14 Month Old Discipline Issues... HELP!

Lindsey - posted on 02/14/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




My (usually) sweet LO is almost 14 months old. Lately she has acquired some not-so-fabulous behaviors.... namely, banging her head against things and clawing at peoples faces when she isn't getting her way! The head banging makes me cringe, but right now we're trying to just be consistent in our ignoring it. The face-clawing, however, is a different story.... it hurts a little too much to just ignore! I don't want her to think it's ever ok to hurt someone when she's upset, regardless of her method. So far we've just held the offending hand against her side, while firmly telling her "No, ma'am... that's not nice." while making eye contact with her, and then backing it up with something about making good decisions. But it's not working. What should we do?? Is she too young for a time-out? Should we spank (we'd like that to be a last resort!)? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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My 14month old is going through the same phase (soo glad I'm not alone:) he's done the head banging since he was about 8 months old generally when he is tired...my dr says it's totally normal...they enjoy the rhythm and use it for comfort...strange I know but to each their own I guess.

My son has also starting hitting and throwing toys, food at us and sreeching when he doesn't get his way or wants attention. We have started a simple "time out" with him. First time he does something inappropriate we make eye contact and firmly tell him NO (which often makes him giggle...frustrating!!!!) most times he will stop but if he doesn't we say NO again and try to move him on to another activity. If he does try a third time we sit him on our lap facing and gently hold him there ( he hates to be confined) after about a minute he gets frustrated looks up at us with sheep eyes and will give us a hug....so far it seems to work :)

Ashley - posted on 02/26/2011




My son is 14 months old and he does the head banging thing, too. I have heard this is perfectly normal, and like someone else said, as long as it's not hard to where your child is hurting herself, I wouldn't worry too much.

As for the face clawing, my son doesn't quite claw, but he does sometimes try to slap and he also bites sometimes, but the biting is almost always when he is teething is and trying to bite down on my shirt. At this age, I feel like spanking wouldn't be effective. The only thing that seems to help is sternly saying, "We don't bite" or "We don't scratch" and putting the child down, then re-directing their attention after bad behavior has happened. Try to emphasize every positive thing they do.

It's really hard sometimes to remember that a 14 month old doesn't have complete and full judgment yet about what it right and wrong, and I know it is a HUGE on wearing your patience down! That's all we can do for now, though. Good luck, momma :)

Sharleanne - posted on 02/24/2011




We're going through the same thing!! My boy is 14 months old today and he has developed a biting streak!

Previously when he was about 10 months old he was hitting and we gave him timeouts. Just told him what he was doing was not nice and it hurts people when you hit. And he would sit in the timeout and cry and when he was done he would get up and give kisses. NOW on the other hand he is hitting and biting. Timeouts just dont seem to phase him at all. I dont agree with "spanking" or slapping them black. It makes no sense to say "dont hit" (while your hitting them) But thats just my opinion. He has just picked up this biting phase recently so I am continuing with the timeouts and telling his firmly no and its not nice. And if he leave the time out I put him back and explain to him why hes there and then I make him give the person a hug.

Every child if different in there own way. My son may not understand some of the things that I babble but I believe that it is good to raise your child the way you feel is right, right from the start.. My suggestions would simply just tell your child that hittingisnt nice and put ur child down and walk away .. Babies are so smart,, they catch on quick.

Charity - posted on 02/21/2011




I haven't had an issue with biting or hitting but my little girl pulled so much of my hair out that i have these really short pieces that stick up all the time now as they are growing back :( To stop the behavior I would look at her tell her "no, ouch ouch momma" (b/c when she gets hurt we say ouch ouch), then i would set her down. She would cry because she wanted to be with me. When I picked her up again and she did it again, I would repeat and repeat. She eventually stopped. She still likes to play with my hair but I always say "be easy" and she hasn't pulled it in quite a while :)

Cindy May - posted on 02/17/2011




My little girl pinches my neck and chest and finds it funny to smack your face - she gets such a reaction.

I read that you should remove them from the problem - so if the issue is playing with the bin or stove you remove them and give them something else to play with. I have started doing this with the pinching, paired with a stop that it hurts - maybe it will work. good luck

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2011




My son is in the exact same stage! He is hitting and immediately following it up with a kiss. Unless he is angry-then he just smacks at us. I don't want to spank as how can you stop them from hitting when you are in turn hitting them. My nephew is 2 1/2 years old and my brother utilized time outs. He said that they started him in Time Out as soon as he "realized" what he was doing. Such as when the stern eye and firm "no" only heeded a response that was negative. He said it was around 13-14 months. I am going to do some checking online as he said they followed a 3 tier process and it worked really well. My nephew is a well behaved child- especially for 2 1/2! I will post once I let you know what I find!

Elfrieda - posted on 02/14/2011




My son hits people's faces and hits the cat. Swatting his hand and saying NO doesn't work for hitting, because he'll just copy. (It works for things like stopping him from climbing out of the cart at the grocery store.) For the hitting, we're doing the same as you - stern eyeballing, stern no, and then we take his hand and stroke the same place that he was hitting while repeating "Gentle, ah-ah". If he does it again, I say No and put him down and ignore him for a bit. It has been helping.
I don't think she's old enough for a spanking. At least, my son wouldn't understand. I know girls develop more quickly than boys, so maybe she would.

Kim - posted on 02/14/2011




I had a problem with one of my boys biting me. He didn't do it to be mean or because he was mad, he thought it was funny. I think.. and hope he finally got out of that stage. I had to keep telling him no and move him away from me and tell him no biting. But my boys have started banging the backs of their heads against the wall and high chairs. They don't do it because they are upset, I think they just like the sound and are experimenting because they don't do it hard. They also scratch at my face when they get upset and when they do it's usually while i'm holding them.. I hold down there arms and say no that hurts. I'm hoping this works eventually like the biting problem. Consistency is key. Keep saying no and put her down and then ignore the behavior. Reinforce the good behave, even if you have to be incredibly over the top with the reinforcement. She should eventually realize the right way to get your attention.

I know the head banging is bad, but unless you think she is doing it hard enough to hurt herself, I would ignore it. Sounds easier said than done, but if it's attention seeking behavior because you aren't giving her what she wants then it should be dealt with sooner than later.

I'm not a pro at behavior modification, but all I do know is at this age our kids are becoming more independent and will fight with us till they understand right from wrong. We have to stick to our guns and be firm and consistent and model good behavior. I feel like the word "no" is the only word in my vocabulary right now, I have 2 14 month olds to deal with! Good luck :)

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