Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hellertown, PA
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17 months is really far too young for time outs to be appropriate.
At that age it is all about redirection and blocking access. Offer alternatives when possible.
Remember that they really don't have the impulse control to STOP themselves from doing something fun.
I try to help my toddler explore safely. I will admitt that my kid is the one the other moms are always *gasping* at because he is so physical and falls more than the others. Redirection is good but "no" doesn't work well for us. I find in almost every situation telling/asking my child to do something else is more effective. Sometimes I say, please look at mommy's face when he doesn't seem to respond at first. We don't do time outs and I doubt they are very effective at this age, I don't think toddlers have the understanding that they are in time out because they did XYZ.
Hitting is hard. It makes me so mad too. But, I realized that DS does it out of frustration. It seems inborn! He doesn't know how else to express himself. Yesterday he hit me because an older child took a toy away from him. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened. I try to "give" him words in those situations. "you are mad, you wanted that toy" and so on. Then I comfort, distract, etc.