Are most people disciplining their children with the time out/naughty step strategy?

(96 Posts)
sebsmummy1 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:02:21

I'm not quite there yet as my son is only 16 months.

At the moment I have instinctively disciplined. He will get a firm No! or similar if he I'd doing something naughty or inappropriate. I have backed this up with a hand slap on about four occasions when I thought the action was bordering on dangerous and he wasn't taking notice of my words (not sure if I will get flamed for this).

As I said, it's very instinctive and generally this has worked very well. He no longer plays with the toilet and tries to lift the lid and post things and he understands the road is dangerous etc.

Thing is I know I am moving towards the terrible toes and I'm thinking whether I need to decide about how I'm going to handle bad behaviour in the future or if in going to carry on as I am.

Is the time out/ naughty step accepted as the accepted way to do things or is everyone doing something different depending on the child.

I really don't want smacking to become normal in our house and need a strategy that my son will understan, action/consequences etc.

Thanks

Paintyfingers Mon 24-Mar-14 00:48:25

I also agree, Goldenbear. But I think sometimes people resort to time out if they have particularly challenging dc as it isn't socially acceptable not to be seen to tackle the behaviour.

andsmile Mon 24-Mar-14 00:52:28

goldenbear some of us inc parents need time out to create space and let things calm down so then you can go onto deal with a child more appropriately. I would much rather use time out than have it esculate further. This suits us and seems to work.

if my DS8 argues back and is stropping I ask him to go sit on his bed. He comes back and ask if he can come out when he has calmed down, then we talk and sort out whatever it is.

Sillylass79 Mon 24-Mar-14 01:09:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldenbear Mon 24-Mar-14 01:13:54

The OP is talking about a 16 month old though not an 8 year old. IMO it is completely inappropriate for a baby to be in 'time out'.

I don't think discipline shouldn't exist but to me for a toddler that means offering a simple explanation and if they're being violent, stopping that behaviour straight away. I don't think there should be an absence of discipline like I experienced in the park the other day when a fairly big toddler but evidently quite young by the look of her walk and demeanour and her Mother's constant proclamation that she was only little, kept swiping my DD who's nearly 3 around the face. She was actually about DD's size in weight and DD started crying. Dd was climbing wide steps for a slide that is built into the bank but wouldn't go past her as she kept trying to push her down the stairs. She kept making a beeline for DD and hurting her, the Mother was next to the toddler the whole time but all she would say to her toddler was that she was scaring DD. she wouldn't intervene, stop her from hitting her and kept telling me she was very young. I did think to myself that may well be the case but you need to stop her hurting others. In the end I asked my DS to take her up to the slide as she wouldn't go past the girl. To me that is 'no' discipline and ridiculous.

Sillylass79 Mon 24-Mar-14 01:21:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

andsmile Mon 24-Mar-14 01:22:18

Yes i agree re 16 months. I only just tried my timeout with DD (who is second child) today.

That scene you described me at the park is ridiculous. I think i might have been tempted to say something in a loud voice! If my DD did that I would have removed her hand, been ready to 'block' her hand from swiping again. If she didnt 'get it' that what she was doing must stop i would have moved her away from the child.

Lke the parent whose younger child was kicking and jumping on my DS yesterday, he wont fight back at all especially to a younger child - she just sat and chatted oblivious to her DS's behaviour. So I said something about not kicking as it is not cool.

AveryJessup Mon 24-Mar-14 02:59:29

Yes, sillylass, that is my understanding of 'time-out' too, in the original sense of how an adult would use the word as a way of managing conflict. My DS is very spirited too and emotionally intense so helping him manage his strong emotions is my focus.

Boasting about your beautifully behaved DD is really not helpful, Golden! Smugness does not become any parent. Maybe she is just naturally a calm, quiet child? Some children have stronger temperaments than others and you can usually see it as a result of the parents' own temperament rather than their parenting tactics.

I can be quite emotionally intense so it's no surprise that DS is too. I often wish my parents had taught me better ways to handle my emotions though so that's my aim with DS. Every child is different and that's why parenting strategies differ for everyone.

With a 16-month old in general though, distraction is the most effective approach and I say that as someone who had a very spirited 16-month old!

realitygone Mon 24-Mar-14 06:43:54

golden you're incredibly judgemental of other people.

The glitter bottle is excellent idea actually, it works every single time on my own children and the children I mind. It is positive discipline, the idea is the glitter calms the child and avoids any shouting/confrontation enabling you to have a calm chat once they have had time to come out of the meltdown.

I am so glad for you that you have a child that has understood things from a young age and is calm and happy to play and do as she is told, my 4 year old is/was very much the same in fact I don't remember ever having to really tell her off.

