to be doubting my parenting skills? Too much discipline/going soft?

(56 Posts)
newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:29:07

Sorry this is long and rambling! But I’m doubting myself after this morning sad

Since day one we’ve been pretty rigid but loving. Set bed times, routine etc and discipline is something we discussed before little one arrived. Baby is 14 months and does try it on quite often – throwing things, little tantrums, grabbing at faces etc and is pulled up firmly but fairly when these occasions occur.

DH usually gets home when I’m getting tired and cranky – and same for baby! I do shout a little and teach baby to pick up items that have been thrown in anger etc – so he mainly sees me disciplining, and sticks by my decisions. When he comes in baby turns back into angel child and just wants cuddles with daddy – rarely with me.

This morning DH was in a bad mood. Baby was playing up and he shouted when there was the usual highchair tantrum (doesn’t want to go in and pushes legs on the top so you have to struggle to push in!) – I said he didn’t need to shout so loud, baby has just woken up etc etc to which he shouts at me that it’s not my place to stop his disciplining as he sticks up for mine. I just thought he was taking his bad mood out on baby ... but I also know what a pain it is trying to cram baby into the highchair for breakfast!

I’m just wondering if I’m being too hard ... and if DH seeing my disciplining makes him think that’s what we should do all the time? He doesn’t get to see the daft games we play in the daytime when baby is giggling and the nice times we have reading books together.

Don’t get me wrong – he’s a fantastic dad, and is great at being the ‘fun’ one, but I’ve seen both sets of Grandparents roll their eyes slightly when I tell baby off for doing something I think is wrong/dangerous.

I just believe if I set rules now, it will pay off in the long run.

I struggled to bond at first and the rule setting/routines were easy for me as I felt slightly detached – but now I’m head over heels ... and wondering if my reaction to stick up for baby over DH’s discipline means I’m going a bit soft without realising it?

Is 14 months too young to discipline so much or is it a good thing?

And yes ... 1st baby! smile

MammaTJ Fri 23-Nov-12 09:44:59

Sticking to the rules that you make is important, though it can be tough if you feel you are the mean one.

It would be unkind to change your rules all the time and more than a little confusing.

Your child will push against the boudaries every now and again, just to check they are there. Once reassured that they are, things will settle down again.

Discipline though, as in what? Smack, time out? Too young for a few more months, I think.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 09:54:41

I think your expectations are a bit high.

14 months to me would be a time when might I start showing him what he mustn't do, but wouldn't necessarily expect it to have much effect straightaway. Frankly, 14mo babies have the attention span of a gnat. If you tell him something now, even if you shout at him, he won't remember that and make it a rule for his behaviour the next day or even an hour later. At this period, you are in charge of keeping him safe; he is not.

You still have so much time. For me, 2 or even 3 would be the time to start being a bit more firm and expect them to remember what I'd told them.

Mine were older when I started expecting them to remember and getting cross when they didn't. They are well behaved teens and certainly not a danger to anyone.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:55:13

Thanks MammaTJ

No - I don't smack baby and I don't think time out would be understood yet, more a firm telling off which is understood as head goes down/looks away/cries! Also removing items that are thrown or making baby pick them up and bring them back to me - which is then praised when they are returned to me.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:56:49

Thanks Cory - although I do believe baby knows what is naughty as this 'look away from me and swing arms by side' has started - crafty monkey! grin

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Fri 23-Nov-12 09:59:33

14 months sounds very young to me for discipline, mine is 18 months, and I do tell her no, that has the desired effect, but any more than that is too much. Shouting just scares them at that age. And mine always wants cuddles from Dad when he comes in but she hasn't seen him all day, she cuddles me in the day too.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:06:13

I'm feeling really mean now ... and wonder if that's why I don't get many cuddles sad

So how do I deal with face scratching/throwing toys/stamping feet/tantrums if baby can't have something eg cake/magazines to rip up etc

No just doesn't cut it! sad

Journey Fri 23-Nov-12 10:10:39

Your baby is only 14 months old! He's a baby not a child.

I thought your thread was a wind up at first. No wonder his grandparents roll their eyes when you try to discipline your baby.

Your expectations are very unreaslistic. Enjoy your baby for being a baby. He is not a 3 year old child.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:13:54

Journey - I do enjoy my baby. But seriously - would you just let a baby get away with scratching peoples faces until they bleed? And yes nails are cut often.

