A one-year-old is no longer a baby and it’s the prime time to lay the foundation for good listening. If you’re ready to shift your wee one’s mischief of jamming car keys into your iPad screen, activating all possible buttons on the dishwasher and microwave, and climbing on everything from kitchen chairs to the washing machine pay close attention!
~ ~ ~ Three critical components to shift your one year old from mischievous to well-behaved ~ ~ ~
- Behavior-proof your home.
Wee ones have yet to develop control over impulsive behavior and as you’ve noticed they need a thousand reminders to NOT grab, throw or climb to the top of every conceivable object. That’s why you plug the electrical outlets with plastic caps – their young brains are compelled to explore every nook and cranny. Set them (and you!) up for success by anticipating the items she typically grabs, throws or climbs and behavior-proof your home by removing the temptation.
- Stay calm.
The early years are classic for little scientists to feel entertained by strong reactions. If your voice, face or body jolts into negative excitability over your wee one’s mischief you’re not teaching her she’s done wrong. Counter-intuitively you’re reinforcing her developmental pursuit of energy and attention (albeit negative).
The root of the word discipline means “to teach.” Reflect on how you respond to your one year old’s naturally impish behavior. Do you make a grab for her? Yell “no”? Throw down whatever you’re doing and threaten to give a swat? Kids constantly absorb information from the environment around them to learn what’s acceptable. If you’re behaving this way you’re teaching her to do the same grabbing, yelling and hitting. Ensure that your discipline includes some of these Mad 2 Glad strategies that already work well with your big kids: gentle insistence, tell the “to,” and heartfelt appreciation.
If you’re tired of running after your one year old I encourage you to implement these three critical components to shift mischief into a more positive, magical curiosity. As you do this she will grow from being your littlest one into a big kid with a positive self-identity and sense of belonging in your family rather than a negative nuisance.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What one modification will you make to shift your one year old’s mischievous behavior?
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