My 8 month old daughter is very strong willed how do I cope? And can you discipline a baby? I am scared she is going to be a brat if I don't break her of her ways

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Terry - posted on 07/07/2011

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I completely agree with what someone said above: FOLKS! get a grip. She wouldn't have posted this for help if she were beating, spanking or punishing her 8 month old child. Come on, just help her and give advice that worked for you. Unless any of you are trained in child behavioral issues or psycologist that are specific to this situation you can not post advice on here that is on way or another. YOU don't know yourself, you are not in her shoes nor have you been around this particular child. Some of you have given great advice with distracting the child with something else as well as advice for the parent to put the child in another room so he/she can have the fit and let the parent count to get all back under control. These are really good points and I myself will use some of them. But you people that jump all over the word "discipline" should be ashamed and ARE probably the problem with the majority of the world today with the inconsistant, irrational, non-coping, selfishness of most of the children I have know that are 20 and younger.

Jennifernider - posted on 02/24/2014

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Everyone has there own opinion when it comes to there kids but I get where you are coming from my 8 month old is very high manitence and so was my 2 year old at this age and every time she was crying out of control full knowing she was dry fed and fine I would simply but her in her crib n shut the door gave me a few mins to relax and her to calm down then pull her out when she's calmed down usually only took 5 mins tops and I just kept it up and my oldest did get over it eventually and she still gets her time out so I am doing the same with my 8 month old there is no harm in a timeout if there in there crib/room if there's nothing to harm themself there's not much else we can do hang in there
P.s teething is not fun eather it may also be the case!

Marcie - posted on 03/29/2009

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I have 5 children, and they have varying degrees of will.  To say that a baby of 8 months can't be strong willed is untrue.  We are born with personality.  To act as though all babies are innocent until some magic age (say 12 months seems to be the consensus) just doesn't make sense. 



Positive parenting is great and finding time for one-on-one play with baby will make both of you relax more around each other.  I find when my children are acting out, it's because I haven't taken much time to just enjoy them.  On the other hand, your world can't possibly revolve around your child. 



Don't feel bad for having asked the "discipline" question.  It seems you're being chastised for it.  It's a perfectly valid question, and it just shows your concern for her well-being.  Setting boundaries with her will be positive for you both.  You don't want to hate being around your own child.  Agreed that a tap on the hand and a "no" worked for all my children - starting at the age where they grab your glasses, cereal bowl, etc.  They all learned the word "no" from then on, and I had to use the tap less and less till I rarely had to use it - now I never do.  Just the word is enough.  There's so much more.  PIcking your battles is essential.  Does she HAVE to sit in a certain place to eat, etc.  (probably not), but does she have to stay away from outlets and stairs, definitely.

Lorelei - posted on 03/29/2009

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first leave nothing that is not safe where she can get it in that way there should be limited times that she has something that she should not. Introduce new objects that are safe as she grows older. ie... outlet covers cabinet locks etc. there are so many products to keep babies safe. I have also heard great things about sign language that many babies get very frustrated trying to tell you what they want or need. If things get to stressful the best advice I was given was to give myself a time out. Put baby in playpen or crib and leave the room for no more than 5 minutes. Breath deeply and focus your attention. Just make certain your baby is safe and take the time you need to deal. You can do this repeatedly until you can reenter the situation. Just make sure that it is only a few minutes at a time and that your child is not in any threatening position.

Kat - posted on 03/29/2009

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Hi. Everyone has got their nickers in a bunch over discipline & I think you've used that word accidently & it's not really what you meant. I think Tonya's advice is on the mark. Try remove things from view that she can't have. If you have to take something from her use it to teach manners. So while taking it from her say "Ta for Mummy" then give her something she can have to distract her from it & say "Ta for baby's name".
Can you find a way to fit her into a high chair of sorts? Padding it up, so that she can be strapped in & can't climb out.

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Stacy - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Marcie:



I have 5 children, and they have varying degrees of will.  To say that a baby of 8 months can't be strong willed is untrue.  We are born with personality.  To act as though all babies are innocent until some magic age (say 12 months seems to be the consensus) just doesn't make sense. 






Positive parenting is great and finding time for one-on-one play with baby will make both of you relax more around each other.  I find when my children are acting out, it's because I haven't taken much time to just enjoy them.  On the other hand, your world can't possibly revolve around your child. 






