When Should You Start Disciplining?

An age-by-age guide to setting limits.

A Necessary Action

Whenever my 1-year-old son, Luke, is near rocks, he likes to shovel them into his mouth. And when he sees our cat, he likes to lunge, even though the cat likes to swipe and hiss.

These kinds of moments make up any given day, and figuring out how to shield my son from harm without breaking his spirit usually leaves me totally confused. In my humble experience, getting a toddler to stop eating rocks is easier said than done.

At this tender age, traditional discipline, such as time-out, doesn't work. But what does, and at what age is it appropriate to try which tactics? As you may have guessed, it's as necessary for parents to learn how to discipline properly as it is for children to learn that some behaviors are unsafe or just socially inappropriate.

Ultimately, it's a long process, but when it's done well, it will be a positive experience that will help your child.

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