Disciplining a baby? Seriously? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately I've noticed here and there people either talking about "disciplining" their 7,8,9 ish month old or even doing it. One online mama says she's tired of saying "no!" and taking things away from her 7 month old. A woman I know got mad at her 9 month old yesterday for taking another baby's toy. I read a little article online about how 8 month olds aren't TRYING to break the rules or be disobedient, they just can't remember when you've said "no".

Ummm......

What's up with that???!!!

I actually don't understand how someone feels the need to discipline a baby. For goodness sakes! If my 7 month old gets into something he should 't I take it away, give him something else and improve my baby-proofing! I certainly don't feel the need to tell him "no" or bother getting mad at him. Yeesh! And I am no saint. I seriously lack in the patience department. But getting mad at a baby? That just seems absolutely ridiculous to me.

Ok. Rant over.
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#2 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 10:31 AM
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That's interesting.  I haven't seen that here, but it is pretty common, I think, to default to thinking that behavior needs to be corrected.   Redirection is a pretty radical concept for some folks.  I get frustrated with discussion of babies being "bad" too.


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#3 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's interesting.  I haven't seen that here, but it is pretty common, I think, to default to thinking that behavior needs to be corrected.   Redirection is a pretty radical concept for some folks.  I get frustrated with discussion of babies being "bad" too.

 

sorry, i haven't seen it here on MDC either. i just meant "here and there"   :)

 

really, redirection is radical? that's what i do and i didn't even know it was a "thing" or part of the gently discipline philosophy until recently. i just did it because...isn't it what you do with babies who don't understand what's ok/not ok etc.? 

 

one of the hardest thing about being a parent has been watching others be parents. sometimes i just cannot believe what i am witnessing. i feel like there are parents out there who are deliberately ignoring their own instincts in order to do what they think is the socially acceptable thing. arrgggg!

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#4 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 10:45 AM
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Oh yeah, a lot of people just default to the whole "baby is being BAD" rather than account for their age and development level.   I know, I don't find it radical either, but more common sense. lol.gif


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#5 of 28 Old 07-02-2012, 10:15 PM
 
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I just recently started to use the word "No" with my youngest.  He's 19 months old!  And I've limited it to when he tries to swipe my glasses off my face.  This is something reserved specially for me.  Um thanks LOL  And I do still redirect, we usually end up in a game where he tries and I intercept and he laughs.

For stuff like going near the road or touching things he shouldn't....I get off my butt and move him or move the item.  Depending on what it is and whose it is, I might let him explore it.  (maybe MY cell phone, but not my friend's smartphone.)  

He's 19 months old.  He's rarely far enough away from me that I'm not there to do something before he could figure out what a NO was for and what to stop anyway.  So what are these smaller babies doing that they are so far away that the grownups think this can or should work better than physically intervening?


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#6 of 28 Old 07-05-2012, 04:29 AM
 
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maybe you know wrong people
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there is people cry morning and evening for one child
im sure children the best thing ever in this world
how we can live without them ?

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#7 of 28 Old 07-05-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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Sounds like setting boundaries to me? I don't think no is a bad word. Maybe I'm missing something?

Oh! Right the angry part, yeah lol probably expecting too much from their babies, but I mean sometimes you can't help it. You are going to get frustrated if you've spent a day baby proofing something only to discover it didn't work but taking it out on the baby is extreme but where do you draw the line between taking it out on the baby and trying to get across to your child what is right and wrong?

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#8 of 28 Old 07-06-2012, 01:08 AM
 
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I completely agree... so weird to discipline someone who is just exploring the world and has no concept of right and wrong.  Physically intervening will always be more effective than words.  And physical intervention with positive/playful words is best possible, imo.

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#9 of 28 Old 07-07-2012, 10:35 PM
 
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I agree,.the word "NO" have not been useful for my baby...LOL She responses more in the tone of my voice and my facial expression. But I'm not a saint either,. last few weeks I was being angry when she did things,.. I have notice that when I yell or angry she look at me straight in my eyes remembering what I'm doing.--and I don't want her copying does kind of things so I was refrainingg my self in doing it... I just tell to my self

 

She is just a baby.

She doesn't know what is wrong or right.

She forgets that what she is doing is bad.

Yelling wont help.

Baby is more important than what I'm doing.

It's my fault.. she wouldn't have or do that if I had watch her.

