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understanding my 1yr old

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  • understanding my 1yr old

    My son just turned one year old and is fairly advanced for his age. He's already running all over the place, getting into everything he sees...and he won't listen. Just a month ago, he would stop when I'd tell him no or mind me when I asked him to come here but now he just acts like he doesn hear me at all. I know he doesn't understand most things but we've worked hard to teach him words like "yucky" or "hot" so that he knows there is a reason behind the "no". My husband and I have attachment parented him since he was a few weeks old but we are now struggling with how to help him through this stage and/or maybe acting out for an unknown reason?
    We try to go to him, redirect his thought process. I try to stay as calm but the urge sometimes is to yell at him (and I don't want to teach him to yell at people) or to spank his bottom (which my husband and I have agreed we don't want to do). I'm really at a loss for an effective way to keep the sense of frustration down in the home from his intense curiousity (and destructiveness) and not listening.
    I know this may seem like an odd post since he's only one and we try to keep that in mind when we're helping him but he is very smart and can follow most instructions...unless he doesn't want to. He doesn't really throw tantrums just "fusses" about a lot of things. Any suggestions???

  • #2
    I don't think this sounds like an odd post at all! His behavior sounds very normal for a child his age. And you're right, he won't listen...one-year-olds don't. They're just not capable of self-control yet. At all. Even if you just told him to stop! So, the best "discipline" tool for children this age is prevention, prevention, prevention. This might mean babyproofing your house way more than you ever though you would. If you can't be with him every step he takes on his "explorations", his environment must not be filled with no-nos; make your whole house a 'yes' environment.

    If you've made your home a yes environment, and he finds other ways to explore, like climbing a bookcase, know that if you call to him to stop, he won't. For a very young toddler, it will require a parent going to him and removing him from the dangerous activity. Then, see if you can direct that need for climbing onto something appropriate and safe...take him immediately to something he CAN climb. Like make steep steps out of cushions leading up to the couch (and for my own son, it would have been over the back, and down the other side!). You might have to experiment a little bit to find something that will really take his mind off of the bookcase, too.

    So, prevent, redirect, & distract. For parents of a very active toddler, this is exhausting. But it IS effective and very appropriate for his current level of brain development. I think it's great that you try not to yell and that you've agreed not to spank...very positive! As for keeping your own frustration level down, I think it helps just to expect it. Expect constant exploration from your son. Expect that your verbal instructions will not change his behavior. Expect to have to go to him hundreds or thousands of times to physically prevent a behavior from occurring. I find that if I accept my children wherever they are in their own development, it helps ease my frustrations about their behavior.

    Hang in there!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by amanda.sills View Post
      but he is very smart and can follow most instructions...unless he doesn't want to.
      I just finished reading Attached at the Heart (highly recommended!), and they point out that often parents struggle with discipline when they over-estimate their child's developmental level. So I just want to add to Kelly's excellent reply that it sounds like you are maybe over-estimating him a little. It's wonderful that he can follow directions when he wants to, but just because he can it doesn't follow that he has the mentality to know why he should do so when he doesn't want to.
      What I'm saying is that impulse control, and right and wrong and all of that are only beginning to develop. Your son not listening to you when you know he can isn't a sign of rebellion or disobedience that needs to be addressed before he's out selling drugs. It's really developmentally typical and gentle redirections and perhaps a major redecorating with lots of baby gates and latches is what this age calls for.

      Nell

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      • #4
        Kelly! thank you - found this v helpful and affirming. will be doing more of this with my one yr old.

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        • #5
          thanks for all the great advice! I knew the problem was with me, lol. since he's is a very sweet boy and i was always feeling frustrated. It's easier to see now that my expectations are way out of whack.
          Thanks for helping!

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