How to discipline a 14 month old?

Nichole - posted on 07/05/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

40

38

2

I have 2 kids, one 7 yrs old and one 14 months old; both boys. My 7 year old was never this naughty as a toddler and when he was, all I had to do was raise my voice. My youngest is completely defiant! He laughs at the word 'No', if I smack his hands for touching things that I have repeated told him not to and even taken him out of the situation only to have him race back in and do it again after 5-10 minutes, he still laughs. He's at a stage where he thinks throwing toys and hitting people are 'acceptable'! I don't want to keep smacking his hands because I feel that is only teaching him that it is ok. I need other options..he's too young for the count to three method (what I use on my older child), and time outs are not effective, as he just cries it out then comes back in the room and is good for another 5 minutes then repeats. It's a never-ending battle! Any suggestions are welcomed!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Minnie - posted on 07/05/2009

7,076

9

788

Redirection, distraction, repetition. That's what you do with a toddler. You have to understand that he's not being 'naughty.' He's a baby. He isn't mature enough to control his impulses even if he understands the word 'no.'





You are correct that smacking him is teaching him that hitting is ok. It's not going to change his heart, it's just going to teach him to fear punishment, and it certainly isn't going to do anything to control his impulses.





Keep things that you don't want him to touch out of his reach and save your sanity. Pick your battles. Don't micromanage him. Set boundaries that aren't too overbearing and don't sweat the small stuff.





If he's out of control grab him in a bear hug and go sit down with him until he can calm down. Show him how to gentle touch. Get him interested in something else when he's doing something you don't want him to do.





Make sure that you're not letting him get overtired or hungry. Watch his diet and remove processed carbohydrates, things with preservatives and dyes in them. Give complex carbohydrates.

Jennie - posted on 07/07/2009

34

0

5

i have a 14 month old boy too, he is pretty well behaved, but on the odd occasion he does do something iv told him not to do, i grab both his hands and sit him on the floor, and walk away. if he is just havin a tantrum that leads me to do this ill walk away and ignore him, but if he has done something bad ill say no quite loudly and walk away. he stops in an instant.

Theresa - posted on 07/07/2009

5

11

0

I used a lot of distracting techniques. If he was doing something he shouldn't then I would steer him into an activity that he would enjoy or a toy that is his favorite. Didn't always work, but nothing works all the time when disciplining a 14 month old.

Donna - posted on 07/07/2009

28

8

6

wow that sounds just like my son....he is two now and he still acts like that....i dont know what do do....just like u i tell him no and he laughs at me and smacking his hands he laughs at me....if u get any useful suggestions let me know

This conversation has been closed to further comments

16 Comments

View replies by

User - posted on 03/02/2012

1

0

0

Jennie Collins - what a great idea! My 14 month old daughter is super stubborn (she comes by it honestly, unfortunately!). She seems to do things just to get a reaction from me and I haven't found the "it" that gets to her. I have smacked her hand, leg but it only resulted in her smacking me back. She now does all she can to get me to crack when I'm scolding her, which is so frustrating! I like that this is an easy, non-threatening approach. I don't want her to hit and be aggressive but know that she certainly needs to have consequences. Who would have thought that 14 months could be such a hard age??? I realize she's testing her boundaries, but it's exhausting!

Thanks for your post!

Kim - posted on 07/09/2009

3

0

0

You said it yourself...."he thinks throwing toys and hitting people are acceptable"...."smacking his hands..I feel is only teaching him it"s ok."...
In my experience, hitting NEVER works, long term. It may stop the behavior at the moment, but I believe the residual effect (as you have already defined) causes more confusion and damage to the child. I have found with my children, distraction and diversion are your best bet. Remove what you can or secure an area that is free of items he can"t touch, an area that is completely kid friendly. For your sanity alone, this should be a priority! You want to encourage good behavior with praise ALOT more than you want to say NO. You sound like a caring, loving Mom...thanks for being open to doing something different...speaks volumes...hang in there...he'll grow out of it eventually...(maybe when he's 20 if you"re lucky!!!!!!) :-)

Amanda - posted on 07/07/2009

5

6

0

lmao! i have a 4 year old and a 14 month old they are exactly the same way. my oldest never was bad .. welll thats an understatement but he was never as bad as my lil one. I have no idea why the younger ones act like this. I think its because they see their older brothers do things they cant do. Just keep trying to tell him no... they say repatition will help. good luck figuring out how to discipline your 14 month old.