Anything she does is my responsibility.

 

There was even a time that she was crying, I yelled at her. She doesn't stop instead cry louder so I stopped and changed into a sweet tone and tell her to stop crying with hugs and kisses. And she listen looking at me. And It felt good.   -Patience is a virtue.

 

And I was able to teach her right.. a very sweet little 14 months. She already know how to kiss me and hugs me with her little hands(she even squeezes me)..LOL joy.gif


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#10 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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Thats a helpful list of things to keep in mind to stay calm. Thanks proudMoMmy2634

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#11 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 07:35 AM
 
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I said "no" to my children at that age, not in an angry way though, and certainly not with the idea that I was instilling some kind of discipline.  It was more of a "That's not for babies," or "No taking mama's glasses," or "gentle with the kitty!" or, occasionally with a thought process like "Maybe if I make a loud noise, I can distract you from sinking your teeth into that electrical cord" - definitely a case where I needed to improve my baby-proofing.

 

I don't expect babies or young toddlers or anyone who hasn't demonstrated good receptive language skills to remember "rules".  I don't think they're being bad, and I'm not angry.  However, I also don't think I'm causing any harm by using the word, by speaking clearly, or by setting a firm boundary (even when I expect that I will set that boundary every five minutes every day from here to the Trump of Doom).

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#12 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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I think there are some really scary people out there who believe that babies are inherently sinful and need to be "punished", or that all kids are trying to grab control and you need to show them whose boss.  I don't want to deny that.

 

But for me, discipline means teaching and if my discipline is gentle and respectful, I don't see why I can't use it on a baby?  Did I yell at him?  Never, but that doesn't mean that I didn't say laughingly "Ow, that hurts, don't do that" when he pulled my hair or "No love, don't play with the outlet, it might hurt you" as I lifted him up, hugged him, and carried him back to his dump truck. 

 

Similarly, from an early age I taught him what I did want.  For example, I would prefer to be asked for something, rather than being whined at.  I'm sure you can relate.  So, if he was in high chair fussing and getting impatient while I walked across the kitchen to get him some fruit, I might come back, make a silly face or something to get him to pause his fussing for a moment, and then when I had his attention, guide his little hands through the sign for please, then I'd say "Thank you so much for asking so nicely!  Here are some yummy blueberries for you" and kiss him on his little nose.  Or whatever.  And of course, since at this age they want nothing more than to make you smile, after a couple dozen tries he'd get it and start signing please, or waiting the 6 seconds it took me to get the blueberries. 

 

Of course your baby is exploring, he's like a little scientist trying to figure out the properties of everything he sees or touches or tastes.  Of course he has no idea that you don't want him sticking his drool covered fingers in the outlet, or crawling into traffic.  But that doesn't mean it's too early to start telling him, gently and respectfully what you want and don't want.  If he gets it great, if he doesn't well there was no harm in trying and you can always teach him again tomorrow. 

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#13 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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My only real problem with saying "no" to a baby a lot is that can become their favorite word and then as toddlers they might end up saying it a billion times a day.

I don't know how useful it is to actively try to teach, or discipline, an infant, just several months old like that. I guess it doesn't hurt so long as you don't have an unreasonable expectation, like that a tiny baby is going to learn not to touch your sunglasses any time soon. I'd be worried about parents having that expectation and then getting angry and responding out of anger when it inevitably isn't met.
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#14 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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My only real problem with saying "no" to a baby a lot is that can become their favorite word and then as toddlers they might end up saying it a billion times a day.
I don't know how useful it is to actively try to teach, or discipline, an infant, just several months old like that. I guess it doesn't hurt so long as you don't have an unreasonable expectation, like that a tiny baby is going to learn not to touch your sunglasses any time soon. I'd be worried about parents having that expectation and then getting angry and responding out of anger when it inevitably isn't met.

 

As far as your first point, I think that hoping your toddler won't describe the power of "no" is pretty optimistic.  I think that part of learning language is learning the words have power and that it's fun to exert that power.  I think most kids will go through a "no" phase even if you never use that word.

 

As far as your second point, yes I agree.  I do think that it's important to manage expectations so that you don't get angry when a kid doesn't get something until the millionth repetition. 

