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How do I manage unwanted behaviour in a year-old baby boy?

(15 Posts)
latrucha Sun 24-Jul-11 21:35:27

A stupid question: ignore, distract etc.. I have a toddler: I'm not completely wet behind the ears. But I'm at a bit of a loss with DS at the moment. He's 12 months old and has been walking since he was 9 months - nearly four months now. I'm tired, so this may not be the best-worded post.

He is a lovely little boy, of course but I'm at a loss as to how to manage his behaviour. DD is a very interactive child and always wanted people and conversation. She also walked much later so when she did I could pretty much reason with her.

My real problem is that he pinches, pulls hair and bites constantly. Not when he's angry, or fed up but many times during the day. If I try to dissuade him from doing domething, he bites. If a game needs a new twist, it will be a bite. DD was brushing her teeth on my lap today and he bit her feet. I put him nest to D Din the trolley at the supermarket today and as calm as anything he leaned over and pinched her.

It is his response to any kind of attempt to distract or dissuade him from doing anything, e.g. lifting him out of the pile of rubbish he pulled from the bin today.

I try to persuade him gently, I try to tell him off (although mainly aimed at DD, IYSWIM), I try distraction.I put him away from me or DD as appropriate. I take DD to another room. I even tried slapping his pinchy fingers today. I try not to make it fun for him either with raising my voice or any kind of theatrics. All of it seems to have zero impact on him.

Some of it is curiosity (what does this bit of skin feel like?) Some of it is fun. Some of it is accidental (he is climbing everything at the moemnt, including me and DD) Some of it is anger and jealousy. There is just too much of it though.

How do I make life a little easier for us all?
I make him sound like a monster which he is not. He's a joy. I just need some pointers in how to behave with him.

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 21:39:44

Mine does exactly the same thing! Doesn't seem to be out of anger or even frustration, but boredom sometimes or curiousity. He mostly does it to me, occasionally DP and luckily not to any other children yet.

I have been saying no, putting him down, walking away and doing something else. Basically giving biting as little attention as possible but also communicating my displeasure. Can't say it has had any effect though unfortunately hmm

latrucha Sun 24-Jul-11 21:50:01

I think I'm going to try more of that kind of thing, but it's really tricky with DD around. For example, I call them for breakfast, and while DD is getting up on her chair, DS walks past and bites her. Now, I can't do nothing or DD will be mightily peeved. I can't uproot DD and walk off with her as she wants her toast and milk. If I try and take him away, it'll be too much of a performance and attention for him and he'll probably bite out of anger because he wants his toast. I'm just not sure which way to play it.

DD did go through a biting phase but it was mauch alter, at the point where they're frustrated at not being able to communicate and ignoring really worked with that.

latrucha Mon 25-Jul-11 06:50:03

After a night's sleep, perhaps yesterday was so hard because he's getting less play than normal. DD's off school and DH has been away for a week. Maybe he needs more towers and less boredom.

madmouse Mon 25-Jul-11 10:21:28

Hi LaT the only suggestion I have is to give less of the persuasion or even telling off. As soon as he does it, say nothing and just put him somewhere else and ignore him for a few minutes. If he bites and pinches for attention then any attention will be gratifying for him so he needs to have no attention at all. It is only a suggestion though, not tried it in practice with N.

BarbarianMum Mon 25-Jul-11 10:47:17

Please remember that although most children this age can understand words like 'no' they do not yet have any impulse control - that comes later.

So they head towards the pot plant, you say "no" they pause momentarily cause they do understand but then look at those lovely green leaves and exciting dirt and they really want it and off they go again.

Ds2 had a hair pulling phase from 12-18mo (how innocuous that sounds, it was hugely painful for those on the receiving end) and every time he did it we said no and removed him from the victim and ignored him for 1 minute but it wasn't til 18mo that he could resist the temptation at all.

My advice would to keep on with the 'no' and brief withdrawl of attention but expect it to take a few months before you see an improvement.

JustKeepSwimming Mon 25-Jul-11 13:31:58

Echo the others really.

In your breakfast example for eg:
he walks past and bites her
you have to say the right words for her sake
pick him up, plonk him on the bottom stair (or wherever but planned in advance and always the same place) and walk away.
if he gets up (which he will) put him back down and walk away

you could work on signing sorry as well as saying it (rub fist in a circle on chest) - you can even do it for him, after sorry come back to the table.

if he does stay where you've put him, then go back to DD with lots of lovely jolly praise - it works with H and his understanding is less than it should be.

Persist & be consistent & remember...this too shall pass smile

(when we're out i sit H behind me and keep my back to him while he shouts until he calms down then give him a cuddle if that helps)

latrucha Mon 25-Jul-11 16:40:04

TBh I hadn't really got to persuasion with him!

Thanks for your advice. I'll do as you say. There must have been some kind of teething freak yesterday. He's a lot less bitey today. Yesterday was too full on!

madmouse Mon 25-Jul-11 16:51:05

LaT I mentioned the persuasion because I remember when your DD was still quite young you were explaining to her at 11pm why she should be lying down rather than standing up in bed smile wink

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Mon 25-Jul-11 16:57:23

Do you say NO! to him and put him somewhere away from you? Travel cot, playpen etc, for a minute's time out? He is then understanding that doing that doesn't get your attention, and it send the right message to your dd.

Maybe he's teething again? More molars? Give him something that he CAN bite on instead.

latrucha Tue 26-Jul-11 21:49:29

Yeah Madmouse. Sabela loves a good explanation smile I explained lifebelts to her today. Every time I finished, she said 'again, mummy'. I told her about seven times and then she said, 'Ok, mummy. I understand now.'

Saying 'no' and putting him away is working, but also I'm trying to actively play with him lots and things are better. Less Mn time though grin

JustKeepSwimming Tue 26-Jul-11 22:02:48

Boo to less MN lol! Why don't these DC understand it's important Mummy-work?!

latrucha Tue 26-Jul-11 22:14:10

Actually, S does think it is mummy work blush

latrucha Tue 26-Jul-11 22:14:31

I didn't tell her that, she decided for herself.

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 26-Jul-11 22:19:40

Agree with removing him from the situation, walk away etc. DS didn't bite but he did hit and pull hair. Just NO, then put down away from the situation and turn back to whatever you're doing.

It takes aaages though smile

Oh oh.. the other thing is give him loads and loads of attention. Until he's literally sick of you and doesn't want to be picked up anymore. Works a treat when they're a bit older wink

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