Age Wise Guide For Disciplining Your Kid

You think your kid is too young to discipline? Do you know when can you start disciplining your kid? Usually, when your baby is hungry, you feed him up. When the baby cries, you pick him up and soothe him. If he is wet, you pick him up and change his diaper. Of course, you will have to do this as a parent, but don’t you worry about disciplining your little one? Soon enough the baby gets wiser and wants to act independently, you realize that you have to set a limit or two. How many times have you tolerated their breaking an object while playing or dropping their cereals bowl? But being rude and scolding or shouting at them wouldn’t work.

Punishment for a one or two year old kid doesn’t work nor the time-outs or traditional disciplining actions. You must know the right age to try such tactics on your kid. There is no toddler disciplining ways that work all the time. But trying out the ways to suit your kid’s personality and being consistent is the right way out of this trouble.


As a parent, we are way more mature than the little ones. Thus, it is our onus to mind our thoughts, actions, and words and sync them up for a particular situation. Not all the misconducts of your kid are alike. You have to deal with such situations differently. Guidance can be taught right from early infancy stage. As a parent hence, setting limits is the most important part of your responsibility. Write or wrong is not something the baby learns from the mother’s womb, it has to be taught to the kids. Anger management is another whole new topic that needs to be addressed too in kids. All of us know when the baby is misbehaving or doing it intentionally, probably to seek attention. But, we must not ignore such disobedience as cute. Babies constantly learn and make observation around them. They purposely might throw a thing to see their father running to pick up the toy or how the toy splats on the floor. Spanking is another bad thing to do.

So how exactly do we keep our little one from breaking glass or a toy and at what age kids understand discipline?

  • Discipline for newborns


The biggest issue at this age is eating, sleeping, and pooping. How can you overcome this vicious circular lifestyle of a baby? In general, you cannot really do anything about it because they are doing what they are meant to. Also, you cannot neglect the baby as they are just new to the environment, learning and observing new things each day. They have to have a sense of security and safety. Thus, giving everything the baby needs in these few months helps the baby to grow as an independent one. Mother’s warmth helps them to calm down and fall asleep very soon. Holding the baby for all day throughout doesn’t look like the best thing to do, but imagine, for a baby who has been held 24/7 in the womb for 9 months needs time to cope up to the new environment.

  • Discipline at 3-7 months


A baby is a newborn only until some 3 months of age. When they grow older than this, their issues shift from eating, sleeping and pooping to grabbing, pulling and crying. This is an age when the parents can start differentiating between the baby’s needs and wants. The baby might fall asleep on your lap but it does not need to be that way always. This is the time you need to teach the kid's sleep routine. Likewise, babies at this age, start grabbing everything. This is because they are learning and trying to explore things. If you are irritated with this behavior of the kid and shout at them, they would only turn deaf. Rather, tell a simple “no” to them or make a poker face. Babies do not understand when you say this the first time, but with repeated efforts, they will understand that this is not the right thing to do. You are setting the stage on for later. Also biting while nursing becomes a problem as the kid is just developing teeth.

  • Discipline 7-12 months


By this age, the toddler starts moving and getting into trouble. You might want to think about child-proofing your house. By this, we mean that you must provide plenty of places for your baby to explore, instead of constantly sending an off-the-limit message to the baby. Make sure you do not have any small breakable object at baby’s reach and also latch all the closets and cabinets for the baby’s safety. Also, it is a great idea to have one closet open for the baby with all plastic toys and items so that they are free to get in there. Place all babies’ stuff in a low toy shelf accessible to them. If they do get into trouble, be polite and distract them saying “I understand you want to pull that cable, but you shouldn’t do that as it will hurt you.” Maintain a composed yet assertive voice to speak to the baby. Baby goes through the growth spurts causing them to become cranky. They as well have the separation anxiety creeping in at this time which makes the baby cling to the mother all time. Do not push them away, but instead encourage them to occupy their own space. If they are unhappy that you disappear to do laundry, do not run back to them, as it will only mean to the kid that this is a way to grab your attention always and should be upset about not having you around. Take your time and when you return, explain that you have work to do and will not be with her all time, the kid needs to occupy themselves. Reassure with your voice when needed saying “Mom’s at the laundry darling, it is okay; I will soon come to you after finishing up here”. Thus when parents ask us “when should you start disciplining”, there is no particular answer to it.

  • Discipline 12- 18 months


Your baby is a grown up one now, and their bigger issues at this age are whining and discovering vocal abilities leading to screeching etc. It may sound cute to you initially but you might want to teach them to not do it especially when you are in church or a public place. Although they aren’t trying to ruin the day but testing their vocal cords instead. Try not to yell at your kid, instead, tell them that this is not expected of them at such places. Say “We do not make noise when you are in a church to main the sanctity of this place”. Bring some quite entertaining toys or books for the kid to occupy their attention. If they still do not stop shrieking, get out with your kid and try to distract them. Scolding them at this age is no point as they do not have the self-control to inhibit a calm behavior. Keep trying to explain the rules and with aging, they tend to understand better. Know what makes your kid happy and when they whine, try to get their favorite toy or take them for a quick walk as they wish.

  • Discipline 18 -24 months


Kids at this age want to be independent. Children try to learn the language at this age but still aren’t good at articulating their feelings and get frustrated easily. Show that you understand their feelings and want to help them out. For example, if they are frustrated that they can’t reach their toy, tell them the same and offer a hand. Hitting and biting will be their favorite thing to do by now, you will have to control the urge of shouting at them. If they resort to biting, immediately remove them and say “no, you shouldn’t bite. It hurts!” Understand if they have a pattern and bite when they are hungry or want something or are there a particular time of the day when they are frustrated. Are they resorting to hitting in frustrated? Distract them from the situation and again say that it hurts, they shouldn’t hit. When they do not pick up their toys, say “Dear, can you please help me to clean up the toys? They need to be put to sleep.”

Kids are always learning and changing, this is the only constant. You might have to change your ways of teaching them discipline as they grow.

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