When do you start disciplining your child and how?

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 14 month old throws typical tantrums and crys a lot when he doesn't get his way. He's also at the age where he starts throwing his toys. I don't want to squash his spirit by disciplining him too much because he can't understand yet. I don't believe in spanxings or hitting my child. We're going to do time outs and take away toys and privillages. I usualy let him run around and explore when we go to stores or are outside. When he cries I try to distract him immediately with something else to make him happy. Am I spoling my child?

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Patrice - posted on 03/28/2011

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I think you need to do now what you want to do later. If you're not gonna spank then you must do something to get his attention to know his behavior will not be tolerated, Children crave boundaries and he is pushing to see how far he can go and what he can get away with. "running around and exploration" in public is not teaching him how to act when you go places. I'd be cautious cause he's gonna get older and be able to talk, run etc. I hope I'm not being to harsh. I know you want what's best for your child. I just feel like teaching time is at this tender age as well. They are starting to understand more than we know. I heard once "Its important to squash their will to do wrong not their spirit" I believe this can be achieved in a loving way. No matter what you do i think its important to be consistant. I just started time outs.
I'm a Christian and the bible says to dicipline children. back in the day they used a rod so the child would not be spoiled. I'm not sayin use a rod but I do think sometimes spanking is necessary. Especially when they do something that can cause them harm. ie playing with a plug(my son's weakness at the moment) I love him enough that i will do what I must to raise him into the Man God created him to be. He has the cutest lil toosh and hands but sometimes mommy and daddy have to spank them to let him know we expect more from him. And not 2 seconds go by where he comes for a hug and says sorry. Oh he understands.

Morgan - posted on 03/23/2011

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I started time outs at 9 months, and it works beautifully. She knows not to touch the cablebox, the dishwasher, or the kitchen cabinets. These are easier, physical boundaries, though. I do time outs in the crib, and there have not been any naptime/bedtime negative consequences. We haven't reached the throwing toys stage yet, and when in stores, she has to stay seated in the shopping cart or stroller, regardless of her tantrums.
I'd recommend timeouts, but that's my experience.

And you have to be extremely consistent, otherwise they just won't understand what's allowed and what's not. They don't need to understand "why," since they probably won't truly understand why for many years. Just what's allowed and what's not, and listen to mom/dad.

Heather - posted on 03/22/2011

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My daughter is almost 14 months and I wouldn't necessarily say that I've disciplined her all along the way but I've corrected her behavior by either ignoring her tantrums (when I did that she stopped because she didn't get my attentions), and immediately talking to her in a stern, not mean, voice about whatever the behavior was that was bad. At this point, she's not quite 14 months and when I tell her NO, she steps away from whatever she was doing and does something else. If she is touching something she isn't supposed to, I remind her that it is not hers and that she shouldn't touch it and she moves on to something else. She is also a climber and the moment I see her starting to climb onto or into something that she should not, I tell her to stop and that she is not supposed to do that as she will get hurt. She immediately stops. I think that communicating with your child now and staying on top of it and being consistent will stop some bad behavior down the road. And I don't yell at my daughter, I talk to her in a stern voice to let her know that I am displeased. Even though she is only 13 months old, she understands and she is much further ahead in her listening skills than a lot of children I know her age. I am a single stay at home mom and this is working for me and I really feel that as she gets older, I will have less issues during those terrible 2's and 3's. Good luck!

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Patrice - posted on 04/06/2011

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Chip Ingram has a good series on Dicpline kids. Also a good book for moms and dads with boys is "Raising Boys" I know you can find them at any well stocked Christian bookstore. Since my last post I have been checkin myself and discussing with my husband how to go about dicipline and gathering resources to help us, There are certainly things my parents did that I don't want to repeat and other things I covet.

