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More 1 year old help, lol

Can you tell it's my first kid? Haha. I just feel like now he's one and walking, he's getting into so much more stuff! So, how do you discipline (and I use that word lightly) a 1 year old?
Let me clarify. Here's an example:
Our Xbox/Playstation/Cable box are all within his reach. We keep the games and controllers next to them. (I know, easy solution would be to move them, bu right now we don't really have any other place to put them)
He is constantly going up to the stand and pulling out the controllers/knocking all the games off the shelf. He also likes to turn the Xbox on and off, which was cute until he started doing it while we were PLAYING the Xbox, haha.

He also has this fascination with cords plugged into the walls, and likes to do his darnedest to unplug them, then walks around with the cords.

SO. How do I deter this behavior? We have tried telling him NO and picking him up and moving him elsewhere in the room, telling him NO and turning him around when he's headed that direction, etc. None of these things have worked and we have turned to spankings (not hard, obviously, but just a swat to try to bring the message home) but I really don't want to set a precedent of spankings as a form of punishment- I'd rather use time outs and such in the future, but clearly at age one that won't work.
So do you guys have other ideas that I haven't thought of?
Thanks a ton.


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
At that age unfortunately child proofing was the only option we found that worked. Remotes went on a shelf out of reach, gaming systems were moved out of reach. Cords were arranged in a way he can't get to them, etc.

When it comes to misbehaving with his toys/etc, say throwing them or hitting me with them... the toy went into time-out. So if he was throwing a toy after being told not to the toy would go out of reach for however long. Now at 2 usually just threatening for his toy to go on timeout is enough to end the behavior.
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
This. As our son grew up, the bottom shelves emptied up row by row.
Nov. 19th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm way more about preventing misbehavior than reacting to it. I think it's just a lot easier. So I know you don't have any place to put the things, but that's going to be the best thing to do...find some place to put it.

He doesn't understand WHY he can't have those things, you obviously like them. And on top of that when he does those things, he gets attention and a reaction, even if they're not positive, a reaction is a reaction.

I used to joke that the perfect house would have shelves all the way around at about 4.5' above the floor, so adults could reach things but kids couldn't.
Nov. 19th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
Our running joke was that nobody deliberately baby proofs the house, it just kind of happens as they grow and reach things they couldn't. "oops, no don't play with that" and it goes out of reach :P
Nov. 19th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
We built a house when the kids were 3 and not quite 1. It was the best house ever....the microwave is over the stove, so they couldn't reach it. (#1 loved to microwave things.) The garage door button is up high so they couldn't let themselves out of the house. The bedrooms are all together so I could hear everyone without a monitor....

They're 12 and almost 10 now...they still can't reach the microwave, and they can just now reach the garage door button, and I really wish they weren't right freaking next door....
Nov. 19th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
He's too young to get it.

You have to keep things out of his reach and baby proof your home. </p>

Hurting your baby isn't the answer.

Nov. 20th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
I agree with this completely. For our family, the tv stand was a really important factor in a baby safe room. We ended up repurposing this piece of furniture so that we could have all of the game consoles, DVD players, etc, out of reach.

It's very important to your child's development that he have a space that is safe for him to explore. It's how he will learn about his environment!
Nov. 19th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
And if he is playing with the Xbox when you are, maybe he is trying to get your attention. Maybe you need to play with him.
Nov. 20th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
I thought the same thing.
I only allowed my husband to purchase an Xbox with the knowledge that he can only play it when our daughter is napping or in bed for the evening. No ignoring her in favor of a video game.

At her age she knows we watch MMCH after breakfast while mama has her coffee and checks her email but then I am hers for the rest of the day (until nap time).

I think baby is lonely. :(
Nov. 19th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
At that age it was out of sight, out of mind when it came to the electronics. The game systems and DVD players are all within reach so we put a big pillow in front of them and because we didn't use them while he was awake he forgot they were there. I watched him and would redirect him away from the pillow when he started to get too interested. Games, controllers, and remotes all went into a big plastic tote that he liked to climb around but couldn't open.
Nov. 19th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
We took those wire shelf-type things and built a box with zip ties around the DVD player and everything.

