I’m Dr. Ari Brown. I’m here to help you figure out when to startdisciplining your child and how to approach discipline for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Discipline is about teaching your child, soyou have to be realistic about what he understands. For example, when you say “be nice”, your15-month-old may have no idea what nice means. You have to show what you mean by be nice,like showing her how to pet the cat instead of grabbing its tail. And setting up rules and limits are differentdepending on the age of the child. One and 2-year olds need physical limits likeputting the potted plant out of reach. But 3 and 4-year olds, a verbal limit shouldbe enough, such as “Don’t touch that plant, honey.” So, when is the right time to start discipliningyour child? Kids can respond to discipline as young as9 months of age. That’s about the time they start testing thewaters to see if they can get away with things that you’ve already said no to.You know the drill: your child cruises overto the dog food bowl to grab a snack, but before he does, he looks at you with a littlegrin on his face. That’s because you have already told him 10times that that’s not okay. If your child is smart enough to figure outthis human behavior, he is more than ready to be disciplined for it. For babies, the best response is redirection. Just removing the temptation, like takingaway the dog food, will reduce the number of times you need to say no. It’s also pretty easy to redirect the babyto another more appropriate activity like banging on some pots and pans with a woodenspoon. For toddlers, give choices and teach consequences. Toddlers are all about control, so givingthem a chance to make decisions makes for fewer power struggles and discipline moments.Of course, you only want to give two choices,both of which are things you want them to do anyway, and if a toddler misbehaves, makehis time fit the crime. For instance, if your toddler enjoys runningaway from you when he’s outside, say, “You can’t play outside if you run in the street.” Your child learns that his poor choice hasconsequences. For preschoolers, catch them being good andignore undesirable behavior. Three and four-year olds aim to please andthey thrive on their parent’s attention. So, noticing good behavior will minimize thoseugly attention-seeking behaviors.And when your preschooler starts calling youa poo poo head or some other preschooler cursing, ignore it and she will quit. Yes, it’s funny the first time but if yourespond to it, you’ll hear it a hundred more times. Being a parent of a 1 to 4-year-old can bea real challenge but you will be a pro when your child becomes a teenager, and with teenagersin my own house, I can tell you, teenagers are much easier. Keep your chin up..