peace in my son. :)

Pat - posted on 10/10/2009

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Have you heard of Mike and Debbie Pearl? They have a book "Train Up a Child" that is excellent. Of course you pick & choice what is right for your family. Please don't' let society dictate how to discipline your one year old. The bible is a parents instruction book on how to raise a child in the manner approved by God Himself. Spare the rod spoil the child needs to be read by more parents.All 7 of ours where spanked as they grew up and all have turned in to be great adults. Don't to say it was always easy but by prayer and supplication and Gods Help. Remember to pray for strength, wisdom, health, and for each child and it will go easier for you

Tami - posted on 09/23/2012

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I've smacked my daughters hand once only to show that hitting hurts we don't do it. other than that i swear by time outs. always have always will. My daughters first time out was at 11 months, shes now two and has upgraded from the chair to nose to the wall. I don't agree with hitting till a spanking can be understood around 5 depending on the child. i believe it teaches that mommy hits me when i'm bad, it's okay to hit when someone else is bad.



the first time i put my daughter in a chair facing a wall she laughed and smacked me in the face. but i was persistent. I raised my voice which i rarely do,( my personal belief is if a child is accustom to a raised voice when you yell because of danger they wont take it as seriously.) she cried but i stood next behind the chair making sure she didnt get up and when she tried i put her back after she stayed in her seat for minute or so i explained to her she has to listen and cant hit. from there she grew accustom to time outs till about 20 months when she no longer cried and began putting herself in time out as a game. that's when she no longer had the chair but nose to the wall. she still cries, hits the wall when she is really angry but she gets out her frustration with a break and stops crying and tells me when she's done. i kiss her explain what she did wrong she says sorry. ive done it the same way for over a year now. and its been a success. she also learned quickly time out will be given anywhere in the store, at the park etc. sometimes all i have to do is say okay, do you want time out. and she stops what she is doing.



Good luck this worked for me and still is. i plan to continue and when the wall isnt enough when she's much older holding a book above her head while she is in time out is what i intent to do.

Leslie - posted on 09/17/2012

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You have been blessed with a difficult child because God knows you are able to handle him. Be firm and consistent and eventually this stage will pass, but he will probably challenge you endlessly always. When he is grown, you will proud of the young man he has become and you will look back at these earliest days and wonder how you got through it!

Julie - posted on 09/30/2009

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Thank you for all the advice on how to discipline my 1 year old. I appreciate the reminder that I need to train Eric to be a Godly man, not just swat his hands to make him obey immediately. Tonight, Eric was pulling books off the shelves and I said firmly, "No". He turned and looked at me and I instructed him to play with his toys. It took him a few minutes, but he eventually obeyed. I like that he chose to do it without me grabbing him and making him do it. Then we praised him for his right choice. I am glad to see that he at least understands that I did not want him to pull the books off.

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KATHY - posted on 09/19/2012

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I raised 5 and broke up plenty of fights etc. I find saying, 'knock it off' in a very firm and loud voice startles them and stops some of the tantrum. Better than saying 'no' all the time. Save 'no' for dangerous situation.

Carla - posted on 09/17/2012

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I'm sorry, Marceill, that is EXACTLY why he acts that way! Ignoring his ways as 'cute' today is going to bring a 7 y/o that is still hitting and biting, and it probably won't be near as cute then. As a Christian community, we understand that we are to train and discipline our children so they will be obedient to God's voice as they grow and mature. This takes LOTS of time and patience. We train our children because we love them. I have heard so many parents say 'I can't discipline them, I love them too much!' No, they don't. They just want to be the 'good' guy or the 'buddy'. We are parents because we are supposed to know ourselves now to behave. Hitting, hair pulling, biting is not appropriate behavior, either at home or in public.



I hope this gives you something to think about. Parenting is just plain hard work, but the results, if done right, are beyond words.



God bless

Marciell - posted on 09/16/2012

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Hello there!!!

Well at least I'm not alone. Manuel my 1 1/2 year old son is a very strong baby boy, he won't listen to a "no" he likes to throw anything he sees in frnt of him, he would pulled another baby's hair and push them to the floor, he likes to bite people. I go to bed every night with a headache, sometimes he can be sweet like any other kid but thats like a 15% of a day time period.



I give him all the attention he needs I am a full-time mom imagine that "uuuffff" taugh. But im trying my best. People will talk and tell me in my face that i spoil him too much i just tell them thats not the reason why he is the way he acts.



For any moms out there, a kid is an angel no matter how they behave. There's a girl who just became a mother 6 months ago who also tells me that my son is evil :-( but yoou know what she actually says that cause her daughter its a quiet cute little one. that doesnt mean my son has to be like hers for him not to be evil.....



Its your heart what tells you what to do and whats right and wrong for you child. just take it easy moms time goes by fast and only time would give the results of a great, lovely, educated, SPOILED CHILD OF YOURS..

Leslie - posted on 10/10/2009

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Hey, if he cries looking at you because he knows he will hear No, then you're on the right track! It's one of the more frustrating moments of parenting, I know, but you need to be consistent and firm. Some kids need to experiment more before they accept your rules!

Danielle - posted on 09/26/2009

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"To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl is a really good one. It talks about the difference between discipline and training even from a very young age.