My second dd on the other hand, she is 15 months almost, she is 6 months behind on eating and development doesn't walk, crawl or stand yet, however her understanding and mind are very advanced for her age which leads to loads of frustration and many 'tantrum meltdowns' I give her a shaken glitter bottle and it calms her down. No reasoning or attempting to calm her when it won't work.

TheGreatHunt Mon 24-Mar-14 06:49:11

golden why didn't you step in instead of sending your ds in?

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Mon 24-Mar-14 08:51:13

A friend of mine was a big fan of the naughty step... until the time her 3 year old got his willy out and peed all over it, while looking defiantly over his shoulder at his mother!

matana Mon 24-Mar-14 09:02:05

I've only ever used time outs for very serious behaviour like hitting, kicking or biting and not before 2yo. It's more about ds calming down than anything else though and we haven't needed to use it for quite some time now ds is 3.4. We've never smacked or tapped as it feels counter intuitive to teaching him to control aggressive behaviour.

matana Mon 24-Mar-14 09:05:44

I've only ever used time outs for very serious behaviour like hitting, kicking or biting and not before 2yo. It's more about ds calming down than anything else though and we haven't needed to use it for quite some time now ds is 3.4. We've never smacked or tapped as it feels counter intuitive to teaching him to control aggressive behaviour.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 24-Mar-14 09:06:24

I don't punish. Cretainly would never hit my children.

mummytime Mon 24-Mar-14 09:11:15

I would suggest that the OP reads a bit more about child rearing. How to talk... is always a good place to start.
Your aim should be to minimise how much attention you give them for bad behaviour, but to also give them lots of attention for good behaviour. Even at 16 months you can do this - so when they behave/co-operate you give them attention. If they are bad you say NO, remove them if dangerous and ignore.

Not much point in hand taps; it just teaches hitting is okay, and pain is not necessarily a deterent. The latter I learnt when my DS tried to climb the stairs, fell down, and whilst still crying went to try to climb them again.

Star charts should be mainly used to ensure you do observe and reward the good behaviour.

Naughty step, time out etc. can be useful (depending on the child) when they are old enough to control their emotions a bit, and need space to calm down. 16 months is far too young, I'm not sure 2 1/2 is old enough, 8 is.

BertieBotts Mon 24-Mar-14 09:14:03

I don't use a naughty step or time out too.

For most things it's possible to set the boundary without relying on an external/unrelated sanction like naughty step/smacking etc. So you set the boundary by either physically preventing them from doing the thing you don't want them to do, reinforcing that whatever it is needs to be put right (you know when they go through the stage of pulling out all the DVDs/books on the shelf, that's fine, it's a phase, they can have just as much fun putting them back and pulling them out all over again), or redirecting them to an appropriate way of doing something/encouraging the acceptable alternative. And keep reminding them of what you want by using positive language (Do x rather than don't do y) and having age appropriate expectations. Try to see things from their point of view etc.

I have used a version of time out for calming down purposes but it's not supposed to be a punishment, just a breather, so things like the glitter bottle works, also a "calm down corner" which can be a cosy corner with pillows and blankets and calm toys like teddies and books. If it's appealing then they're more likely to use it themselves when they feel something is getting too much, which is positive, rather than feeling shame attached to it and hence not wanting to go in there even when they might be aware themselves of the need for a break. Of course, they're not always happy to be foisted in there but hey. No need to make it unnecessarily negative IMO.

Out of interest OP what kind of things have you smacked for? Maybe we can help offer ideas of alternative strategies, I find that when you are in a punitive mindset it's difficult to imagine how else to deal with situations but the more you learn about it the easier it is to apply it to things as they come up and (for me) it's a much better, calmer way of parenting.

LadyInDisguise Mon 24-Mar-14 09:15:00

No I haven't.
or rather I have for a bit with dc1 and found it more of a pain/damaging than anything else because of all the fight coming with imposing the 'naughty step'. 'Time out' meant dc1 was in effect isolated and this created a whole lot of problems (as this was happening at the same time than dc1 was adjusting to dc2 arrival).
Things got much easier when I stopped doing that.

Tbh a firm 'No' is plenty ime.
As gently taking the child by the hand to take to wherever you want them to be.

At that age, punishment isn't necessary. neither is it when they are older to be fair. You can distract, say 'NO', remove the object, explain and ... explain (yes even to a 16 months old. They understand much more than you think)...

OP One book I would recommend on that is this very good book on ideas for different strategies to use.

