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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 )
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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
(no subject) - ginky - Nov. 19th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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
(no subject) - arwinday - Nov. 20th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mydwelling - Nov. 20th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thejoysofjess - Nov. 20th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anjea - Nov. 20th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - designingdreams - Nov. 20th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lutine - Nov. 20th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
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)
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