Magazine article Working Mother

Too Tiny to Discipline?

Magazine article Working Mother

Too Tiny to Discipline?

Article excerpt

You're back to work and settled into a routine with your baby-feeding, sleeping, quality time, child care, schedules and all. But soon your innocent babe is all personality and pluck, crawling and getting into things, grabbing at the window shades and banging every object in sight. Is it time for some discipline? And just how do you discipline a baby or toddler?

The key is to see discipline as guiding and teaching rather than punishing or penalizing. You can do this with a baby in two simple ways, says Edward R. Christophersen, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, and the author of Parenting That Works: Briefly interrupt an activity if it's unsafe or unsuitable, and offer attention when she does things right.

For instance, if your baby pulls your hair or pinches you, set her down on the floor for several seconds and then pick her up before she starts to fuss. "This shows her she gets removed from Mom's attention if she does something unacceptable," explains Dr. Christophersen. "It's like a tiny time-out from positive engagement." Should you squeeze or even gently slap her hand? No, Dr. Christophersen counsels, because it sends the message that when someone does some- , thing we don't like, we slap. You could take her hand away and say, "No," and she may or may not get the message. But she will understand when you interrupt the positive for a moment.

If an active baby gets into something she shouldn't, never slap or spank, Dr. Christophersen reiterates. Just pick her up, move her to a safe play area and offer playthings to engage her. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.