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Discipline for a 17 month old

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numnum | 18:19 Sun 17th Jul 2011 | Parenting
14 Answers
can anyone advise on how they discipline their 17 month olds?

my little lad is a bit of a monkey. he climbs, throws food about, pulls hair, throws toys from one side of the room to the other... the list goes on

i've tried out several different ways from being calm and talking to him, slapping the back of his hand and doing the at at at, sitting him in a spot for a minute but a big problem with this is he arches his back so by the time i wrestle him into a sitting position the moment as gone

he does not like sitting whic is another problem, only the other day was the first time he'd ever fell asleep on me since he was born.

i also have a 3 year old whos now showing signs of being scared of him. only tonight he threw a big grandad dog (from peppa pig) truck at her.

nothing seems to be working. from what i've read most websites say to make the house safe for his climbing and theres not much you can do at this age. but it puts me off taking them out. he even gets out his car seat, buggy, shopping trolley even when strapped in.

meal times have always been a pest as he's never liked me feeding him. if i attempt it he goes mad and throws his food about the kitchen. so i leave him to it, which he still throws food about but not as much as if i was to help. he is good at eating but all of a sudden he goes from eating to throwing it about. i now take the food away which winds him up even more. you could eat a meal off my kitchen floor as it gets cleaned several times a day. some days he can have 2 or 3 showers ebcause of the mess he gets in

can anyone give me any new tips i could try out over the next couple of weeks

thank you x


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Oh I so feel for you, my twins were like that, I had gate hooks on all doors and tried to keep one step ahead of them, very hard and they didn't sleep. All I did was shout and put them on the naughty corner, it really wears you down. Get a set of reins to stop him getting out of the buggy and shopping trolly, they really help. I just kept at it, worked in the end but it was a...
17:08 Tue 19th Jul 2011
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i was going to say as well i would love to sit and play with him on the floor and get all their toys out but he doesn't sit and its just an opportunity for him to climb, nip, pull hair so again i feel like we've had a wrestling match
personally, I'd put a stair gate across his bedroom door and put him in there every time he's naughty. make sure there's nothing in there that he can get into trouble with, safety wise.

17 months is quite young for him to understand "real" discipline, but it does need tackling. have a word with your health visitor for something official.

best of luck!
with sara's advice you must always follow though with any punishment, being flakey or giving in will only make things worse in the long run.
also the "leave him to it" line re throwing the food around.. you are sending out the wrong message. take the food away from him, offer it back if he's calm or feed him.

if he doesn't get anything between meals he'll be hungry and want to eat it.
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would you believe we have 3 stair gaits, locks on doors, handles are upside down on doors so he cant escape!!! lol. little chap but i do need to get a place that he can be put that he cant get out.

its that tiring because he is a monkey from the minute he gets up till the minute he goes to bed and i'm always having to get on at him the whole day then go out to work at night my energy isn't the best, i start off well then deteriorate through the day.

i've tried to be selective for what he gets a row for but everything he does is naughty so i'm always having to get on at him which i feel bad about.

it is like you say sara3 - he is that young to understand but it has to be done or goodness knows what he'll be like by the time the terrible 2's kick in!!
Does he eat a lot of sugar - junky food/pop? Could be a diet/additive thing - my sister in law thought she'd given birth to the devil incarnate when he lad reached 15 months - if he wasn't doing what he wanted, he screamed, threw himself backwards off the bed/sofa anything he could climb on, it was a tantrum from morn til night, shopping was an absolute nightmare. she overhauled his diet he could have 'plain' biscuit and fruit, watered down baby juice but no pop or anything with 'colours' in it, including sweeties. he's the nicest little boy now.


here might help you - good luck
Question Author
hi, i'm pretty strick with diet because my partner was a hyper child so they only get a rich tea, toast, or fruit for morning snack. he mainly gets water or milk with meals, he occasionaly gets a treat but its nevera whole pack of buttons. maybe half a pack with a rich tea rahter than rasins.

i don't do puddings that often as i'm not a big pudding person and if i do give them yogurt is normally natural yoghurt mixed in with fruit.

