Observe the child during daily routines, especially around temptations, such as items that are out-of-bounds (stairs, glass items, electric sockets, etc.).
If necessary, place an enticing item within the child’s reach, but have the adult tell the child “don’t touch.”
The infant will look at the adult, and then reach for the item. When the adult says, “No, no” the child may cry or reach for it anyway (especially if there is nothing else of interest around).
Explain that children are just beginning to understand what “no” means. Children need limits, but not punishment at this age. They do not know why something is wrong. They just read the adult’s face, hear voice cues, and know that they are doing something the adult doesn’t like. Say “NO” firmly. Add one or two words to explain why it is a “no-no.” “That’s mommy’s.” “It’s hot.” “Burn.” Remove the child from the situation and substitute an acceptable item or action.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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