There are already good answers here, but in the case of my one year old, he actually enjoys when I scold him (tell him No! etc.). It's usually him scratching people/pulling somebody's hair etc. I tried a few things like firmly saying "No!", packing him a bit firmly while saying it, leaving the room etc. but he actually seem to enjoy this and wants to do more! I've gradually escalated the action, like calmly holding him down to force a "time out" which did make him cry.
I'm unsure what to do - if it's best to just leave the behavior for now then I can live with it (it's not dangerous for him, just painful for us!). On the other hand of course if there are better methods I'd like to know.

1 Answer 1


Kids that age are driven by attention. Any kind of attention. So if you want to make it clear you are unhappy with certain behavior two things need to happen

1) Give him loads of positive attention when he does something you do like. (No matter how trivial it might be). It's easy to escalate negative reward but you need to escalate positive attention too. I'm sure you already give compliments, but you probably need to double this just to ensure that the drive to attention isn't a part of why he enjoys scolding. (They don't know the meaning of your scoldings yet, so you might as well singing praises.)

2) Saying no and leaving the room is a very good way. Make sure he can't turn it into a game. If he can follow you, it turns into hide and seek. It needs to be a total break in fun gameplay. Putting him in a playpen for example. Then he loses his 'access' to you.

3) Probably you can see when he will pull your hair. For example you are on the phone and he doesn't get attention fast enough. When his hand reaches, just deflect it and play a different game. Or teach him some other game (my nose makes a 'beep' sounds if you touch it gently). The touchy/tickle games tend to be very fun at that age.

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