Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Discipline Strategies > Punishment > Should Toddlers Ever Be Punished?
|

Should Toddlers Ever Be Punished?

Most actions that a toddler takes that might warrant punishment in an older child are things that she cannot help doing. By nature, toddlers are curious about things, explore them, and experiment with them. So before you punish your one-year-old, stop to consider: Does she really deserve punishment and was it truly your child's fault?

Did your toddler break something or play with something that was dangerous? Well, how did she get ahold of it in the first place? Who left it in her reach?

Did she pull someone's hair? If so, do you really think it was mean-spirited? Early toddlers most often hurt others not out of aggression, but as part of the process of exploring other people as if they were objects. When your toddler sees anything new, including a new person, she will want to explore it: She'll push it, pull it, poke it, scratch it, bang on it, kick it, and of course, bite it—just to see what happens. In all likelihood, your child did not intend to cause harm—and in fact, may still be incapable of intending much of anything, including hurting someone.

Until your child more fully understands the dynamics of cause and effect, of actions and their consequences, punishment and fear of punishment will do nothing to promote good behavior or deter bad behavior. And in the final analysis, is it fair to punish your toddler simply for being a toddler and behaving like one?

More on: Preschool

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler, Too © 1997 by Keith M. Boyd, M.D., and Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.