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Is there any hope for getting my son to behave at 20 months old?

He's the sweetest little boy. But he doesn't listen to no.. And time outs don't seem to phase him. No matter how serious I try to make it. An example being, every single day multiple times a day, he will press the buttons on the tv. The parlor (living room lol) is his kingdom when he's awake in the day time (all baby proofed). I've tried sternly telling him no, giving him time outs after every time, and diverting his attention to something more fun.. But it never seems to work. There are maybe 3 or 4 other similar on going every day multiple times a day problems as well. Is it something I'm doing wrong? Or is he just at the age where he's not going to quite get it yet?...

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Asked by LogiAndIansMama at 11:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • He's ONLY 20 months old!! Just be consistent in telling him no and redirecting...eventually he will get it. He's way too young to get it the first time you tell him at this age. Timeouts may be lost on him at this age... give it a year or two and they will have more meaning to him.

    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:58 PM on Jun. 30, 2013

  • Do you have a pack and play? Srt him in there with no toys for the "time out and tell him. No.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:02 AM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • it's the age- redirect, redirect and then do it some more. Tell him no, and give hime things he CAN do- this will pass

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:10 AM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • Honestly, at that age, it's more about modifying the environment so he can't do the things you don't want him to do. Not that you can't ever tell him no, of course, but he isn't going to remember what's off limits from one time to the next. What I did with the TV when my daughter was a toddler was to tape a piece of cardboard over the buttons, with a little flap I could unattach by a small piece of tape at the edge if I wanted to turn on the TV. Once she didn't see the buttons, my ever curious little girl seemed to forget about them.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:11 AM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • My mom suggested I try this with my son who is 23 months: when he is doing something I've constantly told him not to and the "no" just isn't sinking in, take his hand in mine, press my thumb firmly into his palm, look him in the eye and tell him no once more. He HATES having to be still while I'm holding his hand, but it's actually started to work a good portion of the time. I was smacking his hand when he would deliberately disobey, and sometimes still do if the behavior is something dangerous and calls for a serious reinforcement, but mostly I will hold his hand while making eye contact. I am constantly reminding myself though, that he is still discovering the world around him, and "no" gets tuned out after hearing it so many times within a short time frame. Good luck!

    Answer by TaylorKarl at 1:34 AM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • He gets it. Children understand "no" around the age of 8 months. Our youngest grandson just turned 2, and he knows full well what he is and is not allowed to do. He will still push the boundaries on occasion, but when he disobeys, he gets corrected the way it's been done in this family for generations. And nothing has ever been "baby proofed". He comes to our house and touches nothing that he isn't supposed to. He's very active and energetic, but his parents have trained him. And he is a joy to have around. I will be watching him later today.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:06 AM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • this is the age where they test the limits to see where they are. It's all normal. Do the opposite of what you have been doing. Praise him when he does something right and ignore when he does something wrong. Well ignore as much as you can block the buttons so he can't push them but limit anything verbal to a simple No. Avoid eye contact when you have to block or move him.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:55 PM on Jul. 1, 2013

  • Thank you, everyone! I just needed reassurance that I wasn't doing anything wrong. I kind of assumed he was just too young to really understand. And even if he does understand "no", that he's just testing his limits. I appreciate everyone's input. :)

    Comment by LogiAndIansMama (original poster) at 1:08 PM on Jul. 2, 2013

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