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disipline for an 18 month old

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phae | 22:50 Sat 19th Nov 2005 | Parenting
7 Answers

I am really struggling with my son. he's very willfull and just SO destructive. He doesn't seem to be realising the difference in my tone of voice when I say NO firmly. I end up shouting at him.... to no avail. Then today, I tried saying no, then putting him in a room on his own for a couple of minutes. He just didnt seem to understand what the punishment was for.

I really need a method to control him. He starts the day ripping all the tissue paper up, throwing my mobile in the bath, emptying the cleaner over the floor, blocking the loos with toys, shoving alien beings in the video, pulling the curtains down, emptying the fridge etc etc. Most of all, he is OBSESSED with all household appliances. He'l turn the knobs on the dishwasher mucking up the cycle, turn the tumble dryer on all day, putting things in the microwave, turning the oven on. Obviously, iv got everything turned off at the mains, so no safety tips please.... But I need to get through to him that when I tell him not to touch something, he must stop it.

I have even tried light smacks on the hand, he just laughs and does it again until I lose my temper. He has plenty of stimulation. I cant ignore him when he's being bad because he will blow my kitchen up! I do give him plenty of attention, to the detriment of my lovely 3yr old. Does he understand time-out, or is he too young. he's actually only 17mnths but very advanced. PLEASE HELP... how can you discipline such a young child??



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hi there i understand what ur goin through but honestly you need abit more patience my son is three and is still learning at such a young age its dificult 2control him as he aint a robot but he is jus tryin 2b clever as he learns 4rm wat his mother does daily i would surgest you buy baby gates 4the kitchen as evry child plays wiv cookers thier interested as 2why we r at it cookin all day and as 4other house experiments the bathroom is the 2nd place they love as thier is so much water whitch we all know kids love also remember your son hasnt even reached 2 so terrable 2s r worse but right now it sounds like ur son jus thinks his being clever copying mummy so telling him of wnt help! thiers not much eles u could do jus try keep him away 4rm things he cnt av as my mum says u cnt blame a child if ur the 1 that left it in a babys reach!!

u wldnt leave medication in a childs reach coz u know of the possobilities, so try keepin ur possisions out of reach and mayb u can both et on jus fine!

good luck

18 months is too young to find a method to control him. He is learning about the world around him in the only way he knows how - by trying things. You need to child proof your home, put a gate across the kitchen door so that he can't get to the appliances and make sure the rooms he is free to be in only have things in which he can touch. You cannot negotiate with a child this age and you are cerainly in danger of having a very unsatifactory relationship with him. Having children changes your whole life - expecting him to do as you want at this age is impossible. He is not much more than a baby. If you baby proof your home - you won't be getting annoyed with him. He is a child who needs attention thats the way he is at the moment. It isn't him who needs to change.

Try and get some time out for yourself to have time for you or to do the things that you are trying to do when your children are awake. Enjoy time with him, he will be grown up and at shool before you know it and you won't have enjoyed being with him.

Having said all that it would be worth talking to a child care professional for their advice.

sorry to hear the touble you are having, my second child was difficult as he would giggle with anything i done, it takes time and patients. i found out later that he wouldnt play with his brother and would get on well on his own.

Have you thought about buying him a toy that would be similar to what he is doing, or better take him out and make him walk. If he is tired he will less likely to be hyper at home. Look at his diet and get rid of sugar, he may have far too much energy and needs to do things all the time.

start off slowly by reducing small things like biscuits, and fizzy drinks if you give them to him, try making your own baby food, fresh veg and a blender.

Most of all find a group who can help you, like mother and baby groups.

look on the internet there are plenty out there.

He does sound like a handful. If you are at home with them both all day you are probably exhausted.

Why not ask the advice of your health worker? You might be able to get some home help or professional advice.

My health visitor is lovely, and always offers to help or offer assistance. Don't be ashamed to ask. They know the difference between mothers who aren't having an easy time and mothers who can't be bothered to look after their children.

My younger son often ignores what I ask him and carries on whether he is being naughty or not. Is he trying it on, or is it his hearing? I'm often not sure even though I know that he is a bit deaf.

You are unlikely to be in the same situation - but you never know, the cause could be communication frustration or some other problem that has nothing to do with family situation or discipline.

One thought though: is he jealous of the lovely 3 year old?

I'm going to take a guess here - is the 3 year old a girl? Girls tend not to be so annoying at the age of 18 months.

Perhaps you are expecting a lot of him? 18 month old boys are destructive and prone to break appliances. They get a bit better - but just can't help having a destructive moment - or fiddling with the washing machine (I'm with you on that one).

Casting them as good child/bad child is something to avoid at all costs.

Question Author

THANKS for all the above answers... I was having a bad day I think, and when I think about it... I am expecting a little too much of my little boy! Ironically, yesterday I calmly explained to him that mummy doesnt want him to turn the knob on the dishwasher and he hasnt touched it since!! Better behaved than a ten year old eh!!!

Iv now changed my attitude towards him a bit, and feel much better. He is just being playful and I think you all had the right answers. In fact, I think I'v been encouraging this behaviour by getting so 'over excited' �nd screaming everytime he touches something, i think he thought it was all a big game. Now im much calmer and dont make such a song and dance, he's not so interested.

Well done everybody!!!

Hi There

Seems like a normal 18mth old to me, EVERYTHING of interest to him and he loves investigating. See this as a GOOD thing, as its a very important part of their development. But of course, keep an eye on him with the dangerous appliances. With my little girl (21mths), everytime she goes to go near the oven, washingmachine, I tell her "ooch, burny" and I just persisted, being consistent, and now she doesn't go near it, as she knows its burny. (Although I still wouldn't take a chance and turn my back, if you know what I mean).

Hope this helps.

He sounds just like our daughter at that age, sometimes it is just plain curiosity and there behaviour can't be controlled but a lot of the time as we found with our daughter it was more just bad behaviour to get attention from ourselves more than anything else.

Its a difficult age as a lot of the time they just can't communicate adequately and you can't express your feelings to them. Invariably we found if we tried to keep our wee rascal entertained with toys puzzles etc she wouldn't have the inclination to bother with anything else. However this dosen't always work and you don't always have the time to constantly review what they're doing. Happily our wee tornado is now nearing three years old and although we still get the odd tantrum she's mostly a wee angel. They do get better honest!!

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