Is a One-Year-Old Too Young to Be Disciplined?

Many parents believe that disciplining a one-year-old toddler is more trouble than it’s worth. Moreover, countless parents actually think that one-year-olds shouldn’t be disciplined at all, because of how young they are. Remember, toddlers of this age are incredibly fragile beings, and shouldn’t be treated the same way that you might treat a toddler that’s a few years older.


With that being said, toddlers aren’t perfect, and there’s a very large chance that they’ll do something that requires some type of discipline. The question then becomes, what exactly should you do to discipline them? How do you know if you’re taking it too far? What’s the appropriate level of discipline to use?

These are all incredibly common questions, mostly shared by first-time parents. Being a first-time parent comes with its own set of unique challenges, and one of them is figuring out how to properly discipline your toddler (without going too far). This is something that many parents worry about, and most simply give up to the fact that they won’t be able to discipline their child until a certain age.

Disciplining Toddlers: What’s Appropriate and What’s Not

When it comes to disciplining a toddler, and especially a toddler who’s only a year old, you need to be very careful and intentional with the way you go about doing it. Discipline at this early age should be more in the form of teaching them about proper boundaries, and learning how to be social like a normal child. Of course, not everything will work with your child, because every toddler has a different temperament, attitude, personality, etc.

With that being said, there are so many variables that can go into deciding which type of discipline needs to be used/employed, that it can be difficult to know what one should be doing. That’s why we’ve written this blog, to help you learn how you can set your little toddler up for success later in life, by instilling proper social boundaries in them now.

As you probably already know, toddler’s brains are like little sponges. Everything they see, hear, and witness is soaked up and retained. That means it’s essential to teach them proper boundaries and social etiquette (as much as what’s possible with a toddler, anyways).

Discipline Isn’t What You Think It Is

Many parents make the mistake of conflating “punishment” with “discipline.” The two really couldn’t be any further from each other. Discipline for one year old children is all about teaching your toddler the error of their mistakes, until they learn to not repeat those mistakes. Punishment doesn’t provide any sort of teaching for the toddler, which doesn’t really have the desired effect (that discipline does). So, if you were on the fence about disciplining your toddler, that should clear things up quite nicely.

Basic Ways to Engage With Your Toddler and Instill Some Discipline

Anybody who has a toddler, or has had one in the past, knows just how much they like exploring their environments. Some toddlers might be more prone to exploration than others, but nearly all of them enjoy doing it (to a point).

One of the best ways to guide them during this phase is by doing some basic word association. This can be done by using a simple term like “yes” or “no” in regards to different items that they may touch. Doing this instills some basic social guidelines into them, and also develops basic boundaries that they can use later.

Another strategy to employ when caring for your toddler is to take a look at the world through their POV. For example, let’s say you just came home from a long day at work, and you see that your toddler has made a mess with all of their toys strewn about the room. What’s the first thing that you would do? Maybe let out a sigh and complain about what they did? What about looking at it from their POV?

This is the healthier option here (looking at the situation from the toddler’s POV). Not only will that give you a deeper level of insight into the way they look at places, situations, and things, but it will also develop your own patience as well (which as we all know is vitally important when dealing with toddlers). Toddlers can be difficult, basically everybody knows this (even people who’ve never had kids). But that doesn’t mean dealing with them, caring for them, and teaching them needs to be difficult. By using some basic strategies (and a lot of patience), you can guide your toddler to becoming a healthy, socially-conscious child.