Posted in Behavior, Toddlers

Discipline problem- HELP!

Anonymous

My 18 month old does not respond AT ALL to any type of discipline or correction. He thinks any kind of discipline is funny. For example, any time he has or finds a drink he dumps the entire thing on the floor. (I do my best to limit his access to spillable drinks, so that’s not the help I’m looking for). He thinks it’s hilarious when I try to discipline him. I have tried a calm conversation with him (we don’t dump our drinks on purpose that makes a big mess, etc.) and a natural consequence (have him help me clean it up). I’ve tried “time-ins” and “take a break” and have even recently resorted to a not isolated time-out (he sits in a chair that faces the rest of the room where he can see me). I do similar things with his other behavior problems- throwing toys, hitting, etc. He just doesn’t seem to respond in any way besides that I’m hilarious for attempting to correct him. HELP PLEASE!!!

  • Toni
    Wednesday

    He thinks it’s hilarious because he doesn’t understand. He’s 18 months. Think less about disciplining him and more about educating him. If it were me I would stop him in the act gently and firmly but quietly say ‘No’ in a tone that conveys love but resolution. I would then distract him with something he CAN play with. Time-outs are for helping kids learn to calm down when they’re mad and too emotional for real communication, not punishment. Also give lots of kisses and attention when he is doing something good. Not overly praising just showing love; smiling, being interested in what he is doing, playing with him etc. He will see and feel the difference. 18 months is the age to help him learn to trust you and want to see and feel your love and attention. You’ll need that foundation when REAL emotion and drama come into play at 2-1/2 to 3 years old.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Thursday

    Toni’s advice is spot on. At that age they do not think ahead. Their brains do not have the capacity for thinking of any type of cause and effect. Their world is a big experiment and they need to see the reaction to action repeatedly. Which means you just need to be consistent with your response, as well as know that they are developing much of their lifelong emotional Capability right now, so a strong but loving “no” is going to go a much longer way for their future responsible behavior than the standard discipline like time outs, yelling, etc.