Rules for Babies aged 8-12 Months (2)

No matter how old a child is or what mistakes they make, physical punishment is never an appropriate method. Hitting a child will only teach them to respond with violence when they are angry. While a couple of spanks might seem effective in the short term to stop certain behaviors, in the long run, it's not an effective way to discipline a child. Hitting them won't teach them the right way to behave and can even result in injury, disrupt effective communication between you and the child, and diminish their sense of security.

So, what's the right approach? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that as children grow older, instead of physical punishment, using "time-out" can be a good method. This involves sending the child who has made a mistake to a quiet place for a few minutes away from other people, electronic devices, or books. After the time-out period, explain to them why their behavior is not acceptable.

As your ability to discipline your child strengthens, don't overlook the positive impact of praising their good behavior. Praise can play a more significant role in helping a child learn self-control. As children grow, their good behavior largely stems from their desire to make you happy. If you make them aware of how much you appreciate their good behavior at this age, they may not seek attention by misbehaving.

Some parents worry that giving too much attention to a child at this stage might spoil them, but there's no need to worry. Children aged 8-12 months are still very innocent and lack the ability to manipulate others. When they cry, it's not because they're intentionally seeking something; it indicates a genuine need.

When you hear them crying intensely, you rush to them because you know that such crying signifies a serious problem. Conversely, if you hear a less urgent cry that seems to be telling you they need your company, you might finish what you're doing before responding. When their cry is more subdued and complaining, indicating they want to be left alone to rest, you realize they just need some quiet time. By appropriately responding to the hidden messages in a child's cry, you let them know their needs are essential but that only genuine needs will receive your attention. You can hold them and give them their favorite stuffed toy or blanket, play a game with them, or read them a story. When the child becomes happy, you'll feel happy too. Remember, a child's need for attention and love is as real as their need for food and diaper changes.

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