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to ask your collective advise in relation to discipline

(26 Posts)
Honeybee79 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:35:50

Apologies in advance if I am being ridiculous. I have one DS who is 11 months. Over the last few days he has been pretty horrible to be around - hitting, pinching, biting, hair pulling etc. He's particularly bad when getting his nappy changed or teeth cleaned but it can happen at any time really.

Is 11 months just too young to even think about discipline? Should this just be accepted as a stage that will pass or do I need to take some action now? I have no clue how much he understands. I try to look him in the eye and just calmly and firmly say no but I have come pretty close to losing my temper and shouting. Plus the more I say no the more he seems to think it's a game and does it again and again.

He has just finished his first full week at nursery but I am not sure if the two are connected. He seems to have enjoyed it so far and settled well.

When is the right time to start being consistent about discipline?


AgentZigzag Sun 11-Sep-11 13:39:28

An 11 MO is far too young to understand or make sense of the rules we expect children to stick too, so it's distract and gently tell them no.

If it's something you think he's making a game of, just try to give him less attention when he does it, he might see it as you joining in if you do more than just say no.

Honeybee79 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:41:58

Thanks. I will try the calm "no" followed by swiftly moving on . . .

naturalbaby Sun 11-Sep-11 13:41:59

you might find the behaviour/discipline section a bit more helpful.

Read Toddler Taming, v.good book with age appropriate suggestions on what to expect and how to deal with various issues. You need to be consistent from day 1 so he knows what to expect. He understands a whole load more than you think but you still need to keep things basic and predictable so he knows the routine and doesn't have to deal with too many changes. The easiest way to discipline is ignore the bad, praise the good. Go over the top with it, pretend to be very upset and leave him alone when he hits/pinches etc and shower him with attention and praise when he does something nice.

Takitezee Sun 11-Sep-11 13:42:39

An 11 month old is old enough to realise that when you say No in a firm voice they are doing something wrong.

It seems such a long time ago to me but I think what we did was say No in a stern voice and stop them what they were doing and then distract them with something else.

GilbonzoTheSecretPsychoCunt Sun 11-Sep-11 13:44:27

I agree with Agent. I would go with a firm 'no' and then no more attention. There's no point in punishments at this age imo but the loss of your attention will be seen a punishment in your child's eyes so it's effective. Also, repeat the 'no' in the same tone each time as often as it is needed. At this age a change in reaction from you or a rise in voice will been seen as something to 'achieve' for your child and cause him to continue the behaviour you're trying to stop. It's hard but stay consistent.

aldiwhore Sun 11-Sep-11 13:45:40

11 months is too young to understand cause and effect or discipline, BUT its never too early to gently start laying down boundaries. A consistent, gentle NO, is adequate... it doesn't work instantly at all, but its a process. If he pulls your hair, remove his hand gently and say NO, rinse and repeat! You cannot punish a child if a child has no concept of what a punishment is.

I agree that making things less of a game is also important, I do not hold with the ignore theory in all cases, but less attention when doing something you don't like, and more attention when they do something you do like is always a good idea, in my opinion.

I had to readdress my own methods many times, and on honest reflection I was drawing out the bad behaviour by giving it far too much time... I'd try and explain, I'd cuddle, I'd reprimand, but all too much!! Now the boys are older, its easier because you can reason with them, and they understand that there will be consequences.

Good luck. The occassional 'yowl' doesn't hurt either, when my eldest bit my at 12 months (bfing) I made an involuntary holler, it upset him, it didn't MEAN to hurt me, but I think my reaction was enough and he never did it again!! I do not recommend yowling all the time though!

Nancy66 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:47:06

Far too young to be disciplined. He has no idea what he is doing. he is not a toddler and shouldn't be treated as one - he's a baby.

aldiwhore Sun 11-Sep-11 13:47:50

I do agree that he's an older baby, not a toddle, even if he can toddle.

Honeybee79 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:50:59

I think he understands tone but no more than that really. I'm not contemplating anything huge, but just wondered whether it's something I should ignore and accept for the time being or try to address.