Kasey - posted on 04/06/2011

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We started teaching our son as soon as he was able to get into things, we did smack his hands when he touched things he wasn't supposed to. He now will not touch things when we say "No." We tell him "that's not yours, you don't touch." He understands everything we tell him. When we go to my parents or anybody else's house, he knows not to touch if it's not his. He does push our buttons sometimes and tries to see what he can get away with and that's when we started tappin his hiney! We don't believe in "beating" our child but we do enforce rules and discipline. I personally believe it is my job to teach my son right from wrong. So if that means a tap on his diaper once in a while, then that's what we are going to do. But you have to do what you feel is right for you and your family! Nobody does things exactly the same as another, you just have to find what works for you and in your house!!!!

Cherilyn - posted on 04/05/2011

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Thankyou Cisy Hsu! Same issue!! So now what?? I guess I read on and wait for a reply that I agree with. :) Some helpful ideas here though for sure. Thanks everyone.

Lisa - posted on 03/30/2011

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my boy is the same age. he likes to climb up onto the chairs and throw everything on the dining table onto the floor. i tell him to 'sit down' on the seat 3 times and if he isnt listening then he gets a little smack on the leg and a 'no!'. he does the same on his high chair and gets the same response. the rest of the house is pretty child proof with everythig he is not allowed up high or behind cupboard doors with locks. i too am not sure if i am 'age appropriate' with the disipline but i do know that i dont want his clmbing up on the table and chairs and a simple NO dosent work yet. he has started throwing little tantrums and i ignore them.

Leona - posted on 03/30/2011

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I also do use the timeouts! and tell my son NO in a firm but not loud voice, he used to cry when i told him that but by just ignoring that he has gotten much better at obeying and not pouting. i have also found that if i say no and keep watching him he will most likely do so again so insted i say no and then ignore him for a bit if that does not work then i will move him to a different spot to play. when in stores i also like to distract him but he has to stay in the cart.

Morgan - posted on 03/30/2011

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Also, I notice a huge difference in behavior when my daughter is tired - she's much more likely to do something she knows she's not supposed to do or fuss or throw a tantrum when she hasn't gotten enough sleep. If she wakes up early from her afternoon nap (still cranky), I've decided that I'd rather spend 10 minutes putting her back in bed than struggling with her behavior for the rest of the day!

So, before you worry too much about behavior, keep track of how much he sleeps to make sure that he's getting enough (12-14 hours in a 24 hour period, but depends some on the child).

Jody - posted on 03/29/2011

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I was told by her child care teacher that consistancey is the key. For example, I only say "no" to things that are dangerous and keep it consistant in all situations, E.g. there are stairs at mums place, the in-laws and my place, I was letting her go up the stairs at home, but then at my mums house it was no and at the in-laws my FIL had to block the stairs with his body (They both dont want to get stair guards), SO I made a blanket rule " a firm no" to all stairs, and now she is not interested in going up them. I think it is all about working out what rules you want to put in place and sticking with it, dont be yes on one day and no the next, otherwise they get confused. Also, time out, and taking away toys they are too young. Tantrums are just distraction management. what things does he not get his way with, if you are inconsistant then he will throw a tantrum because he does not understand why he can play with something one time, then not the next i guess

Rebekah - posted on 03/28/2011

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hi i also have a 14 month old daughter and she is the same screams when she dont get her own way or she finds it funny when she smacks people , so what i do it say " oh dear" in a tone of voice and put her down and ignore her for about 15-20 secs sometimes not even that she soons crawls back ( as she is not walking yet ) and holds her arms out wide for a hig and blows a kiss as i assume she has relised she has done wrong i am i nursery nurse so i dont think i am wrong by doing this hope this helps becky

Cisy - posted on 03/28/2011

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my 14 month old thinks everything is funny. When I discipline her and tell her no, and take her away and distract her with something else, she goes back to what she wasn't suppose to do. She'd look at me, give me a "i'm going to touch it" smile and touch it or climb it. I've tried the time out thing but she can care less. She will not listen to me. ahhhhhhhhh, she finds everything funny. Sometimes I think it's funny too but i try not to show her.

Patricia - posted on 03/27/2011

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what mischief besides getting lost or abducted do you think your child might gt into or accidently break

Claudia - posted on 03/27/2011

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I'm with you on that (we don't believe in spanxings or hitting our child/also let him explore when we go to stores and the outdoors.). The only thing is that our son would throw tantrums before he was one. What has help me is his swimming classes, because he has so much energy. The water seems to calm him and focus. Somebody said it's a boy thing and being a first child...who knows...

