Disciplining a one year old

Posted on: January 7, 2012

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here with the holidays and all, but I am back now and ready to blog!  I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays as much as I did.

On to the post…

Recently, I had lunch with some friends.  They were asking me about “G” and I told them how he’s a ton of fun but is also a very mischievous little boy.  This led to a discussion on disciplining children.  Both of them told me that when “G” does something wrong that I need to be spanking him.  This caught me by surprise.  My first thought was, “Spank a one year old? Really?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in discipline.  I’ve seen the results of children who are not properly disciplined and I definitely don’t want that for my children.  I don’t have an issue with spanking either, but I’m just not sure that spanking a one year old is beneficial.

I can tell that my son understands some of the things I say to him and knows what is going on around him.  But, would he understand a spanking and why he’s receiving it or would he just feel the pain and not know why mommy hit him?  The most I’ve done with “G” is to slap his hand if he does something he’s not supposed to. For example, “G” often tries to pick up and eat Diva’s cat food (gross!) and plays in her water fountain (yes, my cat has one of those water fountains, not just a water dish.  Spoiled kitty.).  I am constantly going to him, telling him “no” in a strong firm voice, pulling him away from her fountain, and smacking his hand so he knows he shouldn’t do that.  However, he still does it over and over.  He’ll do it again 3 seconds after I’ve just reprimanded him for doing it.  I usually end up just putting him in his Pack ‘N Play for a bit so that he can’t continually go after Diva’s food and water.  This actually seems to work more than the slap on his little hand because when I take him out of the Pack ‘N Play, he forgets about Diva’s  food and water and plays with his toys.  So, my feeling is, if he responds better to me putting him in his Pack ‘N Play than slapping his hand and telling him “no”, what would be the point of spanking him at this age?  I guess I’m just not convinced he would fully understand the reasoning behind it.

I pose this question to you:  Do you (or did you in the past) spank your child when they were between the age of 1 and 2?  If so, did it seem to work?  If not, at what age did you begin to spank your children?  Or, do you have an entirely different method of discipline and don’t spank your children at all?

Feel free to leave your comments below.

4 Responses to "Disciplining a one year old"

I read “Making Children Mind without Losing Yours” by Kevin Leman and he suggested that children don’t understand the concept of spanking until they are at least 18 months old. I say no spanking until at least then – maybe two. Frankly Elijah didn’t really understand until well past two.

Another book that was EXTREMELY insightful was “Loving the Little Years” by Rachel Jankovic. Completely changed the way I see discipline. It’s like 100 pages and a must read! 🙂

So glad you just didn’t take those ladies at their word! Maybe they had kids a long time ago??

That’s what I figured, Christine. I just don’t see how he could possibly understand a spanking at this age. I don’t plan on spanking him for a while yet. I’m not even going to smack his hand anymore because I just feel like it doesn’t do any good. Thank you for the book recommendations. I will definitely check those out.
One of my friends kids are grown and married now. The other one has three children that range in ages from 5-9. So, she’s closer to it, but still…it’s been 5 years.
I just don’t feel comfortable with spanking him at this age, so I’m not going to.

I don’t see how spanking could/should work on such a young child. They don’t understand completely yet. I find it would be more harmful, the person they trust hurting them?
Didn’t work for me when I was young. Just made me act out more, and be resentful.
A good link regarding spanking as well I love Dr Sears
But I’ve heard many times share don’t compare. Everyone has different parenting styles. And what works for one may not work for another.

Thank you for your comments and thoughts. I appreciate the honesty. I don’t see how it can work on such a young child either. As I said, he doesn’t even care or flinch if I hit his hand, so I’m not even doing that anymore.
Thank you for the Dr. Sears link/recommendation. I will check that out.

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