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#15 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Well with kids it's all about playing the odds. There are no guarantees, but you can help make things more or less likely. A toddler who grew up hearing "no" a lot is more likely to become fascinated by the power of "no." Kids who don't have no used with them much don't experience it as such a hugely powerful word and are less likely to say it all the time. For what it s worth, my two didn't have a "no" phase. I'm sure that is part luck, but I'm also sure I stacked the odds by not saying " no" anywhere near as often as it generally seems to be used with babies/toddlers. There are tons of other ways to tell a child to stop doing thing A, and I personally think the best way is by directing them to thing B, not by continually saying "no." And when it's something really important where I need an immediate thing to say, I think "stop" is more effective anyway.
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#16 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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Well with kids it's all about playing the odds. There are no guarantees, but you can help make things more or less likely. A toddler who grew up hearing "no" a lot is more likely to become fascinated by the power of "no." Kids who don't have no used with them much don't experience it as such a hugely powerful word and are less likely to say it all the time. For what it s worth, my two didn't have a "no" phase. I'm sure that is part luck, but I'm also sure I stacked the odds by not saying " no" anywhere near as often as it generally seems to be used with babies/toddlers. There are tons of other ways to tell a child to stop doing thing A, and I personally think the best way is by directing them to thing B, not by continually saying "no." And when it's something really important where I need an immediate thing to say, I think "stop" is more effective anyway.

 

Hmmm, you know I'm not sure I consider it "lucky" to have a kid who doesn't experiment wtih finding their voice in this way.  "No" phases aren't the end of the world or something to seek out or avoid.  Just like I felt comfortable letting my baby know what I want, I feel comfortable with him letting me know the same. 

 

I'm actually a pretty consensual parent, so letting my kid know when something didn't feel right to me, or fit with my values (like staying alive and unharmed in the case of the outlet) made sense.  Listening when he told me the same thing, which started with telling me no, and eventually morphed into longer sentences, fit in with it too.

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#17 of 28 Old 07-10-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Not saying "no" on a regular basis in no way keeps a parent from sharing values or keeping kids from sticking fingers in outlets.
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#18 of 28 Old 07-10-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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I never said it did, I said avoiding my kid saying No wasn't a goal for me. 

 

Saying to your child "No, don't stick your finger in the outlet, come play with your teddy bear instead", also doesn't create little control freaks.  If it's the reason why my 3 year old sometimes said "No mommy, I don't want carrots with my sandwich", that's OK. 

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#19 of 28 Old 07-10-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeesh! quite the discussion we have going on. i know it's morphed into it's own thing here but for what it's worth, i was definitely more surprised at the "getting angry" aspect of the disciplining i was talking about. after posting this thread i caught myself saying "no" a few times to my baby. kind of made me laugh! so THAT wasn't the main focus of my rant. what i found upsetting was that these moms were literally getting mad at their babies. and showing real frustration that their babies were doing "bad" things and not listening. 

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#20 of 28 Old 07-11-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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I got angrier than I've ever felt in my life at my daughter during her infancy.  It made me feel totally guilty to be truly angry at a little baby.  But it was never over "discipline."  Always sleep. 

 

Is it any wonder that people who start out this way end up spanking their young toddlers?  Their unrealistic expectations must have caused them sooooo much frustration by that point.
 

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#21 of 28 Old 07-11-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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Yes, it is pretty bad. I have 4yo and 6yo and I get mad when I hear moms/dads saying that their kids (in age of my kids) ARE BAD. I teach my DDs that in my eyes no kid is bad, there is only bad behavior, which comes because of some reason. And can be changed, when the problem is solved.

 

To discipline a baby ? That's rather no comment.


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#22 of 28 Old 07-26-2012, 05:07 AM
 
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wow reading this post makes me realize how often I say "no!" I certainly don't punish or get mad at my 15 month old, but I do say "no" an awful lot.. I do redirection, but then I am saying no so much all day with my 3 year old, it's just become engrained in my vocabulary. Any tips on how to avoid this word!? thanks :)


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#23 of 28 Old 07-26-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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Re how to minimize use of the word No: you could try stating facts like, "Outlets are dangerous." Or, "I don't like when you do that." Or, "Only food is for eating." (Then redirecting.) It is clear and concise, and lets them know why they are being redirected. The "no" is implicit.
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#24 of 28 Old 07-26-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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Hmm yeah this bothers me too. My children are older, but I run a home daycare, so I am exposed to mothers interacting with their small children daily.

