disciplining a 1 year old

Kristina - posted on 01/02/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I am having some problems with my one year old. He likes the computer and loves changing the channel on the tv. He knows hes not suposed to touch that stuff. My problem is that my mom says to just smack his hand and he will learn, but my mother in law always throws a fit if I smack his hand for it because she thinks that I should just let him do it and thinks that I should just pick him up and put him by his toys. Idk if I should just continue to smack his hand or listen to my mother in law and not do anything about it.

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Renee - posted on 01/02/2010

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I've never felt that smacking a child no matter the age was a good thing. Re-direction always worked for me and my children. Some children are very persistent and don't give up easily. No child should be free to bang on the computer (what if he damages it? or pulls the keyboard down on himself?) or changing the TV - put the remote out of his reach. Re-direction means giving him something age appropriate to do, like toys, a game or whatever. TV remotes and computers are not age appropriate for a one year old. For example, I have a gf who gave her 1 and 2 year old daughter her cell phone because it made her quiet and happy for a few minutes, guess what her daughter broke more phones than I can count over those years, dropping/throwing it or chewing on the antenna - uh yeah gross. Give your son age appropriate activites and he won't be interested in the adult toys.

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do whatever seems right and seems to work. he is your son and you get to make the final decision. we do a bit in between those 2. if he's doing something he's not supposed to we will tell him to stop twice and remove him from the situation. if he goes back a 3rd time he gets a smack on the hand

Tamika - posted on 11/06/2010

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My son was like that too!! LOVED the remote and the Laptop. so we got him his own little toy computer (from toys r us) and now he is just like mummy and daddy, and as for the remote we took it away from him.
At this age they have no concept of right or wrong, everything is a game, they can't understand words properly and only understand tones and reactions. This of it this way - your in a foreing country and someone is yelling at you in their language, you have no idea what they are saying so you either are shiet scared or you laugh as you can't understand them and this the language barrier is funny. That's how they see it from us.
It's a game and in tie they will understand. As for the smacking......... tried that too, but again ask yourself what does it do? Babies can't talk, don't understand, but feel pain with the one they love and idolized hurts them... so I stopped smacking and pulled him away from the TV and distracted him with another toy.
It works, he no longer goes near the TV and on the odd occasion he goes us on the laptops we tell him to get his own.
Good luck I hope I can help you.

Cary - posted on 01/04/2010

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I tried the hand smack thing, but when my child started hitting us that changed our philosophy. So we started the time out. I will tell him NO once, maybe twice and if he has not stopped he gets a 2 min time out (he is 18months). I place him in the living room away from toys, the tv, and other stuff that he plays with. When time is up, I go up to him at his level. Tell him No..(what ever he did), and why very simply. I ask for a hug and kiss and tell him to go play.

Emily - posted on 01/03/2010

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I think your MIL is on to something. I don't think smacking a child is ever okay. There are much better ways to get an idea across than turning to violence.

At age one, babies have no impulse control. That's just the way they are. You have to tell them something a hundred times before they get it. Easier just to remove the object and distract them with something else. It's a remote. Just remove it from his reach. End of story. Get him his own remote to play with.

Firebird - posted on 01/03/2010

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It's entirely up to you how to raise your child. If you want to smack his hand then kindly tell your mother in law that it is your decision and you are raising your son how you deem fit.

Sharon - posted on 01/03/2010

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Maybe your child is acting out and not obeying you because he sees/hears his daddy beating you and not showing you any respect?

Katie - posted on 01/03/2010

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I am a firm believer in spanking...and I think that is what is wrong with our kids today...They have never had a good smack on the butt! This story is a little more serious than yours but I'll tell you any way...I was in the city visiting a friend with my son when he was 3 yrs old. We were all standing outside the car(watching my son) when he suddenly bolted for the busy street. He was laughing the whole way because he thought it was funny! The only thing I could grab as he was running was his hair so that's what I did. He cried and told me that I was mean and it hurt. Did I feel bad for doing it??? NOOOOOOO! I would rather cause my children a small amount of pain to save them from serious injury. So I guess my point is ...what if that remote was a light socket, will you say 'no, honey you can't touch that'? It's best that they know you are serious when you tell them no!

Ailysh-Hope - posted on 01/03/2010

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babies and children learn through exploration... DISTRACTION technique combined with a firm stop is good. They have not the ability to know that you causing them pain by a smack is associated to touching the t.v.