Edited at 2012-11-19 10:28 pm (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
It's not age appropriate for you to expect him to understand 'no' or that he can't have things. Things you don't want him to play with need to go out of reach, and the only real tactic that will work at his age is distraction. If he walks over to the cords, "hey honey, lets to play with these stacking cups!" Always direct him towards something else and tell him what he CAN do. One year olds don't need to be punished, they need to be guided and distracted to other behavior.

Personally, I don't believe in spanking under any circumstance, and it has proven to be an ineffective punishment even as kids are older and have the ability to reason. The punishment doesn't fit the crime. If you don't want to be a spanking parent, you should stop any spanking ASAP before he starts to learn that hitting is acceptable behavior. At his age, he doesn't have the abilit to reason, so he doesn't process "this behavior = bad = getting spanked". At one, all he knows is that you are doing something meant to be painful/uncomfortable to him (even if you aren't spanking hard).

My daughter is pretty advanced in understanding concepts for her age (nearly two), and she still doesn't quite understand time out. She knows she doesn't LIKE it, but she doesn't understand that it's a punishment for bad behavior. I think around 2.5, she'll be developmentally ready for time outs.
Nov. 19th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
At that age it's all about prevention and distraction. Try to avoid the situation by babyproofing and redirecting him before he gets to the things he's not supposed to play with. If he keeps at it, just tell him no and redirect him. You'll have to do this a lot of times, but he'll learn eventually. Be firm and consistent.
Nov. 19th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Our Xbox broke because of the same thing. Put it up.
Nov. 19th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
Unlike the popular opinion, I do train the 1 year olds to not touch stuff. The xbox and controllers are perfect for teaching not to touch, as they aren't hot, he can't get electrocuted, and are relatively hard to break.

It takes A LOT of "no" and a lot of redirection.
Kid #1 did better with distraction. So it was "no", move toddler, and hand her something else she could play with.
Kid #2 got the message with removal. "No", and then moved him away. He would cry, pout, and give you angry eyes, but not go back. (At least for five minutes.)
Kid #3 needed the hand flick. He's our most mischevious and determined. So he got all of the above, plus a flick on his hand every time he touched what he wasn't supposed to.

You know they know what's not okay when they look at you first to see what you'll do when they go to touch it. Sometimes at this point just saying "no", shaking your head, or giving them "the look" will be enough. But it will take a thousand redirections and no's first. Seriously, a thousand. But I think it's totally worth it to not re-arrange and baby gate off my entire house for two years. (per kid.) And honestly I can't baby gate the furnace or bathroom without baby gating the older two siblings out, too, and that just doesn't work. And you don't want to stick your kid in a playpen all the time, so teaching him not to pull cords out of walls at this age is important!

I would also get a fake/broken/unused controller of a specific color that can be his. Then you can redirect to that one, or when you're playing, he can hold his controller too. (We had an empty candy tin shaped like a wii controller, and an old television controller that didn't go to anything. At my parents house they have an old cellphone minus the battery, and a broken xbox controller that the kids are allowed to play with, vs. the real deal.)

Nov. 19th, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. Especially the last paragraph
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
I agree with this - consistent, repeated, simple statements - "this isn't for little girls" or "nothing that plugs in" (we avoided "no" to minimize getting that back as she became verbal) and redirection (1001 times, if needed) worked for us. Now, at 22 months, we can take her to anyone's house, and she'll check in with us before touching anything - if we say a quiet "no", coupled with a shake of our heads, she'll repeat our behavior to herself and move on to a safe activity.

