quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


So I had a fun little experience a couple nights ago. For the first time that I've noticed, my son deliberately disobeyed me just to get a reaction. It was so blatant that it was almost comical, and I actually had to turn around so he wouldn't see me laughing.

The challenge we've been dealing with lately is throwing. My son throws everything: toys, forks, food, sippy cups, you name it. Sometimes he does it because he doesn't want it anymore. Sometimes he does it because he's mad or frustrated. Other times I think he does it just because it makes a fun noise when it hits the ground, or because it's fun to watch it fly down the stairs.

When he throws things, I'll warn him first. I'll say, "We don't throw our (insert object that was thrown.) If you throw that again, mommy is going to take it away." If he does throw it again, I'll pick it up and place it out of his reach. Sometimes he gets upset, sometimes he just moves on to the next thing and forgets about it.

The other night, we went through this routine. But every time I would take away one toy, he'd pick up another one, look directly at me, and then throw it. Like I said, it was so blatant that I actually had to go around the corner to laugh.

So my questions to you, fellow disciplinarians, are this: Do I stay the course and continue to be consistent in my method? Is it possible that the negative attention he receives by throwing things is actually egging him on, so should I just ignore the throwing behavoir instead? Do I take away all the toys instead of just the ones he throws? Do I do a time out instead? He's 15 months old. Not sure how effective that would be. I am at your mercy. Please help. :)


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gartenbe

One thing we did when our kids were younger was try (try!) to focus on the right course of action (e.g., Toys are for playing, not for throwing. Couches are for sitting, not for jumping.) So if your son throws a truck, you can try reinforcing it by demonstrating how the truck drives on the ground.

That said, consistency is important. We also put toys in "time out" (rather than our sons) like you are. If you keep that up as needed, eventually he'll get the idea that a thrown toy is a lost toy, and will move on from that game.

Good luck!


quality posts: 2 Private Messages senselesshane

I have a 22 month old. At about 15 months he was the same way as your son (throwing everything). He still throws things sometime, but has cut way back. Stick to your guns. If it's thrown then it gets taken away. You may even be able to reduce the attention to the act by just saying "You threw your XYZ, so its going away for awhile; because we don't throw things". This way you are not warning and then saying something again after its thrown. He knows by now it shouldn't be thrown and is seeing if you will be consitant in your response. It may get to the point when you don't even need to say anything - just remove the toy from sight if it is thrown.

Something my mother suggested is to give them something that can be thrown. Say "We don't throw XYZ, but come over here...you can thrown this".

Taking away all his toys won't go anywhere. He won't learn anything and in boredom will start to get into things he wouldn't have otherwise.


quality posts: 7 Private Messages ziekk

We calmly and methodically take each toy away as it's mistreated (our daughters are 15 months old also). To me it's more important for them to learn that the same action will receive the same punishment every single time.


quality posts: 11 Private Messages eckerput

One thing we did during the throwing phase was to point out some things are okay to throw and some aren't. When our daughter got into a throwing mood we took away the toys that shoudn't be thrown and gave her the ones that are suppose to be thrown. She quickly learned if she wanted to play with something she shouldn't throw it and if she was in a throwing mood the foam balls were what to throw.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Wealthman007

Have you considered taking all his toys away when he moves on to the next? Of course, that might push him to pick up the good china and toss it! LOL

To be honest, we never had this problem with either of our boys. I would probably use a firm voice and if he didn't respond, I would take him by the hand, walk him into his bedroom and put him on his bed for 10 minutes! Similar to a time-out! Good luck!


quality posts: 3 Private Messages crossedcrowns

You guys are too nice, and will live to regret it. We put our liitle dears in a corner, for "time out," so throwing things turned into no things. We kept our kids on a metaphorical short leash, and now have 5 kids 14-22 who people like to have around.


quality posts: 3 Private Messages crossedcrowns

I must add that the short leash of early childhood turns a kid into a teen who just wouldn't dream of being a nightmare, because we insisted they behave. They like themselves, too. I'm no tiger mother- just old-fashioned.


quality posts: 2 Private Messages alphaketo

All plush toys...raise some quarterbacks.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages brownie

Consistency is most important.
10 minutes in time out is likely too long for tot...point is ...to make a point. If you are spending your time keeping them in time out you have now moved on to another issue. I do, however, believe that after one toy is removed and they move to another that removing the child to another area for a brief time and without much "attention" i.e. little discussion or even eye contact from you but a simple "No" will suffice.
One consideration is that tots this age see everything in the world as extensions of themselves and to throw something might simply be their examination of this phenomena rather than a purposeful act of defiance.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages austinrhea