LiegeAndLief Fri 23-Nov-12 10:14:31

I definitely would not shout at a 14 month old. I try (occasionally unsuccessfully) not to shout at my 6yo! At that age my tactic would be, if he tries to do something dangerous or damaging like ripping things or scratching faces, to say no and move him away. He probably won't repsond to no at first, but I'd keep moving him and if it's something he's dead set on and keeps going back to then try to distract him.

14 months is very young to be remembering rules etc.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:16:39

Ok - I shall go back to saying no ... often ... and see what happens!

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:18:22

Also - I'd just like to clarify I am not a screaming banshee all the time and do love my baby very much! smile

I just see so many brats around/mollycoddled kids that I don't want mine to be one of those!

izzyizin Fri 23-Nov-12 10:25:35

Omigod. You are 'disciplining' a baby? shock If you're like this with a dc, I dread to think what you'd be like with animals.

The cold and detached way in which you write about your baby doesn't give any impresssion that you have any love for him whatsoever and, rather than allowing him to express his unique personality, you appear to treat him as an object that has to fit in with your peculiar ideas about child raising.

Your expectations of a 14month old are unrealistic and you're best advised to make contact with your nearest Sure Start centre and entrol on a parenting course before you do irreparable pyschological damage to your child.

Btw, in common with Journey I thought this thread was wind up and, for the sake of a dc who may be being set up to fail from an early age, I'll live in hope that it is.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 10:30:34

I think you have to accept that what you do to him now won't make any difference to whether he is a molly coddled brat when he is a few years old.

He won't remember and you will have to change your parenting again and again anyway as he grows and develops. I don't parent my 16yo in the same way as when she was 4. No point in parenting a 14mo because you have an idea of what you will want out of him when he's 3. Imo it's more about being aware of what is age appropriate expectations than thinking that if you get things right now that will set everything up forever. It won't. You have to keep adapting.

You don't let him get away with scratching faces: you just put him down or move him so he can't get at them.

Tantrums and foot-stamping don't do him any harm: let him scream away and don't give in to them and eventually he will work out that they don't get him anywhere.

If he breaks something or play with something he shouldn't, just take it away from him.

If something is not safe, then you make sure he can't get at it.

There are two possible approaches to children doing what they shouldn't:

One is making sure they are physically unable to.

The other is teaching them they musn't. And eventually, as they mature even more, trust to their ability to make good decisions.

When they are babies, the focus should be almost 100% on the first approach. As they grow and their sense and ability to remember develops, it should gradually move from the first to the second. Obviously, if I had to keep things locked up to keep my 16yo from swallowing them, I'd have serious problems. But the point is, what is right for her now was not right when she was a baby. My parenting then did not teach her the skills she needs now: that's what my parenting now does.

AutumnMadness Fri 23-Nov-12 10:31:11

newmummytobe79, sorry, but I agree with others that you expectations of a 14 month old are somewhat unrealistic. I seriously doubt that at 14 months children have much brain capacity developed to act in what adults describe as a civilised manner. And tantrums are really completely normal. If there was a recipe for stopping tantrums and turning toddlers into angels there would not be a million threads about them here. It's just a phase. It will surely pass.

*So how do I deal with face scratching/throwing toys/stamping feet/tantrums if baby can't have something eg cake/magazines to rip up etc*:
- Face scratching - gently remove toddler's hands, show toddler how to touch people nicely, praise for nice touching, in extreme circumstances just move yourself away.
- Throwing toys - let them be thrown. Toddler can retrieve them himself if he needs them. Make disapproving noises, but make approving ones when toddler is playing nicely.
- Stamping feet - what's the bother? Let him stamp. It's not like it's going to get him anywhere.
- Cake tantrum - just remove cake and wait for tantrum to pass (it can take a while, but like a raging storm, it will pass). In the future, eat cake yourself after toddler is in bed. It feel silly, but life is easier if cake does not come into toddler's line of vision.
- Magazines to rip - remove magazines.