 

Recently, I met with a mom who told me that she only spanked her 1 year old when she "has to", y'know like when she squeals, or when she's crawling toward the stairs. I refuse to take these kinds of people into my daycare.

 

Children this age cannot be accountable for their actions. Cause and effect reasoning is sketchy, at best.  I find a quick, loud but playful, "uh!" accompanied by a smile can be a great substitute for "no".


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#25 of 28 Old 08-09-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tanyato View Post

 

 

one of the hardest thing about being a parent has been watching others be parents. sometimes i just cannot believe what i am witnessing. i feel like there are parents out there who are deliberately ignoring their own instincts in order to do what they think is the socially acceptable thing. arrgggg!

Oh my goodness, so well said! 


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#26 of 28 Old 08-11-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Well with kids it's all about playing the odds. There are no guarantees, but you can help make things more or less likely. A toddler who grew up hearing "no" a lot is more likely to become fascinated by the power of "no." Kids who don't have no used with them much don't experience it as such a hugely powerful word and are less likely to say it all the time. For what it s worth, my two didn't have a "no" phase. I'm sure that is part luck, but I'm also sure I stacked the odds by not saying " no" anywhere near as often as it generally seems to be used with babies/toddlers. There are tons of other ways to tell a child to stop doing thing A, and I personally think the best way is by directing them to thing B, not by continually saying "no." And when it's something really important where I need an immediate thing to say, I think "stop" is more effective anyway.

 

I'm inclined to think that kids going through intense "no" phases has more to do with the general balance of power in the household, and they are trying to regain control by wielding the power of "no" which is one of the few tools they have to do so, and less to do with the frequency with which they hear the word, though the two can obviously be related (a child who has little control and feels like his voice isn't being heard probably hears "no" a lot).  A child who frequently hears, "No, do this instead" and is redirected vs a child who hears a flat no and is stopped in his tracks without his impulse being honored - they are hearing the same number of no's, but one is having his impulse respected and one isn't.

 

My experience - I try very, very hard not to use "no" but not because I think it is an inherently 'bad' word or because it might cause him to use it more later, but because kids are more likely to respond to positive direction rather than negative.  For a child who is still grasping language, you tell them, "No climbing on the stairs" or "no running" etc, and what they heard is "climb the stairs" and "run."  Saying, "stay down here" and "walk, please" are much more effective.  It takes a long time for them to really comprehend negative statements, as they are more likely to respond to the action word you give them whether or not there is a "no" in front of it.

 

So - I literally almost never use the word "no" and yet it is my 20 month old's favorite word.  He heard me say "no" to the dog, and spent the rest of the afternoon following her around and telling her "no."  But you know what?  I love it!  I love that he is so clear about what he does and doesn't want.  It makes my job a lot easier!  We'll see how it plays out when he gets to 2/3/4 years old, but right now I'm loving the no's.




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#27 of 28 Old 08-12-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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"Recently, I met with a mom who told me that she only spanked her 1 year old when she "has to", y'know like when she squeals, or when she's crawling toward the stairs."  

 

brokenheart.gif

 

Poor baby. 

 

I don't want to be a "no" machine either, mainly because I want it to really count when I say it and also because I don't want to drive myself crazy- DS is only 13 months and I can see how "no" could easily become 90% of what I say in a given day as it is, let alone a year from now. I am trying to substitute "careful" followed by a distraction or a demonstration of how I want him to behave when he is about to hurt himself or someone else (usually me- he's a fiend for my glasses). But if he's getting into one thing a lot, at this point, I'm more likely to interpret that as a need for me to step up my childproofing rather than improve my disciplinary methods. 

 

The hardest thing for me is keeping my voice down. I come from a family of yellers and it's a habit I don't want to repeat with my own kids.


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#28 of 28 Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 AM
 
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I've caught myself asking the baby if she's being "super naughty", but in a VERY tongue-in-cheek way, and only for the benefit of the older two kids, who feel like the baby can do no wrong and they're always getting in trouble for things. =P  I should tone it down, though.  I don't want to give her a complex!

 

I prefer to re-direct the baby (14 months old) when she's doing something totally unacceptable, like trying to dump her bowl on the floor.  But the kids and I have certainly gotten into the habit of snickering when she does this, and asking her if she's being very naughty, to which she nods yes.  It's turned into a game, and probably not a good one, right? =P

 

I don't believe in hitting babies, or anyone for that matter.  That's kind of sad. =(

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