Don't feel bad for having asked the "discipline" question.  It seems you're being chastised for it.  It's a perfectly valid question, and it just shows your concern for her well-being.  Setting boundaries with her will be positive for you both.  You don't want to hate being around your own child.  Agreed that a tap on the hand and a "no" worked for all my children - starting at the age where they grab your glasses, cereal bowl, etc.  They all learned the word "no" from then on, and I had to use the tap less and less till I rarely had to use it - now I never do.  Just the word is enough.  There's so much more.  PIcking your battles is essential.  Does she HAVE to sit in a certain place to eat, etc.  (probably not), but does she have to stay away from outlets and stairs, definitely.



 



 



 



 



Thank you for your advice and not reacting so harshly to the discipline question.  I had no intention of putting my 8mo old in time out.  I appreciate your words.



 





 

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I really don't think an 8 mos old baby can be "strong willed" in the same way that an older child (say 5 yrs old) can be strong willed or a teenager even. And certainly you should not need to be disciplining her or concerned that she will turn into a brat. You can't place adult standards on children and certainly not infants. A major part of adjusting to parenthood is letting go of your need to control. Children by nature are "natural" and organic. They do not yet know, and have not yet been conditioned by life and experience, what's what. Don't be so rushed to strip her away of her true spirit. The "programming" and conditioning will come sooner than you think. Enjoy this short period in a human's life where we are in our unspoiled and natural state. Instead of working so hard to bend her to your will try and enjoy seeing through her eyes sometimes. It can be liberating to "unlearn" our conditioning to believe the way things ought to be, how things must be done or not done. Besides if you're headbutting with her this early it could end up backfiring on you later on in that she will be resisting you every step of the way about every little thing. Pick your battles. Overlook the little things that are of no consequence but be firm on certain crucial things. Children do eventually need consistency in terms of behaviour discipline but be careful not to end up becoming the "No!" parent all the time. First of all it's no fun and parenting will become a miserable experience for you and secondly you could either end up with a completely wayward child or one who lacks self esteem. Either way you don't want to end up there. Also, so I've been told, strong willed infants will grow up into confident and well adjusted adults if well nurtured. So, it might not be all bad.

Monica - posted on 03/29/2009

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she is not to young to reward good behavour. there is so many different ways....

time out (2min MAX) most mothers like this method

Take something.. I must admit I was a little older but my father would come home from work and ask us to move our bikes out of the driveway, after he got sick of asking he got a rope and tied all our bikes up in a tree so we could see them but couldn't ride them.

reward... for example: if you keep your bed dry for a week I'll take you to the park



there is so many different ways you can communicate with your child, if she is old enough to understand why you are disciplining her then she is old enough to learn by it! Hope I was helpful.

Lorelei - posted on 03/29/2009

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She is a baby you can't spoil a baby all they know is attentions and gratification. Why would you want to discipline a baby? Love and patience are what you need to focus on. I find it hard to think anyone would think of a baby as capable of becoming a brat that is years down the road and your positive attention now is the one thing that will prevent that more than any other.

Sharon - posted on 03/29/2009

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there is nothing wrong about teaching a baby right from wrong...we don't want them to get hurt...by being firm but not forceful you can teach them what is ok and what is not...spanking a baby isn't necessary...tapping them on the hands or bottom should be enough if you have to...Lightly...eventually they get the picture and leave things they are not suppose to touch alone...they need to explore so let them but use caution....hope this helpped a little....

Barbara - posted on 03/29/2009

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Quoting Stacy:



She will throw a fit when I take somethign away from her that I don't want her to have.  She will whine non stop until she gets her way.   I try so hard not give and I don't most days but it's tough.  She knows exactly what she wants and she is just determined to get it.  I am not so much concerned with discipline as much as just breaking bad habits.  I feed her in her bumbo seat because she is still too small for the high chair and she gets out of it no matter what I do.  Or she will scoot herself all over the table to try and get at something and when I stop her or take what ever she finally reached away she throws a fit.  Meal times can be exhausting.





