Toddlers Behaving Badly

Think your child is too young to be disciplined? He's not. Here's how.

Should I Discipline My Toddler?

messy toddler

Let's face it: Raising a 1-year-old is a constant challenge. Your child is old enough to start doing things on his own. But a lot of what he wants to do is dangerous, messy, hurtful, or downright maddening. And he's really not old enough to know better. The truth is, kids this age aren't being willfully defiant -- they simply need to hear a command numerous times before it sinks in. But you can also use these difficult moments as an opportunity to teach and discipline him.

Discipline? At this age? Yes, that's right. While it's much too early to start taking away privileges, this is the perfect time to lay the foundation for better behavior. "Your toddler is constantly testing what's acceptable and what's not," says Cheryl Erwin, coauthor of Positive Discipline: The First Three Years. "By setting basic rules and following through, you're helping him learn." The key is to use the right discipline method. Check out these smart ways to correct four common toddler transgressions.

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