Seriously, the toddler will tantrum and destroy property just by the nature of being a toddler. No point in twisting knickers about this. Discourage bad behaviour, encourage good behaviour, but don't expect it to work instantly. All the work will show months and even years down the line.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:36:17

izzyizin I would like to let you know that I adore my baby who is my world and in the main a very happy and smiley child. Friends comment that mine is the happiest baby they know - so for me to be having a bad day and come on here for some advice and for you to write that is bloody stupid!

But I refuse to walk around with scratches all over my face - therefore will discipline and by discipline I mean a firm loud no. Not a beating with a bat like you are making out.

I also do not want my baby putting a hand in a fire. Therefore will ensure this doesn't happen.

I am not cold nor detached and spend hour upon hour playing with my baby and 99.9% of the time enjoy it - but I am human and sometimes it's tough. I do apologise for not being as perfect as you so obviously are.

The original question was really about me stopping my husband getting angry with baby - therefore I do have a heart shock horror

Your judgemental attitude is very hurtful and for you to suggest I may cause irreparable pyschological damage is just pathetic.

OxfordBags Fri 23-Nov-12 10:37:57

OP, he won't understand any type of discipline at that age. I'm afraid that all he will do is experience these attempts of yours as being mean to him. If he keeps thinking Mummy is sometimes randomly mean for no reason that he can tell, it will make him insecure. And it's insecurity that makes children play up and be naughty as they get older, because disciplining too early paradoxically makes them unable to judge what is right and wrong well, because their earliest experiences taught them that anything - as they experienced it - could get them told off. And it makes them clingy and it also teaches them that undesirable behaviour gets them attention. That's actually what creates mollycoddled brats, to use your terms (which I find offensive, poor kids). Basically, going in too strong too early will create the type of behaviour in a child that it's trying to prevent, IMO. A firm telling off means nothing to him at his age other than Mummy is upsetting him. His reactions you describe show that he is hurt by how you act, not that he is understanding he's done wrong or feeling remorse - he simply cannot feel those things yet.

It really upset me to read you describing some of his behaviour as 'trying it on'. That's making him sound like he's deliberately doing these thing for naughty motives when he's not. He has no mental or emotional capacities to 'try it on' at his age. He is just being a normal baby and doing what is normal for kids of his age. Throwing things, for example, is actually a very important developmental stage. He needs to be allowed to do this. I'm not saying it's not annoying for you, because I know it is, but you might find that if you just ease up and let him, he'll actually do it less because you're not making it 'forbidden fruit', as it were.

Babies love to touch faces; sadly, their poor motor skills mean that a touch can accidentally be a grab or scratch. You need to just calmly take his hand away and say 'be gentle' or words like that and make his hand gently touch your face or hand. He will eventually get this.

The best two pieces of advice I can offer would be these: ignore, ignore, ignore and distract. You can stip him doing something without telling him off. You an pick up his spoon when he keeps throwing it and not show a reaction. If he wants to keep grabbing your nose, for example, turn your hand into a duck beak and quack to distract him, or offer him a toy, anything like that. Don't place labels and judgements on his behaviour at this age (or any age).

The quicker he gets no reaction for undesirable behaviour, the quicker it will abate. And relax, OP! 14 months is waaaaaay too young for him to be disciplined in this manner. Too many parents ascribe levels of understanding and motive to children that are so far beyond their actual abilities and you're doing that here. I can understand why you are getting some eye-rolling about your approach, sorry. Both you and your OH are being negative towards your son and expecting too much of him and being unfair, even though I am sure you don't mean to be. Sorry if this is harsh, but it's true, IMHO.

AutumnMadness Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:06

newmummytobe79, I am sure you love your child very much, otherwise you would not be writing about him here and worrying about him so much. But perhaps your view of the world needs to be re-examined a bit. Why do you think that so many children of today are mollycoddled brats? Compared to what kind of children? Where do your expectations come from?

And also, perhaps, from the mollycoddling perspective, trying to control the behaviour of a child may not be a good thing. Let the child to work out how the world works independently not from your words but your reactions and cues in your own behaviour.

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:22

And thank you to cory and autumn - and I'm pleased to say I do the things you suggest - so I'm not that bad afterall!

Svrider Fri 23-Nov-12 10:40:03

Op you need to listen to izzy
The techniques you are using are strict for a 5/6 yo, and totally inappropriate for a 18 month old
Can you go to some baby groups and see how other parents interact with their babies?

