Disciplining a one-year-old

First and foremost you need to be quite realistic about what your one-year-old is capable of in terms of good behaviour, maintains social worker Anne Cawood.

If you expect your 17-month-old to be rational about his behaviour and understand that if he does something “naughty” he won’t get a sweet treat, you’re going to have big problems. Also, it’s vital that you learn to anticipate his bad behaviour, be it shrieking or whining when he’s tired or hungry.

Don’t let him get to that point and if you do, validate how he’s feeling and tell him that you don’t like it when he shrieks and whines. He will eventually get the message, she says.

The best way to discipline a one-year-old is to be one step ahead of him at all times. “For example, instead of telling him not to touch your vase of flowers, rather just move the flowers,” she says.

“The 12- to 24-month age group has to be closely supervised, so that if your toddler happens to hit or bite or smack one of his peers – normal behaviour – you see it happen, can intervene and tell him firmly but calmly that his behaviour is wrong.” If you don’t watch, he’ll do it again and get away with it

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