Sharon Eason - posted on 01/03/2010

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Then he needs to man up and deal with his mother to avoid having a conflict between the two of you. He should have sense enough to realize that if he wants the two of you to get along and develop a caring relationship he has got to place boundaries on her interferring. Again, I'm a mother in law!! A realtionship must be based on respect and she must respect that the child is yours. She had her chance to turn out a well rounded man that was responsible, not lazy, caring and accepted the consequences for his actions and the messes he creates. (Yes your son needs to pick up his toys). Put on some music and make a game out of it with some kind of reward afterwards. The reward can be more play time in the tub, an extra story at night, snuggle time, a favorite (healthy) snack - be creative. Make the pick up creative, too.
I'm hoping that you do realize that if you marry your fiance, you are also marrying his family. That doesn't mean they are or should be there the whole time, but they do come with the person. If MIL has so much time on her hands that she's inserted herself into your relationship as a third wheel she is either very selfish or lonely. Help her find somewhere to volunteer, maybe the childrens or babies ward in a hospital. Or a library, school, etc. She may need to feel needed somewhere. Whatever her case, the fiance has got to talk to her and she must respect your decisions. If non of these happen you really need to reconsider the engagement and save yourself decades of frustration, heartache and confusion for your son. I had a MIL like her in my first marriage. I didn't have children then but I watched what she did to others. She singlehandedly ruined marriages and children. I knew there was no way to have a chance of having a well functioning, loving family with her in the picture. She lived out of state and I didn't meet her until after I married her son who it turns out was so screwed up because of her. (We ended up moving to the same town where his family was so I was able to observe alot.) Don't make life hard on you and your son just to avoid being alone. Make sure of what you are doing and who with.

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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Ahhhh, My first marriage had a third wheel. The third wheel was the main cause of me becoming a unicyclist for 8 years juggling babies, work, and bills by myself. BUT, I am raising them the way I see fit and I am soooooo much better for it. Have you discussed with your fiance about talking to his mother or does he want you to appease her? That may be the bigger problem. It's popping his hand now, what will it be next year?

Kristina - posted on 01/03/2010

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See my thoughts exactly. Even my fiance slaps his hand. But his mother is like the third wheel in this relationship. And telling her he is my son and I'll smack his hand if I want only makes her angry. Then my fiance is upset because me and his mommy dont get along.

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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Do what works for you and your child, not the grandparents. Your child, your rules. You get to be mama bear now.

Sharon Eason - posted on 01/03/2010

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You smack his hand! Anything a child is old enough to do (intentionally) is old enough to be taught not to do it. I will say that any kind of spanking or such as that only made my son more aggressive and I had problems with hitting him and then teaching him not to hit. Time out was the perfect discipline. For a 1 yr old he would sit in a time out chair placed in a hallway or somewhere away from the action but not where he couldn't be seen. You set a timer and he CAN NOT get up until the timer dings. You must have one that makes noise when time is up. If he refuses to sit you continue to add time until he does what he is supposed to. The timer becomes the "villian" and all the begging or whining in the world won't affect the timer. When he figures out that the thing he is getting in trouble for isn't worth it, he will stop doing it. It's a minute for every yr of age that must be spent in the chair. The MIL will also have to deal with the timer (which is deaf). If she has problems with your discipling YOUR child she needs to keep them to herself or only talk to you in private about them. You must demand she respect your decisions or she doesn't respect you. BTW, I'm a MIL, also. This form of discipline was wonderful for my son and when he went to a relatives they knew how to discipline him if he needed it. No yelling, no negotiations, just the timer and the chair.

Elissa - posted on 01/03/2010

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What about the naughty step? Give one chance and if he does it again you come down to his level, tell him that if he doesnt stop he will go on the naughty step and if he does it again, dont warn again but pick him up and put him on the bottom stair or other convenient place. Explain why he is there and leave for 1 minute (its a minute a year up to a max of 5 minutes). If he comes off, put him back and start the minute again. Once the minute is done give him a cuddle and explain that he has not to do that again. The first few times you might have to put him back 50 times but he will get the idea.

Apart from that I dont think a light slap on the hand does any harm if it is rare enough to have meaning. I dont really think just giving them a toy is an answer - to me it is just avoiding the issue of teaching the behaviour you expect but I'm sure it works well for many people.

Kristina - posted on 01/03/2010

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Actually I do redirect him and give him the toys. And I cant move the TV because thats where he is turning the channel at. I've gotten him a play laptop and ive gotten all sorts of toys that he doesnt want to play with. I

Mel - posted on 01/03/2010

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DO what you feel most comfortable with. Everyone has different opinions. What I havefound works best is smacking them on the hands or legs. It shocks them and makes then realise they are not allowed to do it. I do it to my 21 month old when she plays up.