Jennifer - posted on 07/07/2009

22

19

4

OK im sure something like this might have been done already, but if he is being mean to his brother, how about he has to go somewhere else and play away from everyone (and whatever he was playing with), like in his crib or playpen in another room. Put him in there with a few toys for a while, each time he throws something or hits his bro. Eventually he will realize that if he wants to play with his brother, he has to stop. I think a 14 month old knows that he's doing something u don't like they are often under-estimated, I know I worked at a daycare.

Mel - posted on 07/07/2009

5,539

58

228

hmm i was going to say smack on the legs or hands but i guess you have been there already. so all i can suggest is to keep that up. usually if you do it hard enough they will not do wrong again

Nichole - posted on 07/06/2009

40

38

2

Quoting Tammy:

I don't know what planet everyone else lives on, but here in my world my children knew quite well at 10 months what was allowed and what was not and knew that they were being naughty when they did it. Do they know "right" from "wrong" per se? No. I doubt most of the adults I know could define that themselves. Once you've smacked them or told them no a few times, they DO absolutely know that what they are doing is something they are not supposed to be doing. My oldest daughter acted just like your son. She would get my attention, look me straight in the eye, smile widely and reach for the electrical outlet. Some kids are just more defiant than others and some start earlier showing it. I advocate "all of the above" in terms of how to deal with it. With the really defiant ones you just have to stay at them relentlessly- be as relentless as they are- until they are old enough to reason with more and to have more impulse control. I think hand smacking is perfectly acceptable. Don't keep doing it over and over for the same offense, though. Smack his hand once, then if he goes back to it, redirect and move, distract, all that other stuff. Make sure there is as little as possible that he can do that is forbidden. When my oldest was a toddler, I cleaned everything out of my living room except the TV, the furniture and a box of her toys. Nothing in there was forbidden for her to touch (the TV was secured to the wall or she, I'm confident, would have found a way to pull it down on herself). When I had to clean or cook I would gate her in this room and let her have at it. (We had a very small house. I could hear her in any room and I could stick my head out of any door and see her so she was still not unattended.) You are correct in saying it is a seemingly "never ending battle". I think my daughter was about 6 when she suddenly saw the light and stopped spending 24/7 trying to think up ways to get in trouble! Some kids are just that bull-headed. None of my other 3 were remotely that difficult! The good news is, my bull headed child is now 16 and a sweetheart, the best teenager you could ever hope for, so stick with it! Your son will eventually turn all that stubbornness into something useful and productive! Hopefully you won't go insane before that happens. hahaha Hang in there.


THANKS! And yes, you explaining your daughter at this age is exactly how he is! He does know that he is doing something I don't like, if he didn't, he wouldn't make such a point to smile and stare me straight in the face as he does some of the things he does! I guess I'm just going to dig my heels in and be more relentless than he is! My house is kid proofed!! There isn't much within his reach that I won't let him do whatever with. Turning my tv on and off repeatedly is annoying and probably not very good for my tv but I have found a tv guard that I can purchase to prevent him from actually touching the buttons. Just trying to stop the throwing/hitting before he causes a trip to the emergency room with his brother! He is completely OPPOSITE than his brother was at this age. Funny how they can be day/night :) Thanks again!!

Ronica - posted on 07/06/2009

47

30

7

I'm agreeing with Lisa on this: The BABY is 14months, I think that the whole reason for him doing these things is not out of trying to make you mad but attention....... he may attatch throwing toys to you giving him attention even if it isn't positive.... etc. Good luck, big hug and remember to keep your cool, this will determine his anger managment down the road. Positive reinforcement, re-direction, love and respect for your child is how I raise my 21month old. :)

[deleted account]