I think you are past the warning stage. I would warn the first time each day. After that the next thrown thing gets taken away with no warning and no talking. Example: 8AM he throws his sippy. You warn him that sippy cups are not for throwing and if he throws it again it gets taken away. He throws his fork next. It just gets taken away. If he doesn't throw anything else till say 4PM then I might warn again just because so much time has passed, but this seems like something you are going through almost every day anyway, so I am almost positive that he knows not to throw things without you ever warning him again.

A friend of mine stopped letting her son have the toys back after they were thrown a certain number of times. It went into a bag in her closet. He got down to 5 or 6 toys in one week once. When he didn't throw anything for a day he got to pick a toy from the bag to play with again. He was slightly older than your son, but not by much. YMMV.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Linda11454

He is at age to see what his limits are, remember, your the boss...no discipline creates brats....


quality posts: 0 Private Messages gigglecow1

agree with consistency and I am not a fan of the "re-direct the action." But there was a good add on a while back that made me evaluate how I deal with my kids: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7kwj/td-ameritrade-support-featuring-jonathan-horton

Maybe if he really likes throwing things, you have a quarterback or baseball player in the making. what about getting a soft small ball and making "throwing time" (later it will become baseball practice) scheduled time doing something he loves equals another point of note for him as he grows "Please don't throw that, it's not throwing time or the ball. If you want to throw the ball today with me, you have to wait or ask." Then it's not always a punishment, but a redirection OR punishment. you get to choose. Its hard to keep punishing over and over, as a parent, with choices, it makes life easier. Just my take and I am by no means a perfect parent.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages janetf875

We started similarly to you - a warning, then the toy taken away, and an explanation. If it happened repeatedly in a short space of time, I would take it away without saying anything. This kind of response to something they know they shouldn't do and know the consequence of still works well with my 6yo and 4yo. When my daughter was 8mo she dropped things off her high chair just for the reaction, looking right at me. In that situation I looked right back at her and ignored her, continuing with feeding her, or whatever I was doing. She quickly learnt it wasn't worth doing, and I bottled my laughter and let it out later on. Throwing is a bit trickier though because something - or someone - could get hurt.

We use time out with our kids, and we're quite strict with them, but consistent. And allow them to be kids when it's appropriate. People comment that they're very happy, allowed to be kids, not little robots, but well behaved and nice to be around. Time out for ours is anywhere I put them (usually a chair, but when we're out any spot of ground I can sit them on works) for one minute per year old they are. We started that at around age two.

It's a stage he'll get through, he just needs to understand it's not allowed, and not going to get a reaction.

Good luck!


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hasanmf111

Discipline, and then immediate distract. From his picture he looks too young to really comprehend much of the warning. So don't throw discipline out the window, but don't get stuck at it either.

Discipline and distract
Discipline and distract
Discipline and distract


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wesag

Letting him know you are upset with him is perfectly acceptable and needs to be done. Remember, it is not just about the throwing of the toy, it’s also and more importantly about him respecting you and following your rules. You are the parent. You’re past the first time and the second time. So get serious. If you do not demand respect you will not get it and he will not respect you. This will only get worse. The next time it happens (and you must catch him in the act) you should get angry with him with a very loud reactive (angry) voice and (I mean make him jump out of his shoes) followed by an in your face nose to nose butt chewing. Let him know that you are done with his disrespect and him not following your wishes. After that, the next time follow it up with a slap on the back of the hand or a pop on the bare bottom to get his attention. Start now or you will regret it later. Remember, it’s not about the toy anymore after you have instructed him to stop. Let’s be clear, every child is different and react differently to discipline. Follow through! He will respect you more if you do.


quality posts: 9 Private Messages amynance


Thanks for all the advice, guys. We're staying the course and hope to see some improvement soon!


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nahnie29

I'm old fashion and my solution for most things was "ok! Go to Bed!" or as they term it today,'time out'! I think that unwanted behavior should be addressed with a stern look so that the child knows this is the 'OK, Mom or Dad has had it and they ARE NOT PLAYING!' Kids have been learning how to push parents buttons form the womb because they started listening and learning from the inside!!! But, I had to run in the bathroom and laugh a few times myself! Good Parenting to You!!