Emily - posted on 03/26/2011

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I haven't started time outs yet for my 14 mo. old, but simple direct phrases said in a firm tone such as, "don't touch the ----" or "leave the ---- alone" seem to work quite well for my daughter. I plan on using time-outs as well in the near future. The thing you have to remember is that it is natural for them to want to discover everything, so setting aside one kitchen cupboard with pots/pans/containers they can't harm themselves with is fine. I think they beginning to test their limits with us and will continue to for a while!

Keyleigh - posted on 03/25/2011

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My daughter tends to get into cupboards and places she knows she's not supposed to be. I stern no, followed by persistently, but calmly shutting cupboards in front of her so she knows it's supposed to be closed, and if she then cries, letting her cry it out. As soon as she realises I'm not reacting to her crying she usually stops. Although I haven't had much luck with getting her to stop hitting. I use the same method, and even pretended to cry so she knew it hurts and is bad to hit people. She usually stops for a while, but within a few days, I'm being smacked in the face again.

Natasha - posted on 03/25/2011

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I am trying to discipline my 14 month old at the moment but finding it quite challenging. She was very obedient up until about two weeks ago, stopping whatever she was doing that wasnt allowed very quickly without getting upset. Now, however, I say no and a tantrum ensues. She will do it again and I feel like she's testing me! I take her away and try distracting her and it doesn't always work so I end up letting her cry. I know this is the best thing and she will inevitably learn from this but I feel like at the moment there is lots of frustration and tears, maybe she's too young for all this as she just doesn't understand? I feel like a meanie!

R - posted on 03/25/2011

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I would not say it is discipling but I have put my daughter in "time out" for safety related issues as I did with my son when he was around a year old. For example my daughter would wander from the kitchen to the glass table in our living room on the way to her room and bang on it. (There is really no way to gate it and the kids usually ignore the space.) I would tell her to stop or she would go in her crib. I go put her in her crib for a minute, I stayed in the room but didn't pay attention to her. She didn't cry or anything. We did it twice and it stopped. She learned touching that table would not get her what she wanted. I think it is important for children to know their are some boundaries early on and it is really for their safety.

Heather - posted on 03/22/2011

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When he cries when you say NO, you're not a monster if you let him cry it out. If you comfort him after disciplining, you're reversing what you're trying to teach him. I went thru that with my daughter months ago and it stopped very quick because I did not give her attention for crying or throwing a temper tantrum when I corrected her. It's hard and heartbreaking at times however you'll have a little monster on your hands if you don't follow thru. I use a lot of techniques that I see on the tv show Supernanny and most of our issues are gone and our days are pretty smooth for the most part and she listens and respects me. We've dabbled in timeouts but I plan on waiting another month or 2, on the advice of friends, before we really use that approach, they all suggested 14 months. Maybe I'm coming across as harsh but really I am not. I just have seen what not following thru with discipline has done to so many of my friends' children and being a single mom, owning my own business and working from home, I don't have time or support to deal with bad behavior later when I can nip it in the bud now.

Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2011

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I can't believe she listens to you! That's impressive. My son will listen and not do it as long as your looking but you have to keep saying don't touch that or the second you stop saying it he starts doing it. If you remove him or say it in a stern voice he immediatly gets that sad lip puff out (it's cute but sad at the same time) and starts crying. So then for the rest of the day when I say no he starts crying immediately. Does anyone else have experience with this? It breaks my heart and I don't want him to cry like he's hurt everytime I say no.

Lindsay - posted on 03/22/2011

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i wouldn't like to call it spoiling, if that's the case then my son is also spoilt! i still think discipline is a little bit early, naughty step/time out typically starts at 2 i think, my HV advised distraction to stop tantrums or if he keeps doing something i don't want him to. i also allow a certain amount of "do it and then you'll understand the consequences" ie this morning he pushed the dvd stack with a small ornament on the top, the ornament fell and made a loud noise which startled him, hoping that will stop him from pushing it again....we'll see!

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