PUNISHMENT DOES NOT WORK-- 17 MONTH OLD BOY!

CAROL - posted on 09/15/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 17 month old boy, and am a single, disabled mother with no family help. My son will do the same naughty thing over and over. I try explaining it is bad to do, give him a warning, get in his face and firmly tell him no, time out (putting him in other room by himself and no toys or putting him in corner and standing behind him keeping him there), taking away things like his puppy, cup,toy of the day, etc...), ignoring him/his actions, squirting him with water using spray bottle, and finally, spanking (even though I don't condone and hate doing it I am out of options) Adter any type of punishment, he will go right back soon as he's done crying and do it again. What can I do that I have not tried??? Thank you

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Dove - posted on 09/15/2015

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At 17 months? Distract and redirect... over and over and over again.

If he hits you firmly (but gentle enough to not hurt) grab his hand and tell him 'no hitting, be gentle' and then you SHOW him gentle by stroking your cheek w/ his hand. You can modify it for biting as well.

If he throws/dumps his food (other than normal toddler clumsiness)... meal time is over.

He doesn't need punished... he simply needs taught.

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CAROL - posted on 09/15/2015

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Thank you Michelle and Jodi. I always reward him and praise him when he does right or is nice. I know its important. I explain age-appropriately why its wrong-- like hitting I say ow and tell him boo boos hurt. As for what hes doing wrong....hits, bites, throws things, keeps going into the garbage, pulls the dogs tail, dumps his food all over floor (were working on plates, fork, spoon, etc...), tries to take stuff right out of my hand, the list goes on and on. I know some of its normal. But most kids, including my other 2, eventually respond to punishments. I never had to move beyond time outs with the girls. As for it being abusive, Jodi, DFCS worker actually suggested the water spraying as a shock/distraction thing and said especially since I spank him on the diaper and theres not even red marks after it is definitely not abusive (I was there for something else and decided to ask and see what if any suggestions they had). I was abused and dont even like doing it on his diaper but didnt know what else to try. Thanks for both your advice

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2015

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I agree with Jodi, what is he actually doing wrong?
You can't explain things to a 17mo the same you can as an older child. I also found diverting their attention away from what they are doing wrong to something else works and then praise them.
At this age they do like attention and it doesn't matter if it's "good" or "bad" attention. I think you need to be giving him attention when he is playing nicely or does something that you have asked him to do. You need to get him to want the "good" attention.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2015

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Have you tried rewarding him for what is the RIGHT thing to do? He is 17 months. If you are punishing him for the wrong thing, how does he know what the right thing looks like? Talking and explaining does not work for a 17 month old. You actually have to catch him (every single time) doing the right thing and reward it.

You also haven't mentioned what it is he is doing wrong........that would be helpful.

I don't agree with a spray bottle or spanking. At this age, that could be considered abusive.

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