Attention is a pretty significant need at 1 - I agree with the other commenter who suggested that saving the xBox for naptime or bedtime will save you a lot of aggravation...
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
This is exactly how we handled ours. Redirecting times 10000! The same with giving them their own to play with. It worked very well for going to other people's unchildproofed houses. They were used to me telling them no and redirecting them and it made it so it didn't seem like a complete gold mine when visiting other people's houses. If that makes sense.
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
I agree with this, though I would still move the xbox itself since if that gets broken, it would suck. We couldn't move our satellite box and I was afraid my son would break it by turning it on and off (touch screen, so he didn't even really have to push, just brush by it), so we bought a hard piece of plastic to put in front of it. Works fine. We redirect on the remotes, since I'm not concerned about those being broken.
Nov. 20th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
This is what we did, too. We were able to teach our DD, even before she hit a year old, what things she was not allowed to touch. We used "not a toy" rather than tell her outright "no," and then redirected her to what she COULD play with. She got it pretty quickly.
Nov. 20th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
I dot think anyone said not to train one year olds not to touch stuff, just that punishments aren't appropriate at that age. There's a big difference.
Nov. 20th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
We did this with my son for the things that weren't possible to kid-proof or block off, like the cat food and litter tray. I just had to over and over tell him no and redirect.
Nov. 19th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Baby proof, we close off our entertainment area with our ottoman and laundry baskets, it's just easier at this age, mine is about to turn 1 and the same thing was done for my oldest
Nov. 19th, 2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
My son is about the same age and at my last visit to the pediatrician she recommended i started using time out. She said make him sit one minute and if he gets up sit him down again. She said by that age they understand and will follow the rule if it is used correctly. I have not used it woth me son yet, i always try redirection first but its anothher option.
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
Get a super-yard type baby gate that you can fold out around your tv equipment to keep him farther away from the controllers when not in use. Or get a new TV cabinet with enclosed storage for the game controllers and other equipment so he can't get into them. That's what we did and it worked really well--the one we got had glass plates in the window and we weren't sure if it was safety glass, so we replaced the glass with plexiglass (the hardware store will even cut it to size for you!). Or at least find something to hide the interesting stuff behind/inside so they're out of sight or out of reach. At 2, a time-out or rules could be effective, but at just a year, he's just too young to get the concept. At that age, either you can constantly redirect him anytime he gets within two feet of the equipment, or you can baby-proof it better somehow, so he's not looking at the controllers. Saying "no" is great and all, but for redirection to be effective you have to add the positive component in there which is a suggestion of something else "shiny" or facinating that he can play with, a replacement activity.

If he's really interested in tugging on cords you may want to get outlet covers that cover the entire outlet with a plugged in item (at least on the most interesting and accessible outlets) and either run the cords through the baseboards, use cord-staples to secure them to the wall so they can't be tugged, or one of those metal or plastic channels that you run the cords through and affix the channel to the wall or floor.
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Baby is seeing a toy that mom and dad find very interesting, something that is holding mom/dad's attention, and wants in on the action. Baby probably doesn't understand why he can't explore something that's out in the open, doesn't hurt, and others are playing with. He has probably also realized it's a hot button item and will get attention for approaching it. It's more about parents trying to exert their wills over his, rather than truly protecting him from danger. I would reserve harsh warnings for things that are truly dangerous.

I've found I need to turn these things off when baby is around, keep them out of sight if possible, and not show her that they are interesting in any way. Cell phones, TV, computer, video games, ipads - when baby starts fussing over the electronic, it should go off and away, and baby gets a snack, playtime, a diaper change, attention. Or if we're watching TV, it's in the background as baby is played with.

There has to be more interesting things to do than pushing a few bad buttons. Isn't there an old keyboard laying around we can bang on?
Nov. 20th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
Seconding what everyone has said- 1 is too young to understand discipline. If you don't want him messing with stuff, make it so he can't reach it.

This is what we did with our entertainment center- we used some wooden gate parts that we zip tied to it and then put all the things with buttons we didn't want touched on the bottom shelves and books in front to cover them:


Edited at 2012-11-20 12:34 am (UTC)
Nov. 20th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
I use all of these techniques. I move what I can. Sometimes something can't be move and if I have to say "no" or "don't" a thousand times, I do it until he gets it. If I have to distract him every time until he gets it, I do it. I let some things go, as if it's safe for him to mess with, I let him even if he'll dirty it or tear it. I also put him in time out. I save that for big stuff like hitting, throwing, biting, etc. I don't know that he gets it. I will do it until he does.