Svrider Fri 23-Nov-12 10:41:04

Oh oxfordbags also has some excellent advice

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:42:27

seriously ... is a firm 'no' for scratching (and removing hand) that bad???

And if baby picks up thrown toy, brings it back to me when asked, and then looks proud of oneself when I praise for doing that ... cruel???


Because that's the top and bottom of what I've written.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 10:44:15

Ime the most bratlike children I know are the ones whose parents wore themselves out with over-much discipline at an age where it wouldn't make any differences and then became worn out and indifferent. Balance is all. Have a gentle chat with your dh and show him some more practical play-like ways of keeping your lo safe.

(Tbh if you need discipline to keep a 14mo safe from the fire, you do need to think about child proofing your house.)

bringmeroses Fri 23-Nov-12 10:47:46

Agree with Cory - if DC is doing something you don't like, don't let them do it. If DC won't sit in the high chair, don't use it. Some babies just don't like them, If scratching is a problem, keep your face out of reach. Etc - Cory puts it all so well.

I know you asked about your husband but please try chilling out on the discipline for a few days. Your child is individual and even though so young, deserves respect and consideration. If you are getting an "I don't want to do this" message then please listen as you would if a friend or parent was telling you the same thing. You don't have to 'make' babies do anything; they will eat when hungry, sleep when tired and kick up a fuss if they're not happy.

Even when your child is 10 or so getting them to pick up after themselves (toys etc) is a challenge. If your child learns to do it at 14 months they will not necessarily be a neat and tidy adult. Your baby is a little person not a robot.

I don't think you should criticise each others parenting skills if you've agreed on a course of action; but I think you need to rethink your approach, it will make you ALL a lot happier if you just ease off the discipline a bit, listen to what your child is telling you and 'coddle' a bit more.

If ripping up magazines makes baby happy, I'm sure there are lots of alternative rippable scrap papery things around that you could both have fun with for example.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 10:47:59

I think a parenting course is an excellent idea.

You seem (imo) to have unrealistic expectations in a way...and you're using the type discipline on a baby, that one would use with a child.

All that's likely to do is stress you, your DH and the baby out but it won't achieve anything.

Oh and if the baby is scratching so hard it's causing you to bleed, cut his fingernails really short when he's sleeping.

Good luck.

Journey Fri 23-Nov-12 10:49:24

When your baby scratches your face you should look at him in the eyes and say "no" firmly. Put a sad face on when you do this. Your baby will notice your expression has changed and may look a little confused. Over time he will learn that scratching makes you sad.

When your baby has a tantrum or doesn't want to go in his high chair distraction is the best way to deal with this. Kissing his tummy or lifting him in the air usually works for mine. He'll start to laugh which will also make you feel better.

Throwing toys about is just part of being a baby.

When your baby is doing things you don't like try and remember the good things about the baby stages. I appreciate that this might be a bit hard for you since it is your first baby but each stage brings it positives and negatives. The scratching isn't nice and constantly having to pick up the stuff they drop from their high chair is tedious but watching them explore the world at that stage is great and the little funny things they do without realising it can be very sweet.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Fri 23-Nov-12 10:50:06

Yes, that's the top and bottom, but we have also read the bits in between, listen, don't get defensive, you are a first time Mum, and no one gives you a manual, just please re read the advice (esp by oxford and learn from it, do you have any toddler taming books? if not, maybe go to the library, I'm not doubting you love your baby, but please don't expect too much from him, he is still a baby

newmummytobe79 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:53:52

I have to say I feel quite attacked here. If I'd have used the word 'guide' instead of discipline maybe it wouldn't have promoted such disaproval of me.

House is child-proofed thank you. GP's not yet.

I have friends with kids that have been 'guided' from an early age and they are polite, caring and a joy to be around. I have others that have had no discipline that now punch kids at school.

My baby shares, loves, pats animals gently, smiles and laughs a lot! Generally loves life and is very happy. Maybe I shouldn't raise my voice - and I will take the points on board. But some of the replies have made me feel like I'm a dreadful parent, I know I'm very doubting of myself - but I'll tell you the replies have angered me and made me realise just how much my baby does love me and that I am a good parent.

bringmeroses Fri 23-Nov-12 10:56:19

BTW you sound stressed out; please don't take my advice as criticism but rather the voice of experience. I was a strict mum to DC1 and expected too much too soon, trust me it leads to headaches all round and now much older she's exasperating in the same way she was at 14 mo's but has countless positive qualities, is incredibly loving etc. We look at her obstinacy as determination and self belief, her occasional belligerence as confidence!
Give yourself some time out next time baby is stressing you out - stick on a DVD, surround baby with toys and have some mindless time on the computer to get yourself in a different frame of mind next time you feel frazzled.

