How to discipline a 17-month old. Sigh - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 12-03-2007, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is ALL over the place. Her newest thing is climbing on the couches and running back and forth. She also likes to teeter on the arm of the couch. I am so scared she will get hurt! We tell her no, redirect her, sit her down in a "time-out"- nothing works, it doesn't phase her. I can't block off our couches, and our house isn't big enough for us to just stay in another room.

Plus, she has started hitting us when she is mad. She slapped me across the face 3 times today! It makes me so mad. My first instinct is to smack her hand, but that obviously would not teach her anything. We tell her "no, don't hit mommy, give hugs and kisses" so immediately after she hits us she gives us a big hug and kiss.

Please help!

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#2 of 10 Old 12-03-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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for hitting, we try to respect the impulse but direct it at something non-aggressive. . . like giving hi-5 instead of hitting mommy, or pounding on the table or the floor and saying 'i'm mad!' really loud.

for climbing, well, we haven't been able to stop ds . . . we just try to make a climb-safe area . . . cushions and pillows all around, and 'spot' him, so that if he gets into more precarious places we can catch him. i think that at this age, he's learning so much about what his body can do that he . . . can't help himself. no impulse control. so rather that try to make him stop, we make it less likely for him to get injured. its not exactly convenient or easy but it can be pretty fun.

hth
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#3 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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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.

-Angela
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#5 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
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.

-Angela
Exactly. (FWIW, my kids have been teetering on the edge of the couch for years now, and no one has ever fallen - knock on wood.)

As for the hitting - just say "no hitting" or "don't hit me" or "that hurts, please stop" or whatever works for you. Say this over and over, grab her hand before she hits you when you can, and one day she will get it and stop hitting. If you really need some sort of discipline, you can say "I can't hold you if you're going to hit me" and set her down. (To clarify, I don't mean set her down and let her scream while refusing to pick her up again. I just mean that if you really want there to be a "consequence" to her hitting you, the only appropriate thing I can think of would be to remove yourself from being hit.)
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#6 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
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.

That's what we do. I don't really stop my son from climbing, I just supervise and make sure he's doing it safely. Our problem right now is hitting too. But he doesn't do it when he's mad, he'll just walk up out the blue and hit his brother. Course that causes a huge reaction out of his brother so I'm sure that's fueling the hitting too.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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thanks for the thread - timely for me with my industrious almost 17 month old.

I am usually at a loss for something that is developmentally appropriate and works.
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#8 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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golly, every toddler hits their parents. What works is saying things like, "Oh that hurt mommy. Nice touch." What really works is putting them down if they are hitting and you are holding them, or standing up if you are sitting near them. It is a clear message that you won't allow them to hurt you. Another thing to always remember with young children, is that their behavior is a reflection of what is going on that day/moment. If they are tired, they may hit, cuz they don't have the words to tell you, "Mom I just want us to cuddle up on the couch and nurse." If you are talking with someone else, they may also hit or throw themselves off the couch.

It is hard to remember that the behavior is not meant to hurt the parent, but mostly to get our attention.
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#9 of 10 Old 12-04-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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My 16 month old, Henri, is TERRIBLE right now. His brother went through this stage of total defiance between like 15-18 months. He is almost 28 months old now and for the most part is an angel. I think they have the "terrible twos" in the wrong age category. Two is great, one is horrible Henri keeps taking all the videos out of the tv stand and throwing them in a pile on the floor. No matter how many times I say "no", redirect him to do something else, haul him off to the playroom, he will just go right back to the video cabinet. He laughs like a hyena when you tell him no, and now he thinks being caught doing something bad is funny. I know I just have to ride this out, like I did with his brother. But GAWD is it annoying!!!! Honestly, I don't think discipline really started being effective around here until Paddy got closer to 2. Before that, they just do not get it. *off to pick up all the thrown-around vidoes for the third time today*....
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#10 of 10 Old 12-05-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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my goodness- I'm so glad to hear about others in the same boat! I have been struggling with this seriously in the last week or so. I mean, my dd has turned into a little animal- complete with growls!

I too tend to treat her as if she is older and has more control over her actions. I still believe she knows the difference (why else would she gravitate to the "no,no Lilah's") but I think I am starting to absorbe that it is just the age. Toddlers. Man. Talk about finding every button. I am trying to take her and her actions more loosely, meaning trying not to get into a power play with her, and stop being so intense. Being outside helps her tremendously. I'm thinking that when they start climbing they are working on their large motor skills, and it actually is an important skill. I have just found out that the local Y has a open gym with balls and mats and stuff so I'm going to try to use that this winter. Maybe when your dd is going crazy, just throw her outside? (with you of course) and let her tire herself out.

I also am finding out that when my dd is starting to get hungry she tends to be "naughty-er".

Just wanted to let you know you are NOT the only one who is exasperated with your beautiful toddler!

born to be a mom to Lilah Rose at home on 7-18-06 and a cranky wife to Johnny 12-05 ::
Home birth to Eirwen Claire on 1-06-11
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