i've been following threw with things today, he poured his cup of water out while my back was turned so i took it off him, took him out the chair and out of the kitchen and he looked quite stunned!!! we'll see how it goes the next few weeks
You have to have firm boundaries and stick to them. However, he must get your attention when he's being well behaved. Give him loads of cuddles, play with him etc, he'll soon get the message. Good luck!
Oh I so feel for you, my twins were like that, I had gate hooks on all doors and tried to keep one step ahead of them, very hard and they didn't sleep. All I did was shout and put them on the naughty corner, it really wears you down. Get a set of reins to stop him getting out of the buggy and shopping trolly, they really help. I just kept at it, worked in the end but it was a long haul. Now 20 years later my grand daughter is just the same, so looking forward to her going home today, granny's are supposed to be nice and not shout, I feel like I've gone back in time, so glad I can hand her back to her mum lol. Stick on in there you can do it, but I know how it gets you down and no-one wants to help as its such hard work. It does get better honest, 5 grown up kids and 2 grand daughters later, still here though not so sure on being sane.
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thanks fairycakes69. its very hard to explain what he's like until you see him.

i stay far away from mum, friends etc so they only see the kids once or twice a year and even when i've been on the phone to them explaing what he's like they think i'm over exaggerating but when they've spend an hour with him i've had some quotes from them that i wouldn't repeat what they'd do!!! and they cant understand why i'm so calm. thankfully i see it as another phase and life will change

but it is difficult when your trying to tell him off and sit him somewhere and that turns into a drama as he arches his back, straightens his arms so he falls through me, wriggles, headbangs etc etc

i cant say we have one good moment through the day. i was at my friends house today and was following through on his rows and i had to leave after 30 mins i was that puffed out running round my friends kitchen (she has a very big kitchen) because he just went from one thing to the next

my one plus is that he does go to sleep about 6pm ish depending on the days activity. i put this down to him never stopping for a second

its good as my friends also give him rows and dont let him get away with things where as family are not so easy to deal with but i'm really going to put the foot down with them so hopefully in a few weeks or so it will make my life easier.
well, this is a difficult one num, but as soon as he started to throw food around, I would remove the food for good, ok, he may get hungry, but he wot't starve!........maybe he will realise that this behaviour is negative, and will result in his food being removed for good!..........he needs to learn that he is not in control!........shouldn't take long for him to get the message, as long as you are consistent!...........good luck with the battle of wills!......that all it is! need to win the battle now while he's young, Otherwise, you'll lose the battle forever!....You have to be firm now!..
Poor you you must be so knackered!!! Totally agree with other posters. You need to nip this in the bud now otherwise it will get worse as he gets bigger. And you have to stay firm and stand by your rules. If he throws his food, take it away and do not offer him any extra snacks later for having missed his lunch/tea. Do you have room for a small playpen? I put my 21 mth old in that for a time out, he's safe in there, can't get out and I can get on and do things whilst ignoring him for his time out. At the end of the time out, I say "no more" and ask him to say sorry. He gets a cuddle if he says sorry nicely, otherwise no cuddle, I tell him to play but he gets lots of cuddles throughout the day when he's being good. It's tough going but hang in there!!
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the little chap has now started spitting to add to his list of things

he can climb out a playpen which is a pest.

he's stopped escaping out his cot so thats progress. i have started to put him in their when he's being naughty. i was always not to keen on putting him there in case he thought the cot was a 'bad' place but it seems to be my only option. so we'll see how we get on from here.
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hi, just an update and to see if anyone has more advice

things aren't getting any better. he's biting, spitting, nipping, pulling my hair. everything we try and do doesn't work

even going on a simple walk is a nighmare. it just takes us to go over a bump wrong or look at him the wrong way and the back gets arched and then he attempts to get out the buggy. the other month while i was working my partner took the 4 kids out a walk and they were pushing the double buggy. he got out his chair and slid under the wheels of the buggy. so even the little things like a walk are a dread

i spoke with the health visitor and she said when hes biting or hitting my 3 year old just to ignore him and give her the attention and he'll soon not like it. i've tried it but he just starts pulling my hair and it ends in a battle to get him off me. i've gone back to putting him in the cot but he just gets out

i'm going to book in with her again as she said she might refer him on to behaviour specialists just to make sure theres wrong.

the good thing is my partner is now seeing what i'm talking about and understands that we both need to work together and be 'singing from the same hyme sheet' with his dicipline

whats annoying me is when i'm out and about folk say 'oh he can play with that chair' but i know he'll use it to get higher onto a unit or out a window so stop him playing with the chair and people are like dont panic its only a chair. i do explain to people why i do this but they think i'm being over paranoid but to me its for his and others own saftey i'm like this

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Discipline for a 17 month old

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