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Is trying to teach a 9 month old as futile as it seems?

My son is 9 months old and he's extremely intelligent. I'm not sure if he fully understands the word "no" bc of his age but by his actions it seems like he does. If I tell him no, he looks at me like he knows I dnt like what he's doing but he slowly does it anyway while staring at me. Maybe I'm crazy but he stares as me like "what r u going to do about it?" My husband agrees. So I wonder if he shows signs of understanding the word "no" is it time to discipline him? And by discipline I mean a time out or a little flick on his hand.

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kpincince

Asked by kpincince at 8:51 PM on May. 8, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 5 (89 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • He understands, but he is still learning his boundaries. Just say "No" firmly and move him away from what he is doing. yes, doing this repeatedly is exhausting, but he will learn.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:54 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • Don't flick his hand, you can break the bones in his hand. And, I think he is too young for time out too. It would be better to distract him with a toy, or remove him from the situation by pickng him up and taking him to another part of the room. For time out, you have to be able to associate an action with the abstract concept of right and wrong. try this link:

    http://www.parentingthoughts.org/FiveKeystoGoodDisciplinewithInfants.htm
    dwmom2008

    Answer by dwmom2008 at 8:56 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • He's testing limits and boundaries. My kids would look me dead in the eye (at that age) and drop/throw some food, a toy, a sippy cup onto the floor and then just look at us like "Fetch!".
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 8:59 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • Too young for time out, and a flick of his hand will most likly make him cry, at that age they dont associate the behaviour with what your doing as punishment. Geez, they are just learning about the world and surroundings, save the time outs for when he is 3 and doing something major.
    minimo77

    Answer by minimo77 at 9:06 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • "If I tell him no, he looks at me like he knows I dnt like what he's doing but he slowly does it anyway while staring at me"
    This shows you that he does NOT understand NO. If he understood then he would stop.

    Older babies/toddlers are hard wired to explore. Part of exploring is watching your reaction. Don't "flick", don't use time out. Both have been proven to not work. You say no, then pick him up and move him, or pick up the object and put it out of reach. then try to get his attention on something he is allowed to have/do.
    maggiemom2000

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:53 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • "If I tell him no, he looks at me like he knows I dnt like what he's doing but he slowly does it anyway while staring at me"
    This shows you that he does NOT understand NO. If he understood then he would stop.

    Really? Because my 9 yo still does things she knows she shouldn't, but I'm pretty sure she understands the word No!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:54 AM on May. 9, 2011

  • Thank you, and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. Just trying to figure out this whole parenthood thing, and I have no friends with babies to ask. And by flick, I meant a two fingered flick to get him distracted from what he shouldnt mess with.
    kpincince

    Comment by kpincince (original poster) at 11:56 AM on May. 9, 2011

  • Understanding the word no and having the cognitive development to ignore the impulse telling him "yes!" are two different things. Until a child is about 5 or 6 years old, they lack the impulse control to internalize the 'rules' and immediate direction regularly. That's not to say you ignore it, you just respond understanding the stages of development and what would be an appropriate response in addressing those behaviors. At 9 months old your best bet is to be consistent, be concise and use redirection. For example, when my son was that age, I'd have first called his name to get his attention, then tell him what wasn't acceptable, tell him what was acceptable and physically relocated him to that activity. :) Meaning "Logan. No. No playing in Tasha's water bowl. Let's play Little People." Then pick him up from the dog's bowl and go to his LP farm. :)
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:03 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • he probably understands the word "no" but he may not grasp the concept that "no" means don't touch or don't mess with it, I would walk over to him when he's testing you like that and pick him up get a toy sit him on the floor or where ever he plays and put the toy in from of him, I would'nt smack or anything like that just yet because it's just going to make him cry and then you have to deal with that also, as for time out he may be too young for that but making him sit for a few seconds will get it off to a good start, i never had any luck with time outs when they are younger!
    courtneycra

    Answer by courtneycra at 1:23 PM on May. 9, 2011

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