13 - 15 Months

Is your 1-year-old ready for logical consequences?

If your 1-year-old throws rocks at the playground, the best thing to do is move them away and give them something soft like a ball to throw. This is known as a logical consequence—an outcome caused by a child’s behavior but determined by an adult. 

At this age, logical consequences are entirely about helping your toddler regulate their emotions and their body. Moving them away from the rocks isn’t a punishment—it’s a reset. Child development experts recommend this approach over timeouts for toddlers.

How to enforce logical consequences

When your 1-year-old is doing something that requires your intervention, try to direct them toward a positive behavior. At this age, a redirection will often involve a change of scenery and an alternate but related activity. The ideal redirection gives your toddler something productive and safe to do with the feelings and behaviors they’re showing.

If you’re holding your toddler and they start pulling your hair, for example, you can say: “Ouch! That hurts me. I’m going to put you down, and we can hold hands instead.” This way, you offer them something safe to do with their hands.

If your 1-year-old is doing something destructive, like pulling papers out of your work bag, you’ll need to stop them. Build on this logical consequence by offering them something to do that’s related to the behavior you stopped: You can let them pull books off a shelf, empty out a basket of toys, or play with a pile of scratch paper or junk mail.

How does your toddler learn from logical consequences?

Logical consequences aren’t yet teachable moments—those will come later. When you remove your toddler from a situation because of their behavior, you’re laying the groundwork for more explicit cause-and-effect lessons when they’re older. They slowly learn that their actions have consequences, as you get in the habit of giving appropriate consequences ❤️


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Cognitive Development, Behavior, Lovevery App, Parenting, Child Development

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