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How to discipline a 15 month old??

Question:

Hi girls I hope you can help me. For the past 2 weeks I feel my ds of 15 months is really testing me out. Mealtimes end up in chaos. He refuses to listen to my NO's. For example, at the dinner table he will empty the contents of his mouth into his hand and throw it on the floor and then watches it! I can say NO till the cows come home but he will continue doing this . He also throws his beaker on the floor and spits out his drink a long distance. He also does this during the day when offered a drink. What I do is - look him in the eye and say NO don't do this. However, he does not listen. I feel he is too young for punishment but I also feel he is walking all over me. Any words of wisdom here?? Thanks in advance. kira.
Answers:
Hi Kira
I've never experienced the display of wills in terms of food but I got it in other ways. I don't really know if my method will work as I know from experience how concerned we are with making sure our little ones get enough to eat. However, I'll let you know what I did in other situations and you can see if it might help.
Whenever DS (now 2) did anything "bold" or dangerous, like slamming the glass doors of the hi-fi cabinet, or turning the tv on and off, I would just pick him up and put him at the far end of the room with a firm "No" and a brief explanation as to why I didn't want him doing that ("It's dangerous - the glass might break"/"you'll break the tv button"). Usually, he would immediately run back and do it again, and I would calmly and firmly repeat the process and usually by the third attempt he wouldn't bother and would go off and find something else to do.
With food or drink it's a little more difficult. Could it be possible that one of the reasons he's doing it is that he's not hungry/thirsty at that particular moment? If so, it might be effective by removing the food/drink explaining that he's making a mess and he can have something later when he's ready to eat/drink properly? With DS it happened a few times that he'd just dump his raisins on the floor instead of eating them and when I'd take them away he'd give out stink so he'd get "one chance" to have them back again and if he did it again they were gone for good. I would allow him to be angry at that and acknowledge it and after a minute or two of that I'd ask him if he wanted to go play or read a book. It always worked, but each child is different.
That's all the suggestions I have. Good luck - it's not easy finding the right way to teach our little ones, especially at such a young age, but hopefully we'll get it right most of the time
Lami
Answers:
Hi Kira, my ds is also 15mths and I find ignoring him works for me. The more fuss I make, the more I tell him 'no, dont do that' or 'no thats naughty' the more he does it, its like he knows hes provoking a reaction.
I believe at this stage they really are testing boundaries and seeing how far they can go, and I think thats probably what this is all about. He does the same thing as your ds.. holds the food in his mouth and then spits it out all over the highchair, himself, floor etc etc.. and when he does I just ignore that.. clean him up and say 'so, you must be finished?, your not hungry well we'll just take you out of the highchair so' and I remove him and off he goes.. if he wants to eat more he will. I know we worry about their eating habits and if they are getting enough but I do think having observed my own ds that if hes really that hungry he wont play up and if he isnt he does.. if you know what I mean
Finally, ds is cutting his back teeth at the mo and has been completely out of sorts because of this, so perhaps thats another reason your ds is off his food...
Ftm
Answers:
Thanks for your replies. Regarding the eating - even though he is teething he doesn't seem to be off his food. I am afraid he does it with foods he doesn't particularly like at that moment. For example for lunch he gets a sandwhich with cheesespread but he isn't too fond of it and knows that there is always another sandwhich with something he does like. Yes I am concerned with him getting his daily food intake and want to make mealtimes as pleasant as possible. Ftm you're right I do find that ignoring does help but during the day when I give him his juice and he spits it out all over himself and carpet I find I can't ignore him. Having said that - tomorow I might cover him up in plastic and a muslin and ignore him. However, when we're out it's more difficult. They really are little devils aren't they ?? kira.
Answers:
Hi Kira,
Have you tried rewarding him for good table behaviour? If DS is really good at mealtimes I give him a couple of chocolate buttons when he's finished (not after every meal - just the odd time). Then when he's playing up I remind hm that he won't be getting any and quite often its enough to encourage him to behave!
Ruby.
Answers:
unfortunately i think at 15months while you can certainly lay the groundwork for how you will disipline in the future, babies are just too young to really "get it" until they hit about 18months. Least it was this way with me. And its really only when they are nearer 2 that they are able to recognise in advance what will be deemed bad behaviour and choose to avoid it. ie DD now points to the wine bottle and goes "This?.. No touch?" Very cute, but it can backfire... she also tells me "No touch" when i am washing her hair! Hang it there, it will improve slowly over the next coulpe of months and suddenly (hopefully and of course with a few major temper tantrums thrown it!) it will click!
Answers:
My 7 month old spits his food out just to be a little divil. I tell him in a stern voice that it's not nice and that mammy doesn't like it, when he doesn't spit it out I tell him he's a good boy in a really happy praising voice. I find the praising works really well, cause he's so happy when I praise him. He doesn't get upset when I don't praise him but he's copped on to the difference between the two. I normally get the rest of the meal over before he spits it out again. I do praise him after each spoonful to reinforce the idea because he's so young.
Jeannine

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