Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
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.


Lunch Box
Love Notes

Create your own specially
designed lunch box note!

GO

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

Design Your Own Lunch Box Love Note
Pack a little extra love in your child's lunch with a custom-designed love note! Use our Lunch Box Love Note Creator to create your one-of-a-kind message. Brought to you by Del Monte.

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

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!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!