We have family with different opinions to. My fiances parents did not smack their children and dont believe in it however when my fiance smacks her around them they have the decency not to say anything because it is not any of their business and I have threatened erwith it many time around them. When my dad is around he tries to lecture us that its wrong and leave the house when we do it. My mother does not get involved as I am very much like her and she raised us by smacking. Its really about personal choice sweet. Make your own mind and dont let them change it they have to accept the way you raise your child

Kristahiri - posted on 01/02/2010

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I have the same problem with my one year old, and it can drive you crazy. What I do is get his attention, look at him in the eyes and tell him NO, dont touch. My son is very persistent so I have to do it a few times a day. I try to give him a toy or something else to do and it usually works... I dont really like smacking his hand because I know he is in the stage where he wants to feel everything. Hang in there!

Terri - posted on 01/02/2010

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I have the same problems with my son as well. He is 18 months and just Mr. Busy Body. At his daycare they do redirection and my sister who has 3 older children is a big fan of smacking hands and what not, but I have been doing a combination ( depending on the scenario) like what some of the other moms are saying and that seems to work some of the time. We are still learning.. Me, on how to discipline and him on learning No is NO. LOL My biggest thing is I don't want to be a yeller. I was yelled at as a kid and I don't want to do that to him... does nay one have any suggestions on that?? Being stern with out Yelling??

Geralyn - posted on 01/02/2010

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One year old as in 12 months? Or closer to 2 years? If he is closer to 12 months, I am not exactly sure he can distinguish between right and wrong yet. Its a learning process. You have to teach him with every instance, and its almost like there is a reset button, so with repetition and consistency in your responses, he will learn. I personally believe in correcting and redirecting, not smacking.

Lequita - posted on 01/02/2010

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if smacking his hand is working hten keep doing it. but if that is not working then just tell him no and give him one of his own toys. don't worry about your mother in law. you are the one with the child in this situation and what works for you is what matters.

Emily - posted on 01/02/2010

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I think that you should do what ever works! We have had to smack our daughters hand for stuff like that, sometimes redirecting doesn't work! Now that she is two usually just threathing a time out works! but we still sometimes have to give her hand or her bum a little smack.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2010

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What worked for my kids was to lower myself to THEIR level, get their attention (which sometimes took a small tap on their hand, but not a smack), look them in the eyes, a very stern NO while shaking my head and showing a frown on my face, and then redirecting them to something else to interest them. It works if you are consistent with it, but you must be absolutely consistent.



IF you want to continue with a smack, then you MUST combine it with telling the child no, and redirecting them too. I am assuming you are not doing this, because you are saying that your mother in law thinks you should pick him up and put him by his toys (which is redirection). There is no point JUST smacking him. You have to help him understand the CORRECT behaviour (redirection) not just the behaviour you DON'T want.



I have personally smacked a hand when my kids were reaching for something dangerous and I needed immediate reaction, but in all honesty, the other methods are more effective in teaching them what they SHOULD be doing, rather than just punishing them for doing the wrong thing.

Missy - posted on 01/02/2010

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That is a tuff one my second little girl just turned 1. My oldest was the worst for doing that, she wanted everything. What I would do first of all is have your husband talk to your mother in law. (mine is the same way has to be her way) Just ask him to ask her to stay out of it you will punish your child the way you feel. That is your child you bring them the way you want. Then I would actually mix the ideas together. I did smack my girls hand many times and would tell her NO. But then I did do the moving her to her toys right after. In the end it proved to her I was not going to let her do the things she is not supposed to and she figured out if she wants to play then she had to play with her toys. I have not had to smack my 1 year old yet but anyone can bet that I will if I have to start to. Good luck

[deleted account]

As soon as our LOs began to crawl we used "No Touch." (stern voice and face). As soon as they were about to touch something they shouldn't we would say it. It got their attention. If they then touched it, they got the "NO TOUCH", their hand smacked and moved away from the off limits object and given one of their toys. I have never had to move my plants or nick-knacks up out of their reach. They learned very quickly. My daughter is almost 9 months and crawls by the plants without a second look at them.

Do what you feel best about and what will keep your children safe.

Corrine - posted on 01/02/2010

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all kids at that age are button pushers, you should see what i go through with the little grandchildren. at some point they need to know you mean what you say, but you can side track them, i bought a new phone the other day, and my old cordless phone, i gave to my grand son, he was so busy pushing buttons and talking he left the t.v. and computer alone

Layla - posted on 01/02/2010

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the easiest thing i find with my daughter is to tell her NO in a stern voice,if she keeps doing it then i move her away from the tv or computer and smack her hand my mother i law has a fit but she isnt the one that has to deal with the tantrums. i hope this helps but it does get easier thats the advice i had from my mum good luck x

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