OxfordBags Fri 23-Nov-12 10:56:37

OP, in the fetching things case, he probably thinks it's a game, because he is incapable at his age of understanding he's getting the things as a punishment. In fact, the very fact that he is smiley proves that he doesn't get any part of the discipline involved and just thinks it's fun. So why not turn some of this stuff into fun and games? My DS always wanted to shut doors and drawers, and we have very old,heavy doors in our house, so not exactly supersafe, so I taught him how to open and shut them safely by turning it into an instructive game.

I forgot my 3rd bit of advice that really works: focus on the positive. Do like above and focus on the good things he does and try to teach positive habits through positive actions. Help him learn desirable skills and manners through games and positive reinforcement. Think about yourself - would you learn a skill better on a course where things were really fun, appropriately challenging, rewarding and there was no pressure to get it right straighaway or would you learn better if you were constantly and randomly reprimanded but you didn't really ever understand why or what part of what you were doing was making the tutor mad? It's like that for tots.

Let him be a baby!

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Fri 23-Nov-12 10:59:05

Yes,f and discipline is fine at the right age, your baby is too young to be shouted at, told off for throwing things (he is learning motor skills) and tantrums are necessary toddler behaviour, nobody is attacking you, just trying to point out you are doing this too soon

akaemmafrost Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:36

Why are you having to say "No!" so often confused? Distracting is the way at this age. I'll be honest I think you souls completely OTT and obsessed with discipline. Babies are NOT naughty. It's impossible. I would say children can not be classed as "naughty" in that they are making a considered and rational decision to enact bad behaviour until at least 4 and actually in many cases not till well past that age. There is always a reason. Tired, hungry, poorly or just pushing boundaries and exploring which they are supposed to be doing.

I also agree that yes as main carer your dh is following your lead.

Asinine Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:40

Op, you were clearly asking for advice on whether you are being too strict or too soft. Unsurprisingly you have got a range of opinions and advice; that is the nature of a forum. Many parents on here have had many babies, and have a perspective which may be useful. This is your first baby, and it is normal to worry about whether you're doing it right or wrong. Don't be too hard on yourself, you are trying to do your best.

Having said that, try not to take it all so seriously, enjoy your baby and remember to look after yourself. If you are tired when dh comes in, go and relax in the bath with the door locked, or go out for a walk. Get out with some friends and have fun. (maybe you are doing some of these?). Let him deal with dd in his own way, you will never have the same parenting style, you are two different people. Have some time out at the weekend if you need it.

Tantrums are a normal part of toddlerhood, as long as the dc never gets a result, they will fade away as they mature.

HELPMyPooIsStuck Fri 23-Nov-12 11:05:28

Good luck trying to discipline a 14 month old, you won't get very far.

AutumnMadness Fri 23-Nov-12 11:09:29

OP, just because you are not doing something quite right and somebody points it out does not mean you are a horrible person/parent. We all do things that are not quite right. We are only human. No point stressing about not being perfect even as you try doing things better.

You just sound rather stressed and worried. And people here are simply point out that you are stressed about things that are not worth getting stressed about.

NoisyDay Fri 23-Nov-12 11:10:23

OP, you have nothing to worry about. Ppl are being complete bastards to you here for no reason other than the turn of phrase you have used. To me you sound like a loving and caring mum,and yes it is necessary to "discipline" at that age.anyone that says otherwise has probably raised a little brat.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 23-Nov-12 11:13:18

I don't think shouting works either, at 14 months use 'no' and a lot of distraction. But I wonder if its the same as in my house, when my oh tells my ds off I cry a bit inside and always think he's being harsh. He's probably not its just me being protective.

Asinine Fri 23-Nov-12 11:19:03


Some people subconsciously copy their parents parenting style by default, especially until they find their own confidence. Sometimes it's interesting to reflect together on how you were brought up, what was good and what wasn't so good.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 23-Nov-12 11:20:07

I think it's fair enough to start trying to teach a 14mo what's ok and what's not, but you shouldn't expect many results at that age.

