How do you discipline a 15 month old?

Robyn - posted on 09/26/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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whenever i tell my daughter no she laughs and thinks its funny, and she seems to know just how to get into trouble. I dont want to be too harsh with her because shes still little, but i'm not sure how to get her to listen, especially if its something that could hurt her. also she seems to like to gag herself and make herself throw up, how do i stop that bad habit?

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Hold her hands, sit her on a chair. Get down to her level. Firmly say 'no, we dont do that in this house'. Then lead her to a toy or something and say ' why dont you play with this instead?' I know people will think 14 months is too young to talk to them like this because they are still babies. I agree that you cant just treat them like adults but with bad behaviour they learn very early what they are allowed to do and what they arent. I think if you distract them with out letting them clearly know its the wrong thing to do first then they will do it again because they will learn that you wont get mad you will just let them play. I have used this on both my boys and my daughter who is also is 14 months. I havent had to speak to my 4 yr old about his behaviour is a very long time. My two yr old is still pushing the boundaries but I stay firm and he is starting to listen more. My daughter is the best listener of them all and Im not having as much trouble with her as I did the boys but when I do I treat her the same. Stay consistant whatever you do.

Elizabeth Carroll - posted on 09/26/2009

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Redirect redirect redirect. It's all about distraction. Children this age are simply exploring their world and pushing the boundaries. Try moving the focus somewhere else. If she/he is starting to have tantrum because of being told "NO" once again. Instead ask a question. Can you bring mommy a toy? Can you find a ball? Will you please dance? Whatever will pull them away from what they were doing in a positive manner. I believe using the word "bad" should be reserved for truly dangerous situations. Tone is everything for sure. It's key. As a mom of four this seems to work pretty well for me. Sure, there will still be meltdowns. (from them and me!) It's big tiring world.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/01/2009

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I have a 15 month old, but knows the word and I have already smacked his hands. I really think it depends on the child. Some kids learn more easily than others. There so young and most babies have no idea what you're talking about. With my other kids, I've done timeout at that age. If it's that much of a problem that their laughing, their just not understanding. Redirecting is a great method for this age. They even redirect in some preschools. Being consistent is the key. GOOD LUCK

Katie - posted on 09/26/2009

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I agree with using the TONE of your voice to indicate to her that you are serious when you say no. If you use the same tone to tell her no as you do to point something interesting out to her then you are sending the wrong message. And if you need to back up the fact that you are serious, a time out is better then anything else I have tried for that age. As long as you also tell her why she is going into time out, she will learn very quickly. Our children are incredibly intuitive about our patterns of speech and can tell before most people when we are upset or happy, serious or just playing. Use this to your advantage, and remember to show your child love after their punishment is over, so that they know you love them even after they make a mistake.

Jennifer - posted on 09/26/2009

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I'm having the same problem. In fact at her last (horrible) doctors appointment I asked the nurse that exact question. My daughter was standing up straight and shrieking like someone was pouring acid on her. I'm in tears and the nurse comes in and says "Oh someone's upset." I said "Yes, how do you discipline a 15 month old child?" and she gave me the most condescending smile, shrugged her shoulders, turned and walked out of the room! I was left with my jaw on the floor because I thought you were supposed to be able to get these answers from "professionals". Clearly this practice had none of those. She even came in and gave my daughter a lollipop and then said "Oh it is ok mom right?" Well, no it really wasn't. I try to limit her candy exposure! But you can't really take something away someone's given her that's calmed her down! Right now I just try to talk calmly to her and tell her that what she's doing is bad. She HATES that word. It makes her throw her drama queen fit (flopping onto her butt and doing a face plant with huge racking sobs). I'd love to know a way for "No" to mean "No stop that" instead of "Huge smile and do it anyway." too. I'm sorry I didn't really answer you, but at least you know you're not alone. :)

Becky - posted on 09/26/2009

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Redirection- get her focused on something else. . . Or try a 1 minute time out in her bed. . . She is not trying to get into trouble- she is exhibiting developmentally appropriate behaviors. She is curious about how her world works and is going to get into and try everything she can, especially if you give her a reaction. . .

Annora - posted on 09/26/2009

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My daughter (now 18 months) used to do the same thing-laugh when i would say, ''no.'' I eventually had to start using a firmer tone (w/out yelling) and tap (not slap) her hand when she did something wrong. We also look her directly in the eyes when we tell her she did something wrong. Then immediately try and turn her attention to something new so she wouldn't ''dwell'' on the fact that I told her no...like saying, "Oh my! What's that...a ball?! Go get the ball!" She's doing much better with listening to us now :-) Just keep in mind that she's trying to learn what's acceptable and needs large amounts of encouragement. She'll test every limit you have...but, staying consistent will help her, and you!

I don't know what to tell you about the gagging issue b/c i've never dealt with that. Maybe you should talk with your doctor to find out if they have any suggestions?

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