Rachel - posted on 09/26/2009

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We have never had to lay a finger on our kids. Yes, we do a lot of redirecting, but most importantly we try to figure out what our kids are needing, maybe they are trying something for attention, so we try to be sensitive to their needs first and foremost. We also verbalize it. Since the kids are young and cannot express themselves as effectively, it's frustrating for both the parent & the child. First, we try to use feeling words like, "Are you angry or frustrated because you cannot have that book?" , "Do you feel sad because mommy raised her voice at you?" I know you may think they're only 1 and they don't know what angry or frustrated means, but it's really amazing how intelligent children are. Using words helps the child learn to put a meaning to how they may be feeling. Second, we would try to give verbal empathy and understanding, allowing the child to know we care about what they are needing, even if it's difficult because they can't have that object they want, we let them know that we share they frustration with them, or the sadness, and we understand & empathize with them. Third, we try to figure out a solution, and often times allowingthem to be a part of the process. We would say, " I feel sad too because I know you want to be in that room right now and it's not allowed because it's off limits. (If safety is the reason they can't go in the room, then say, "we want to keep you safe and are worried you might get her, I will feel so sad if you got hurt because i care about you") Then ask, would you be willing to play in this other room or play outside? If the answer is still no, and there is no reasoning what so ever, it is okay to use protective use of force (this means to physically move the child to another area or away from the danger, WITHOUT violence or aggressive methods, or making the child feel guilty or bad. We would just speak with a stern voice and let them know "it's not ok." We would always make sure later when the child is calm, to verbally express again why we did what we did, make sure the child is alright, let them know we love them and care about them, and reinforce verbally that we understand it was frustrating for them. The method: 1. Focus on needs first w/out using power over techniques (spanking, yelling, making them feel bad or guilty, threatening, using your power as an adult to force the child to do what you say), What is the child really needing - love, attention/quality time, to feel independent, etc 2. Offer empathy and understanding. 3. Communicate your need. 4. Try to include them in the solution. 5. Use protective use of force or unilateratal use of force as a last resort or if they are in harms way. We all respond best to others when we know they care about our needs (and don't force us to do things). Children are people too that want feel safe, and that deserve to be treated with respect, kindness, fairness, gentleness, patience, and love.

Lynn - posted on 09/26/2009

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I used to do daycare in my home and this is what I did. I told him that was naughty and put him in a time out in his pack-n-play. I'd set the timer for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on how long it took him to calm down. Then I'd say that was naughty, are you going to be a good boy? They I hugged him and we went on to play.

Alison - posted on 09/25/2009

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I do use light swats on hand or bottom when it is an important issue, particularly if disobediance will hurt my son such as if he touches the stove or try's to pull something off of a shelf that could hurt him. In these cases a little swat on the hand will teach him the messege without letting him get hurt. If you don't want to use any physical punishment, probably the most effective option other than that is the "time out." If I tell my son a direct command, such as "NO, don't go in there." and he hears me, and then disobeys, I will often go pick him up, move him away from where he was, and make him stay still in a "time out" spot for a moment. I try to avoid holding him there, so if he gets up I just pick him back up and put him back and tell him, "NO, you have to listen to Mommy, stay here until I let you up." It is important to use a firm serious voice, to eliminate distractions (don't do this in a room with the tv on etc) and to back up your command by keeping him in time out until he obeys by staying put, even if only for a few seconds. This can be EXHAUSTING as a parent, but is very effective in getting a child to obey in a relatively short period of time - which really doesn't happen with spanking of any form. spanking/swatting results in an immediate response, but not long-term obedience.

Heather - posted on 09/25/2009

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I think that what is right for each child is different, just as all children are different. My best advice for you and your husband on how to discipline your one year old is to come up with something that you both agree with and be consistent with it. If you are consistent for about a month you should know if it is or isn't working, and go from there. Remember that each child is different, just because it works for your first child doesn't mean it will work for your second and so on and so forth. I have twin girls, and they react differently. One of them I just have to tell no please stop, but the other I have to physically move to a different location to get her to stop doing something.

Tammy - posted on 09/25/2009

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I also count to 3 when I am asking my kids to do something and they are not listening. I put them in time out for aggressive behavior or if I have counted to 3. I count down from 10 when I want them to clean up and come to lunch. I have taken toys away from them when they don't put them away or when they are not doing what I need them to do. I give the toy back when they are doing what is expected. I have put my son in a closet with the door a crack when he wanted to yell and throw a fit, but don't have to do that anymore as he doesn't like the closet. I get my kids involved in activities they are interested in throughout the day, to provide structure and cut down on the boredom or fights between them.

Victoria - posted on 09/24/2009

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It's true, If you spare the rod, you will spoil the child. We see that with a lot of our teens these days. We always start with time out, but if needed a smack on the hands or the bottom.

Jennifer - posted on 09/24/2009

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we have always smacked their hands. when they KNOW that it is a no-no and we knew that they knew, we would just smack the top of their hands...

Heather - posted on 09/25/2009

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I think that what is right for each child is different, just as all children are different. My best advice for you and your husband on how to discipline your one year old is to come up with something that you both agree with and be consistent with it. If you are consistent for about a month you should know if it is or isn't working, and go from there. Remember that each child is different, just because it works for your first child doesn't mean it will work for your second and so on and so forth. I have twin girls, and they react differently. One of them I just have to tell no please stop, but the other I have to physically move to a different location to get her to stop doing something.

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