I am fairly strict but I don't really think shouting is a legitimate discipline technique, except in dangerous situations or perhaps if they are violent (I'm talking about an older child though). That's not to say we never shout, of course we do, but I don't think it really teaches anything. Like smacking really.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:21:59

OP I don't think you're a bad parent at all.

I just think you're pissing in the wind with the discipline/guiding your baby in this way.

It's clearly frustrating for all of you and that's because the baby is too young for it.

whatsforyou Fri 23-Nov-12 11:22:15

Op, I can understand that you are feeling a bit attacked here and I think perhaps your choice of words was unfortunate. I have a 13 month old and when I read 'disciplining' I did go a bit shock

Saying no and removing them from danger/unwanted behaviours is fine but don't expect them to understand why or to remember. Behaviour management at this age is all about keeping them safe and yourself sane!

I am a trained childcare professional and I know it helps me to remember that all the behaviours you describe are normal parts of child development.
Being firmer, raising your voice, expecting them to understand consequences are all important but at the right stage of development. It does sound like you and your dp have differing views on what's ok. Maybe you could get a good book on child development or behaviour management and decide on an approach together because one sure fire thing that creates monster children is when they can play mum off against dad!

I do sympathise, my ds is sleeping just now after having thrown his toys around the living room and having the screaming heebee jeebees on the floor! I just tell myself I have a very strong minded independent little boy who will grow into a successful and determined adult and add another bottle of wine to the shopping list

And anyone who says their baby responded to rules at that age is up a gum tree, they just got lucky with a placid baby personally I prefer a bit of spirit

Good luck smile

Asinine Fri 23-Nov-12 11:27:41

Worra says it all in a tweetsized post...

noisyday i didnt discipline any of my 3 at that age

sorry to disappoint you but they are not little brats

OP just think about what is age appropriate.

StrawWars Fri 23-Nov-12 11:39:40

"So how do I deal with face scratching/throwing toys/stamping feet/tantrums if baby can't have something eg cake/magazines to rip up etc

No just doesn't cut it!"

I think "No" does, actually. Learning is a process, you have to repeat yourself over and over and they will get it. I think you need to remember that your child is a 14 month old baby, they don't "try it on", they test their world. Am I allowed to throw cake? No? What about porridge? Still no? Does mummy mean it, or if I do this again will she change her mind? It's not done to wind you up, so try not to take it that way. I know it can be hard, especially when they find something really annoying funny. It's a long-term process, not a quick fix.

If it helps, I was having a moan at my DH last night about 24 month old DC2 repeatedly pestering the cat - roaring at her, trying to hit her, even after I've repeatedly removed him from the situation, told him a firm no, showed him how to stroke gently etc - and wondering where I was going wrong. His older sister adores animals, is so gentle and patient with them... And he smiled and said "You've completely forgotten that DC1 had this phase too, haven't you?" blush This too will pass...

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Fri 23-Nov-12 11:55:42

Babies learn by repetitive actions. Removing your baby's hand from your face if he tries to scratch, over and over either with a "no" or without, will eventually get the desired result.

Agree on what others have said, a 14 month old baby cannot be manipulative, or "try it on". You are perhaps putting too much of your own personality onto your baby.

Babies are like mirrors, they only reflect back what they are shown. Smiles and encouragement and patience, or frowns, scowls and "tellings off" - its up to you how you want your baby to be.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Fri 23-Nov-12 13:46:17

noisyday you're a real charmer aren't you?

bringmeroses Fri 23-Nov-12 14:53:40

OP asks
Is 14 months too young to discipline so much or is it a good thing?
Consensus seems to be, yes it is too young to discipline so much.

OP, hope you have a better night tonight.
One other point, you might think that your DC seems v grown up compared to how he was 6 months ago but he is still verrrrry small and will still be a 'baby' in a lot of ways at 8 or more. It's hard to believe till it happens.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Fri 23-Nov-12 14:57:29

can'tbelieve me too!! I always think ' oh no, don't shout at him(he's 5 and is a bit of a handfull!)

