Ignore or punish my 1.5yo?

Hey Echo,

Do you punish your kid for pushing their boundaries on purpose? Like mine is 1.5yo. He knows he is not allowed on the stairs... but sometimes he will stare me down, walk over to the steps and sit on the bottom stair with his sly look on his face. He knows he is not allowed in the kitchen.. so sometimes he will reach his hand to touch the inside wall in the kitchen or just out like a little piece of his foot in the kitchen. While he stares at you cause he knows better. 

Do you ignore these little things, or punish them?


Frustrated Mom


Hey Frustrated Mom,

Let’s change your thinking. Let’s go from “punishment” to “ discipline.” For a more positive parenting experience. A lot of people think that discipline means punishment, when actually it doesn’t mean that at all. Discipline is teaching kids how to do something with practise to avoid issues and prevent them. Discipline...think: ballet, piano, karate, all of these take discipline. Discipline is hard work, practice. discipline is not what you do after they do something you don’t like. 

So if we apply this to those situations...  
Praise him when he’s listening. Babies want your attention. They don’t understand the difference between negative and positive attention, they just know that they want your attention and they are going to get it! I’m willing to bet if you gave baby attention and praise for staying IN the living room, they are more likely to. 

Making your living room and other areas the baby can play in safe and interesting is another positive discipline tactic! If they are busy, interested in something, they are less likely to look for trouble! Maybe asking baby what they want upstairs? Taking them up and looking around for what they needed? And coming back down? 

Getting on the ground and playing with baby when they want your attention.  Using “no” for dangerous and immediate or situations you need your child to STOP is best. 
Try “let’s do this!!” And play with blocks as a distraction from the stairs.

Babies test boundaries. 
“Using a “no, not in he kitchen..” and going to find something to keep them occupied is probably the best way. 

It will be more effective than “punishing”

Love, Echo