My son will be 2 in December. His doc suggested the time out when he was 18 months. 1 minute for every year. I've been doing the no/don't thing and distraction since he started walking around 11 months.

I'm not adverse to popping him on the butt or smacking his hand away if I feel the situation is warranted.
Nov. 20th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
How do you discipline a 1 year old?

You don't. ;)

I echo what just about everyone else has said. Find a way to get that stuff out of his reach. Find a way to secure the cords. Move book shelves or end tables in front of the outlets.

It sounds like you're trying to redirect, and you're getting the first part of it, which is to remove him from the thing you don't want him doing, but the second (and perhaps more important) part is giving him something to do instead. Remove him from the forbidden thing and get him engaged with something appropriate.
Nov. 20th, 2012 02:55 am (UTC)
Can you gate them off? Get a super play yard and put it around what you don't want him touching.
Nov. 20th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
I have a one year old too, that I take to work with me in an office (yay for cords and plugs and all kinds of fun stuff). I've moved everything I can but there's some things, like my under the desk keyboard and trackball, that can't be moved. (Also, as she gets taller and can reach more I'm about out of room to put everything.)

I say no and redirect. A thousand times a day. I figure eventually it will sink in, even if it's just because she becomes old enough to understand it someday. I try not to get too upset, and just be constantly aware. If it's because she's bored and wants my attention, I redirect by picking her up or doing something with her for a bit. She's not old enough to get it, but I'm keeping myself in check too.

She is now very good at saying NO while touching the things I'm going to say NO to. Ha! Best of luck!
Nov. 20th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Hahah YES! My son says NO to everything. "Hey Sebastian, lets change your diaper ok?" NO, "Want a cookie?" NO and then he goes to grab it.
Nov. 20th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
A couple of things have worked for us...

1. Letting our boy play with a broken controller.
2. Moving his toy box in front of the shelf with the items on, he can't get to them now.
3. Get him involved with the game. I talk about the game I'm playing if he's watching it (Look - he's jumping! jump jump jump! Now he's running! Run, run, run! Ohh, is that a horse? What do horses do? They go neiiiigh!)
Nov. 20th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Do you have my son?! Our 14 month old is exactly the same and re-direction works miracles. I was spanked as a kid and all it taught me was to be afraid of my parents; I don't want my child to ever be afraid of me.
We GIVE him the things he wants to explore, only it's modified.
Give him old DVD boxes with no DVDs inside and let him have at it. He will later learn which he CAN grab, and which he shouldn't. Now when he sees a bunch of DVDs, he only goes for the 'safe' empty DVD cases to play with and leaves the others alone. Give him an old remote controller. We found a cheap used knock off at Game Stop and he LOVES walking around with it pretending to be playing just smashing all the buttons. He will even sit with my husband to 'play' with his unconnected, non-functioning control. As far as wires, this is all baby proofing. My son likes wires too, so we give him small USB cables when he tries to reach for a cable and he will sit there and inspect it. He also loves headphones, so we have some old pair that he can sit and inspect. All our outlets have baby covers so he's not interested in the outlet, he just wants a cord. As far as the buttons on the tv/xbox/PS3, we put big old books in front of it (nothing too heavy to hurt his toes if it falls on him). If anything it buys us time to get to him before he tries to pull the book off and we just give him something else to play with, i.e: a ball. Our redirection go-to are light up balls, total attention grabbers! http://www.amazon.com/Play-Visions-Light-Wizard-100mm/dp/B0037LEWQ2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353436004&sr=8-2&keywords=light+up+balls
Sometimes, they really are like little puppies. :)
Nov. 20th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
All you can do besides moving the object is redirect the child, distract them, over and over and over.

Eventually they'll become interested in new things.
Nov. 25th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
I don't have any suggestions. But I guess I'm wondering how you have time to play videogames with a 1 year old. I admit I'm kind of jealous. I haven't played videogames since my son was born, 15 months ago. And I am really jonesing for some Zelda....
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )


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