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Old 01-03-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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Question What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Let me preface this question by saying my husband and I are both only children and therefore have no nieces or nephews and didn't grow up with younger siblings. So, babies and toddlers are kind of foriegn to us.

Anyways, we have an about-to-be 15 month old son. He is VERY head strong. He lets us know what he wants, generally by pointing or just screaming his head off. A mini-tantrum, already? Yikes. Especially if it involves food. The kid is a food-hound.

He likes to be defiant and is obsessed with trying to get over the baby gates, playing with electrical cords, knocking over the dog's water bowl, etc.

At what point is gentle discipline appropriate? How do we even do that?
Is it even worth it at this age? Also, his new thing is hitting people in face. If he gets into something I've left out, that is my fault. But hitting to us isn't really acceptable. We try to say "No, Hugs instead" but he REALLY like smacking people in the face. It's kind of horrifying. Is this normal?

I really have no idea what a 15 month old acts like.
Any input? Advice? Resources?

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Old 01-03-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

It all sounds normal for an active 15 month old to me, but certain relatives think my kids are brats so who knows. Just keep redirecting and distracting him. Definitely let him know it's not okay to hit. I used to say "No hitting" and sit my kids down on the floor, turn around and ignore them for about 30 seconds. They don't like to be ignored. Yes, they do have tantrums at that age. They can't tell you what they want, so they scream. If he does point at things, you can say what they are to help him learn. You could try baby signing too. There are books that explain it and show you the common signs. Also look for child development books. They will tell you what is common at each age. There may be websites for this stuff too, but I haven't checked, since it's been so long since I've been a first time parent. No internet back then. Boy I feel old!!
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:44 AM   #3
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Lots of redirection still at that age....But everything he is doing is completely normal.
I will be at that stage soon with my youngest, right now I'm dealing with the horrific threes...Now thats a stage I really dont like...LOL
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

We started with very short time-outs at that age. It worked very well for us to get his attention back on course KWIM?

Something that has really helped us is always giving Ethan a warning.... 5minutes before bed, grocery store after your nap, etc. He always understood waaaaay more then what he could say. He liked knowing what was coming next even if he did not understand the time frame.

Communication issues are the root of many tantrums at this age.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

It's funny because my son was the stubborn one but he was more INTO things then my 15 month old DD... She is more of a hitter/biter/scratcher/pincher... and I can say with absolute certainty, it's normal. We give 2 chances... one is a warning, 2 is putting her down, walking away and ignoring her while she throws her fit. At this point, they don't really grasp the consequence for their behaviour so all you can hope for is that they realize that that you don't like what they are doing. It takes some time for them to really learn that hitting/biting/etc is bad. A great book is "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn, it's my kid-bible I also agree with PP, baby signing helps because they have so many thoughts and emotions they don't really know how to express in words, but with signs, they can. (No, it doesn't take it ALL away but helps)

15 month olds are just learning how to push boundaries and exploring that things they do get a reaction from you, whether it be laughing, yelling, etc... so if you just don't GIVE them that reaction, they are liable to quit what they are doing and go on to find something that will.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:50 AM   #6
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

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Originally Posted by 2crabs View Post
Lots of redirection still at that age....But everything he is doing is completely normal.
I will be at that stage soon with my youngest, right now I'm dealing with the horrific threes...Now thats a stage I really dont like...LOL


Because anyone dealing with the 3's just needs some, lol.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Sounds like a 15 month old! We also did redirection and mini time outs. Dh and I both decided early on what was acceptable and what wasn't. If ds was doing something dangerous (like playing with an electrical outlet- even though they had the safety plugs in them) he would get a small time out. The only time he really would throw tantrums at that age though was when he was really tired or hungry. The way I see it is I wouldn't let my 3/4/5 year old throw temper tantrums so I wanted to start young and show them that it wouldn't help them get what they wanted. You just show them in a different way than an older child kwim? And for what its worth ds does throw temper tantrums every once in awhile (he is two I would be more worried if he didn't!)but he is a lot better then a lot of kids his age.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Both of my children are very happy, well behaved, non-aggressive children. Perhaps it is the way I've treated them from the start, luck or a little bit of both.

At 15 months old, my son always said "please" to get something and "thank you" when it was received. If he didn't, I wouldn't give/would take away. I only did this because he was totally capable and knew what it meant. My daughter on the other hand is 19 months old and still doesn't "get" the meaning of those words.

In my opinion, your son most certainly has "normal" toddler actions. Personally, I've never had "hitters", "biters", or "scratchers" but I know many, many children that do act like that and I don't think much of it.

To "discipline" my son at that age, I would put him down, turn around and look at the ceiling until he stopped throwing his fit (he is 3.5 now and this is still effective). I would never ever care if he was throwing a temper tantrum~kids need to get out aggression and frustration too but I wouldn't tolerate him hitting me. I'm sure that would warrant a time out of sorts.

My daughter (again, she is 19 months old) hasn't reached that "stage" yet. She is fairly calm and quiet but I plan on using the same tactics on her when the time comes. Every child really is different.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2crabs View Post
Lots of redirection still at that age....But everything he is doing is completely normal.
I will be at that stage soon with my youngest, right now I'm dealing with the horrific threes...Now thats a stage I really dont like...LOL
I have heard a LOT of people talk about how horrible the 3's are. My son has been an angel (comparatively speaking) since the day he turned 3! For us, it was pure misery from 18 months until his 3rd brithday.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: What do you "expect" from a 15 month old?

Sounds totally normal to me.
We redirected a lot at that age, still do really.
It was easier to redirect at that age because it didn't really take much to get Evan's mind on something else - he was easily distracted.

I think Evan was about that age when I first started looking at GD practices, and even though it was still too early to expect any real 'discipline', it gave ME time to practice and get used to the idea of GD.
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