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nerdgirl98

I totally solved this problem by letting my little slingshot know that a spanking would follow any and all throwing incidents. Three spankings later there was no more throwing. The spankings don't need to inflict pain.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages woodchuckqueen

He's a scientist. Playing with gravity ("Wow! The sippy flies down the stairs...I wonder if the truck will, too?") and with you ("How many times can I get the adults to pick the spoon up off the floor before they go nuts? How many times will they respond in the same way to this stimulii?").

Be solid. You're on the right path. Soon he'll move on to another experiment! If he has not thrown anything lately, I would not remind him (read:give him any ideas). Ours is 21 now, and delightful. He threw down...everything...but it passed.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jrguerra

When Sebbie my youngest wouldn't stop throwing his toys I bought him Nerf Balls and a big bucket. I taught him how to throw them in the basket. Took all the other toys away for a while. For the forks and spoons I gave him a tap on his hand and said no we don't throw stuff on the ground for food I told him my floor wasnt' hungry. Now at 22 months he is good but I think every baby goes thru the same thing.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jrguerra

By far my fav, I am going to work on that one tonight with my two.

hasanmf111 wrote:Discipline, and then immediate distract. From his picture he looks too young to really comprehend much of the warning. So don't throw discipline out the window, but don't get stuck at it either.

Discipline and distract
Discipline and distract
Discipline and distract


quality posts: 0 Private Messages imtherealelly

he knows what is expected by now, but he enjoys the reaction. when he throws somehting just pick it up and put it out of his reach like you are doing. but don't say anything. don't make eye contact with him. don't interact with him at all. he will get tired of it. then save the attention for when he is behaving the way you want him to.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages anthonyhiga
jrguerra wrote:By far my fav, I am going to work on that one tonight with my two.

I have tried all methods mentioned here, and distraction works best for young toddler.

I think we are all forgetting why a toddler threw things. An elder once told me to "understand your child" instead of just scolding and giving time out.

A 15 months toddler is too young to understand discipline AND remember the consequences.

Due to the fact that a toddler can't communicate, throw things is one of the ways to "tell you how he feels". A toddler threw things to get to your attention, to express frustration, to express "something". It is your job to find out why.

So, if you don't like discipline and distraction, try discipline (just a few words of "we don't throw things") and followed immediately by "helping the child". For eg. My son throws his trains and cars on the floor, I go to him, tell him not to do that, take away his toys, but gives him a hug to calm him down (so that your hug blocks his arm for reaching more toys). Depending on how frustrated he is, I also say "Shhhhh" to calm him down. Right after I would try to gesture what he wants. Since he doesn't talk, I show him "possible things" I think that might frustrates him, like putting cars on the road, or connecting his trains, or putting duplo blocks together. Help him as much as I can. He will response and agree to what he wants with his gesture. Then I play with him a little. It works most of the time.

Sometimes your child just want you to spend some time with him.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages buddyboy9

But there - but there was no pick! I - I did not pick! There was no pick! No! No pick!



quality posts: 0 Private Messages wifeage

Both of our sons tried that as toddlers. If we were at home, the toy was immediately taken away (no warning). If the child threw something again immediately after, the consequence was a time-out. We had a zero-tolerance policy for throwing things in the car, as that is a dangerous distraction for the driver. My older son threw a toy in the car when he was 1 1/2, and I immediately pulled into a shopping center and threw the toy away into a trash can while he watched. He never did that again. Both of our sons are now honors students that are active in their schools and the community, so we figure that our disciplining them didn't hurt their self-esteem much


quality posts: 9 Private Messages amynance


jrguerra wrote:I told him my floor wasnt' hungry.

HA! That is awesome!

mac daddy1

quality posts: 8 Private Messages mac daddy1

I have a son who can be stubborn. When he threw something he wasn't supposed to throw, I said, "Okay, fine, You want to throw, let's go throw." Then I'd take him to the back yard and let him throw the toy. After he threw it, I'd tell him to get it and throw it again. This continued until he said he didn't want to. Then I'd tell him he started the game and he had to throw it three more times. By then he was sick of throwing toys. Works with other unwanted behavior, like eating halloween candy after told to stop, we'd make him eat until he threw up and then eat three more pieces. Same thing later with beer and cigarettes. Now he doesn't like cigarettes, beer, candy and other things bad for him. He's very respectful, healthy, married and we can't wait for him to have his own children.