Our son is 14 months, so I know what you are going through.  I think it's important to keep in mind that she doesn't know what she is doing is wrong.  Everything is new and really interesting to her, and she wants to explore her world.  Can you imagine what it feels like to see something that is super exciting, to wiggle over to it, to be just about to grasp it only to have it snatched away in the last second?  Or to be holding something and looking at it interestedly, and then have someone yank it out of your hand?  I would be mad too!;)



Maybe you should try and make it less about her doing something "wrong" and needing to be punished, and try and guide her towards things that she CAN play with.  If you don't want her to touch something, keep it out of her reach.  If she does get something she shouldn't have, take it gently away and replace it with something else that is safe.  She is too young yet to know how to behave, let alone how to misbehave.  Treat her with respect, and she will learn to treat you with respect as well.



We also found that mealtimes go much more smoothly if we feed our son while we are all eating together at the table.  He sees that it is time for everyone to eat, so he eats.  If we tried to feed just him alone, he didn't want to eat.  I think babies want to do what everyone else is doing. They are naturally social, and want to please and do what is expected of them.  I hope this isn't too preachy, it's just what works for us.  Good luck!

Tiffany - posted on 03/29/2009

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All 8 month olds are strong willed.  You can not discipline an 8 month old.  Once she turns about 12 months you can start "time out."  Calmly tell her "NO".  Learn some meditation techniques (breathing exercises) that might calm you.  Once she sees that you're coping she might be less likely to get so upset after not getting what she wants. 

Tonya - posted on 03/29/2009

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At this age she is too young to comprehend the meaning of a time out or even a tap on the hand, you will find distraction works the best. If she cries when u remove something she can't have and won't be enticed by a distracting object, bring her in a different room, a change of scenery may do the trick. For feeding time, this is the age when they start to love self feeding, try soft finger foods, which will also help her build her fine motor skills, or give her a spoon to hold to and encourage/show her to feed herself. The more involved she is in the process, she will be content, meals get boring, they should also be a time for learning textures to feel, dexterity, fine motor, table manners. The best thing overall for this age up to 2yrs will probably be to prevent the fit before it happens...keep things out of sight that she can't have, and when something does end up with her, gently remove it, give a simple explanation as you do, like "that's mommy's, not a toy, give it to mommy, thank you," smile at her and distract with something new.....hope this helps!!

User - posted on 03/29/2009

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Of course she's strong willed - she's 8 months old! She's learning to be a person and is in a stage of self discovery (this will last until she's about 21).



There really isn't discipling an 8 month old - as they don't do anything 'wrong' they are just being themselves.



2 simple bits of advice.



1) As she gets a bit older, give her choices whenever possible. Let her decide if she wants cheerios or toast - The pink shirt or the blue. These decisions will help her feel empowered about her life, which will make her more willing to obey those things where she doesn't have a choice (coat because it's cold or no cookies before dinner)



2) Every day tell her what 3 things she did that day that made you proud. The positive reinforcements will give her reason to repeat those behaviors. While she won't understand much of it yet, it will get you in the habit. By the time she's 12 months old - there will be so many things to tell her each day!

Donna - posted on 03/29/2009

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Both of my children are grown and successful adults. Speak in a firm adult voice and say NO! A time out in a specific place where there are no distractions while you count to one hundred. The counting will calm you down and the time out should give your little girl time to think about what she did wrong. Consistency is the only way to break a bad habit.

Stacy - posted on 03/29/2009

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She will throw a fit when I take somethign away from her that I don't want her to have.  She will whine non stop until she gets her way.   I try so hard not give and I don't most days but it's tough.  She knows exactly what she wants and she is just determined to get it.  I am not so much concerned with discipline as much as just breaking bad habits.  I feed her in her bumbo seat because she is still too small for the high chair and she gets out of it no matter what I do.  Or she will scoot herself all over the table to try and get at something and when I stop her or take what ever she finally reached away she throws a fit.  Meal times can be exhausting.

Lisa - posted on 03/29/2009

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Can you give an example?



 



Have you tried some basic sign language with your child, it can really lessen frustration with them.  I'm not talking full on sign language, just some simple ones like more, all done....stuff like that. We did it with our first son and it was AMAZING.  My son who is 9 months old just signed "more" for the first time today!

Samantha - posted on 03/29/2009

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She is just learning new things you have to let her grow her own way, and NO you can NOT disipline a baby. When she is older you can break her of her ways but just let her do her thing and she will grow out of it.

Kammie - posted on 03/29/2009

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8 months is to soon to dis . other then smaking a hand and saying no girls are very hard

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