how old should you start training your child - FamilyEducation
how old should you start training your child
03/28/2008 at 19:39 PM

my one year old does a lot of things he shouldnt and i dont know how to stop him i tell him no but i feel like im allways saying it and now he tends to go with other  more rather than me

Hi. I am a developmental specialist and I have YEARS of working with infants and toddlers with various abilities. I am also the mother of three VERY different children. Here's the rule of thumb - always remember he is little and he is only one year old. Society seems to think a bright child is capable of doing much more than they can. For example, my now 7 year old has always been treated older because he acted and looked older. People wanted me to potty train him at two, but developmentally he didn't know when he went potty, he didn't have the cognitive ability to understand, and truthfully - he would be training me, not visa versa. Let them be little, be patient, get down to their eye level, talk at a normal voice and say, "Jacob this is a no-no. Mommy has this for you to do, instead (then, give him a "yes" toy or thing to do). Truth is - baby-proof your home 100%. Once I had the house baby-friendly, there was never a "no" again. Now, there were times (18 mo. old) when we had to learn about standing on obvious "no". But, most kids do things that are a "no" for two reasons - 1. They want your attention - whether it is positive or negative and 2. They don't know any better - they are exploring and learning. Children are not born with the cognitive abilities to understand yes vs. no. We teach them. As parents we guide them with the options to be successful. If the house provides the child a worry-free environment to learn and explore it will be easier on both of you. And, if the child is still getting into things- maybe they need your attention or need to be with someone (daycare) that can give them that attention in a safe learning environment. Until they turn 3 it can be difficult to get any "quiet" or down time. Be flattered - they love you and want your attention more than anyone else's. Play a game, sing a song, go on a walk. Learn from them, just like they are learning from you. Sounds cheesy, but parenthood is more enjoyable when you are realistic about your expectations....

I agree totally.  I have 3 very active and different boys.  I did the jump up and rescue routine for years before I realized that kids will be kids and especially boys will be boys.  Boys are so curious and when he gets a teeny bit older, he'll become a daredevil as well.  What kept me from tearing my hair out was serious childproofing, refusing to buy any furniture that is nice until they grow up a bit cause they WILL ruin it and keeping my precious things completely out of sight and out of reach.  You might feel like your house looks like a daycare for a few years but, it's worth it to keep your sanity.  Second, you have to let him live a little.  It's not ok to walk on the table but, in about a year it'll probably be ok for him to jump on the couch.  The momma inside you will want to tell him no but, honestly, he's a little boy and he needs to jump on the couch or run tearing down the hallway or climb things.  If you create a safe environment and let them live a little, things will be easier for you and them.
Of course, don't let them do everything they want but, like the previous poster said, say no EVERY TIME and offer something they can have/do.
I'm also a believer in not hovering over your kids.  You know, those moms that stand behind their kids climbing ladders at the park, won't let them go down the slide unless they are there to catch them, etc.  Kids need to learn that they have some freedom, that you aren't always going to be there hovering over them.  There will be bumps and bruises in any and every childhood but if you let them explore in a responsible way, they will feel free and have more fun and you will have less stress.  I've followed this a long time and I have boys ages 8, 6, and 2 and we've never had any stitches or broken bones but they still are adventerous boys and willing to take small risks to explore more.  And if I do tell them they can't walk along the top of a 4 foot wall or whatever, they listen immediately because they know now that I only stop them if it's really dangerous.