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Your baby is now over 12 months and you are certainly experiencing some changes. These changes may be so new and unexpected that they may test your patience. This age brings with it independence in different areas like walking, grabbing onto things and exploring the world around your little one. This sense of independence will drive him to explore the whole household or anywhere else you may take him. Some instances will be a bit difficult to handle, like your baby pulling down the table cloth and curtains. Your 1 year old might even empty powder bottles and pull down all the books from the shelf. The thought of it is making you cringe, isn’t it? When no amount of “Nos” work and you’re nearly pulling your hair out, what do you do?
One thing that you as a parent should understand is that your baby at 1.5-2 years will want to explore things more than his capability. Your parenting, then, should involve patience and innovative ways that will stop your child from doing something that is not right or safe without screaming at him. Your little one is innocent and naive and doesn’t understand the boundaries of what is safe or not, appropriate or not; teaching him is your job.
There are more ways to say “No” than actually saying “No”. Here are some ways you could try.
Children often have a short attention span, making it easy to distract them. Distraction will help move your child away from anything you do not want him to do. The moment you observe that your little one is up to something mischievous, get him out of there by luring into some favorite toy. The curiosity of your child can be sometimes dangerous and distraction will surely help. Firm “Nos” tend to make children rebel or do wrong things on the sly.
2. Falling to Learn
Let your baby learn from mistakes. Needless to say that you need to keep a close watch on the safety of your baby but a few falls to let him learn aren’t so bad. Let your child stumble upon a thing and fall. Once a baby knows that certain things may lead to pain, he will steer clear of them on his own. Be there to comfort him when he falls, of course!
3. Safe Arena
Rather saying a harsh “no” to everything unsafe, why not make your house a bit safer for your child? This is a much cleaner approach. Your baby will not be exposed to any kinds of unsafe activities. Hiding all sharp objects and covering open switch boards are some examples.
4. Non-verbal Language
Why not teach your baby to understand “No” through signs? This can be a change in the tone of your voice or a certain stare at your baby. Your little one will understand that you are not happy and should stop immediately. This approach will help you big time at social gatherings or anywhere outdoors where you’d rather not yell at your child.
You as a parent should remember is that it is rather a high expectation from your baby to say that he is sorry at this age. Understanding the world from a child’s point of view is crucial at all times. A “No” to everything will deprive your child from learning a lot of things. Clearly define the situations where a “no” will help and where it will not. The best thing to do will be to lead by example. Be gentle and kind at all times even when you’re being firm about what is wrong. Your baby trusts and loves you and as long as he feels safe, disciplining him will not be as stressful as it could be. Happy Mommying!