I do think he understands that he's getting a rise out of me when he does it and for him that's a fun game. I think I need to say no but then not make any more of an issue of it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Sep-11 13:54:46

I think babies that age respond the way an animal would... i.e. you can't exactly reason with them & their memory isn't all it might be but you can make your feelings known what is acceptable and unacceptable with tone of voice, expression of face and by moving them sharply away when they start getting aggressive. Therefore, find your 'cross mummy face' the word 'NO' and use it appropriately. smile

HughJarseJr Sun 11-Sep-11 14:03:43

you do it like an mother animal would do it, a loud shout of pain then ignore them

then next stage is a small slap on the hand

aldiwhore Sun 11-Sep-11 14:05:52

I did feel like a lion/ape/bear in the first year of mummyhood, I growled, I cooed, I was fierce and I was furry. I agree with the previous two posters, sometimes they do have to hear you roar.

Nancy66 Sun 11-Sep-11 14:07:43

A slap on the hand for an 11 month old? jesus.....

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Sep-11 14:08:18

I've found saying a firm 'uh oh' (in a no way rather than like a teletubby grin) when I say no helps no end, DD2 ends up pointing at what I've told her not to do and saying it herself.

I'm still doing the same at 21 months, it doesn't stop her getting her sticky little fingers into every.bloody.thing, but she's starting to catch on.

Just keep in your mind that he's not doing it to wind you up or to disobey you (that comes later wink) he's just having a poke about in what is an amazingly interesting world.

Henrythehappyhelicopter Sun 11-Sep-11 14:13:09

I would say it definitely is connected to starting nursery. If he is used to being with you all of the time he may be angry at you leaving him.

I would try to give it as little attention as possible, just say no and then walk away.

when you are changing him give him a toy to distract him or make him laugh, try to keep the mood happy.

Do not slap him, teaching children that you get your own way by hittiing is never a good thing.

QuickLookBusy Sun 11-Sep-11 14:18:31

I think the fact he has spent his first week at nursery is a huge thing.

It's a real change in his routine so will probably leave him really tired.
I agree a firm NO and moving him on is the best way to deal with it.

Honeybee79 Sun 11-Sep-11 14:19:03

Thanks for advice.

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Sep-11 14:46:49

If he doesn't understand right from wrong henry, how on earth could he express the anger you suggest he has at the OP leaving him, by doing things he can't know are wrong?

That's saying he's doing it on purpose to wind the OP up and let her know how he feels, just not possible at 11 months.

Honeybee79 Sun 11-Sep-11 14:48:25

Agent, I agree that he is definitely not sophisticated enough to deliberately wind me up for leaving him at nursery. It's just all a big game to him at the mo and he likes that he gets a response when he does it . . .

Crosshair Sun 11-Sep-11 14:56:08

I think I would treat him as I would when training a puppy. A 'no' or yelp followed by a very brief ignore period.

(I have no kids)

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 11-Sep-11 14:59:29

It seems the clue is in the 'arse' Nancy.

BertieBotts Sun 11-Sep-11 15:16:58

If you are going to say "no" remember he won't instinctively know what that means and you have to show him. So never say "no" by itself without combining with an appropriate reaction - for hitting hold his hand, or take the toy off him while saying it, for hair pulling extricate the hair from his hand while saying it, if he's touching something he shouldn't then move him while saying it, etc etc.

I also think it's helpful to use more words than just "no" although this is personal preference. For hitting, hair pulling etc I used to say "Too rough" and if DS was reaching for a cup of tea "hot" - I also would let him touch things like radiators if he was holding on to something else (ie if he was easily able to pull his hand away, not trying to pull himself up on the radiator) and say "Hot" at the same time so he learnt what hot meant. This is just so that later when their vocabulary and understanding improves you can show them "gentle" and other related things, and then you can say things like "Be gentle" instead of "Don't hit" etc.

Also what helped with DS was showing him what he could do, especially as most of their "misbehaviour" at this age is exploration. If he wanted to hit I showed him his toy drum, if he wanted to bite I'd give him a teething ring or some slivers of apple etc, never came up with anything for hair pulling, but actually I suppose some toys come with pull strings.

He might possibly be a bit unsettled by starting nursery and this is coming out in other ways, I don't think there's much you can do about this other than be aware of it and try to be reassuring as much as possible that you love him.

startail Sun 11-Sep-11 18:33:37

No, and assuming he's in a safe place walk calmly to the other-side of the room and then calmly resuming the task in hand.
Placing a BF baby that bites gently on the floor for a few moments, before resuming feeding them works wonders. The trick is to withdraw attention for just long enough they notice, but not long enough for them to get worried or cry.

FabbyChic Sun 11-Sep-11 18:35:41

Just say no, if he pinches move his hand away and say NO in a stern voice.

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