Bumpsadaisie Fri 23-Nov-12 17:44:07

My DC2 is 13 months old. I have just started to tell him "no" or "gently" but I don't discipline him as such, he is a baby.

As baby gets older it'll become obvious to you when you need to start being firmer - because s/he will start being defiant/naughty rather than just being a baby. Your 14 month old might "throw things in anger" - my son does too if he's cranky - but they live so much in the present at this young age that there's not much you can do apart from say "no" then distract. Your baby is much too young to "obey" you as such.

My DD is 3.5 and I would say that her ability to realise that she must do as she is told and listen to me started at about 2.75 years. From 18 months to 2.5 she would just laugh if told off because she just didn't get it.

She is pretty obedient now though!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 23-Nov-12 17:48:49

Routine and set bed times work ever so well for some kids.

I think shouting is completely unnecessary with any aged child never mind a small toddler though. Do you really want to end up with a shouty relationship with your child where you shout at them and they shout back at you?

You can discipline in a calm, fair and positive manner. Explain things.

With the scratching just walk off. He want a response/asttention so don't give it to him.

With throwing things. Calmly remove the item for the rest of the day. Making him pick things up, makes it into more of an issue. He is therefor getting attention for bad behavior.

Look up a book called toddler taming or a different book called the secrets of happy children for more ideas.

Also think about getting your child to do things through having fun and giving positive attention. Make getting into the chair something silly - fly them there and try/fail to land in the seat. Pretend the food is fuel.

Another technique is distraction. Works well.

Bumpsadaisie Fri 23-Nov-12 17:50:23

Ps between 18 months and 3 ish your baby will get much much worse! Sorry grin

Learn how to distract and trust that a time will come when your son will be old enough to "do as he is told".

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 23-Nov-12 17:52:11

walk away when he tantrums but think about why he is doing it. If the word 'no' is a trigger to tantrums you could try saying 'you can have xxx after xxx' - so that child knows when xxx will happen. That way you are saying 'later' rather then 'no'.

Bumpsadaisie Fri 23-Nov-12 18:01:29

"I don't think time out would be understood yet, more a firm telling off which is understood as head goes down/looks away/cries!"

You are making a mistake here - you are assuming that your son understands you are telling him off because of whatever it is he has done. No. He cries and looks away as he is upset that you are angry with him. He has no idea why you are angry or that it has anything to do with his behaviour.

We all at times assume little kids think like we do when their mental world is very different to ours. It takes a long time for babies to develop a sophisticated understanding of other people's emotions and what they mean.

I did an experiment on my 3.5 year old the other day. Took two bowls, hid a car under one, and said to DD's dolly - "look, Dolly, the car's under the red bowl!" Then I said to DD, lets take dolly out. Dolly went out to sit on the stairs, while DD and I moved to car to under the blue bowl. I then brought Dolly back in and asked DD where Dolly would look for the car? She of course said under the blue bowl! She was incapable of realising that Dolly's experience was different to her own, that she knew we had moved the car but Dolly did not as she had not been present. Apparently children only get this at 4 yrs ish.

This was a real eye opener for me as I had assumed DD at 3.5, who is so sophisticated in many ways, had pretty much the same understanding of the world as I did. Not so at all.

If 3.5 yr old DD struggles with that, how much more basic must my 13 mth old DS's understanding be?

Food for thought.

Brices Fri 23-Nov-12 18:02:00

I know what you mean, I hear irritation in DH's voice and I think she's only one! But when I'm the one picking food off the floor... She's a justified little bugger grin
God help us we're being told this time it gets worse not better!

If either of my DC scratched my face at that age then I'd put them down or move away - not shout at them. Resisting the high chair etc is easily ignored. Tantrums are best ignored, not given loads of attention. Pick your battles, because as someone else posted you will tire very quickly of it.

RosemaryHoyt Fri 23-Nov-12 18:05:44

Try to ignore feeling attacked (this is AIBU, attacking is the raison d'être) and concentrate on the great advice. A firm 'no' IMO is fine when combined with removing from situation. But am also firm and have one v hard work child. DS2 is an angel an requires nowhere near the same regulation. You cant out every item in your house at picture rail level, it's ridiculous. So am a bit hmm about the 'just keep stuff out the way' advice. Balance is shurely the key. Good luck. You sound very loving if a little harsh. I would describe myself in the same terms if it helps.

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