I don't know what planet everyone else lives on, but here in my world my children knew quite well at 10 months what was allowed and what was not and knew that they were being naughty when they did it. Do they know "right" from "wrong" per se? No. I doubt most of the adults I know could define that themselves. Once you've smacked them or told them no a few times, they DO absolutely know that what they are doing is something they are not supposed to be doing. My oldest daughter acted just like your son. She would get my attention, look me straight in the eye, smile widely and reach for the electrical outlet. Some kids are just more defiant than others and some start earlier showing it. I advocate "all of the above" in terms of how to deal with it. With the really defiant ones you just have to stay at them relentlessly- be as relentless as they are- until they are old enough to reason with more and to have more impulse control. I think hand smacking is perfectly acceptable. Don't keep doing it over and over for the same offense, though. Smack his hand once, then if he goes back to it, redirect and move, distract, all that other stuff. Make sure there is as little as possible that he can do that is forbidden. When my oldest was a toddler, I cleaned everything out of my living room except the TV, the furniture and a box of her toys. Nothing in there was forbidden for her to touch (the TV was secured to the wall or she, I'm confident, would have found a way to pull it down on herself). When I had to clean or cook I would gate her in this room and let her have at it. (We had a very small house. I could hear her in any room and I could stick my head out of any door and see her so she was still not unattended.) You are correct in saying it is a seemingly "never ending battle". I think my daughter was about 6 when she suddenly saw the light and stopped spending 24/7 trying to think up ways to get in trouble! Some kids are just that bull-headed. None of my other 3 were remotely that difficult! The good news is, my bull headed child is now 16 and a sweetheart, the best teenager you could ever hope for, so stick with it! Your son will eventually turn all that stubbornness into something useful and productive! Hopefully you won't go insane before that happens. hahaha Hang in there.

Nichole - posted on 07/06/2009

40

38

2

My house is pretty much baby proofed. The throwing and hitting are the things I worry about the most. I do take away whatever he has thrown at us but he just picks up something else and some of those toys can hurt, especially to a 7 yr old when he whips it at him less than 3 feet away and it hits him in the face. He learned the throwing from his brother. As far as the hitting goes, he hits his brother the most. But if he crawls up into my lap, I find him trying to hit me in the face. I do the whole "nice mommy" and help him touch me in a nice manner. We do the same thing as far as being around pets. "Nice puppy" then I take his hand and help him pet the dog instead of trying to hit him. I do remove him from the situation, numerous times. After about the 5 or 6th time, he usually gives up for a short time, but never long. He gets LOTS of cuddles, hugs, and kisses.

Christina - posted on 07/06/2009

24

15

0

The only time I would try to teach my son at that age was when he would repeatedly try to do something that would endanger himself. Like when he would try to climb up onto the kitchen table which was on wheels and was pretty high, he just would not listen and I was afraid he would fall and really hurt himself. So I would look at him and say very calmly, no. Of course he wouldn't listen, so then I would very calmly pick him up and put him in his bed and when he calmed down, I let him out. This repeated about twenty times and then he finally got it, and he never climbed up there again and now he's three and a half. So I guess my point is to be consistent and calm. Pick you're battles and make things easy on him and yourself by surrounding his environment with things that he can be free to explore without always having to tell him no. Childproof and keep in mind that your 14 month old is probably watching and trying to immulate what his brother is doing. As for the throwing and hitting, try to nip it in the bud as soon as possible, by doing the above advice but be very stern and serious when telling him no, hitting and throwing are not options and whatever he throws is taken away. Just try to keep in mind that at this age he is trying to learn and explore and if he is constantly told no or not being challenged intellectually, he might be getting frustrated and acting out. Maybe all he needs is a little extra hugs, kisses and tickles instead of decipline, sometimes when I notice that my son is being obstinate on purpose, I grab him and give him a huge tickle attack and it changes his whole demeanor. Pretty much all kids want is love and to have fun so love them and have lots of fun with them, it'll help your frustration level too.

User - posted on 07/05/2009

80

0

6

I agree completely with Lisa.





I have an 13month old boy and he does all the things your son does. But i dont see it as defiant or bad behaviour yet, as he is too little to know right from wrong. It is all about distraction and removal. I know its been a long time since you had a baby in the house, but at 14 months he IS still a baby, not a toddler, and wont respond to timeouts or smacks. You have plenty of time over the next couple of years to hone your disciplinary skills, but I think yours and my bubba's are a bit little to start just yet :)





Good luck, and remember how quick they grow up, this is NOTHING compared to what is to come !!

Amanda - posted on 07/07/2009

5

6

0

lmao! i have a 4 year old and a 14 month old they are exactly the same way. my oldest never was bad .. welll thats an understatement but he was never as bad as my lil one. I have no idea why the younger ones act like this. I think its because they see their older brothers do things they cant do. Just keep trying to tell him no... they say repatition will help. good luck figuring out how to discipline your 14 month old.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms