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Physical discipline for 19 month old who throws things

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I'm reaping benefits from your mails, thank you.

I have a question about my son who is 19 months old almost. He throws everything which is in his reach without realizing whether it will hurt anybody or not. I beat him when it hurts me or any other person around him and he minds it and becomes silent. He keeps on looking on my face until I give him a smile. I don't want to smile so soon after beating him. What do you suggest in this regard? Why does he throw things?

Second question is about his health. He is 19 months old and he weighs only 10kgs. Is that ok at his age?



Are you are serious that you "beat" your 19 month old when he throws things? You are doing him serious damage. Please stop hitting your son. Even a smack is very harmful to a baby or child of this age. It is completely normal for a nineteen month old to throw things. Your job is to teach him that throwing is not appropriate. Instead, you are teaching him that people who supposedly love you will hurt you, and that hurting others is permitted under certain circumstances.

Your baby's job is to explore the world. That includes throwing things, to learn about gravity. Your job is to guide him and love him. That means that when you set limits, you stay connected to him, by setting the limits gently. Hitting your son is teaching him all the wrong lessons. Please read the Toddler section of my website, and the Discipline section.

I realize that you may have been hit yourself and may not have seen another way to guide your child. However, you clearly love him and want what is best for him.

Here is a quote from two of my heroines, Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber, that may help you:

Two year olds like to throw things. They throw when they're happy and they throw when they're upset. They also hit their parents and their siblings. Our job? To help them get through this normal developmental phase by teaching them the difference between what they may and may not do - over and over again - until they learn what they need to learn. How? By accepting their feelings even as we stop and redirect their unacceptable behavior. For example:

"Hold it! Blocks are not for throwing - even when you're angry. Here, you can throw the pillow or the balloon.

"Ouch, that hurt! I can't let you hit me. But you can tell me what you feel. You can say, 'I don't want you to be with the baby now. I want you to be with me!' "

"No shoving! Tell your sister what you want with words, not shoves. Tell her, 'My doll. I'm not ready to share.'

"The carpet is not for cutting. Let's see, what can you cut? How about this paper? Or this cardboard? Which one? You decide."

Re your son's weight: All kids grow at different rates. As I am a psychologist, not an MD, please consult with your pediatrician. I assume your son is having regular checkups?

Dr. Laura

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