UriGeller Mon 24-Mar-14 09:17:58

I don't and haven't ever used naughty step/time outs or rewards.

jellyandcake Mon 24-Mar-14 09:24:54

I have a very gentle and well behaved 3yo and never encountered the 'terrible twos'. It's not inevitable that you will. He did once run out in the road and got a very firm explanation of why that was so naughty. I got him to explain this later to daddy so I knew he had retained it and he has never done it since - though I am also a lot more careful and quite honestly hold myself entirely responsible for it happening in the first place. Punishing him harshly for my failure to adequately supervise him by the road would not have been fair (in my defence, was heavily pregnant and carrying too many things - hadn't planned ahead properly).

If next dc is more challenging, I may have to think of some consistent strategies, but rather than anticipating that a child WILL be naughty and assembling my behaviour arsenal in advance, I prefer to go with clear explanations and firm expression of disapproval ie the game stops immediately in the case of snatching/pushing/whatever. I think that sometimes, if you have an expectation of bad behaviour and then jump in with your strategy, it can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I may rethink my ideas when I have my second toddler and they are totally different to my PFB smile

duchesse Mon 24-Mar-14 09:29:53

I had a pack of three children (in 4 years), then a huge gap, then a DD who is effectively an only with a multitude of adults around her.

By necessity, I disciplined my older children differently from the youngest. The youngest is rarely in the position of having to share, so I have to introduce that into her life. Sharing is a hard thing to learn, whether resources or time, but they must learn it.

You simply cannot compare a child growing up with siblings close in age and a child who is effectively an only. Also, some children are naturally more compliant. I have four children and have had the full gamut from really tricky to really easy. They are what they are. Every child may need a different type of handling.

sebsmummy1 Mon 24-Mar-14 11:11:42

Thanks girls, really interesting to hear other people opinions and approaches.

As I said, my approach has been instinctive so I haven't sat down and thought about my parenting style so far. I just realise we are moving towards more tantrums and defiant behaviour and want a strategy for the future as opposed to waiting for my last straw to break and me to react in anger/frustration.

Will seek out some reading material I think. I used to watch Super Nanny and I know she was a real advocate of naughty steps and sticker charts.

How many of us are products of our upbringing do you think? I was raised by both parents. My Mum had a short fuse but was extremely maternal and I had endless cuddles. I can remember getting the odd smack but don't remember being scared. Strangely enough my Father never hit me but I was often very frightened of him as he would lose his temper at the drop of a hat and ROAR at me so I would run from him up the stairs and hide.

Goldmandra Mon 24-Mar-14 11:28:30

I used to watch Super Nanny and I know she was a real advocate of naughty steps and sticker charts.

I wouldn't look to Supernanny's techniques for every day parenting. They are quite extreme and the programmes are edited for entertainment value.

You need to think about the boundaries your child has. They need to be reasonable, firm and easy for him to understand. Having them in place is the basis for good behaviour management because the child knows when they are about to cross the line and can choose whether to do so or not.

Use natural consequences wherever possible, e.g. we can't go to the park now because you spent so long refusing to put your shoes on that we've run out of time, if you can't walk nicely next to me, I will have to hold your hand to keep you safe or you need to pick up the food you threw on the floor before we can play with the toys.

Offer warnings to let them know they are about to cross the line and always follow through with what you have said the consequences will be. Don't ever count to three and the add halves and quarters in. That takes away their ability to decide whether to cross the line. Make sure they know that if they don't stop at two they will encounter the consequences on three.

Encourage your child to behave how you would like by commenting on why you like it, thanking them for it and offering attention for that behaviour rather than when they are doing something you don't want.

Last but not least, pick your battles.

TheGreatHunt Mon 24-Mar-14 11:32:36

Super nanny is for problem families not every day families...!

Sharaluck Mon 24-Mar-14 11:47:51

My dc get more angry with the super nanny style timeout so I don't agree it is for all children. Using it regularly would turn our home into an aggressive battleground.

I do see how it works for other dc though when I see other parents do it so I think it depends on the dc.

We do timeouts with them, moving them away from the place where they are having problems/ being naughty. But we stay and talk to them,giving them language to understand why and to help labels feelings of all concerned. I think this has really helped with bonding as well. It also helps me become less stressed about behaviour issues as I see them as a way to teach dc about their emotions. So far it is working so I hope we can continue with this approach in the school age years.

HopelessDei Mon 24-Mar-14 12:28:43

Far better to teach your child to behave properly because it's the right thing to do, than to have them grow up believing nothing's worth doing unless there's a material reward at the end of it.

When I see a sticker chart up in someone's house, I presume you have a naughty/tricky child. Perhaps the child senses that too.

OP at 16 months you show your child right from wrong. You do not discipline them!

sebsmummy1 Mon 24-Mar-14 12:32:22

Hopeless when you say about teaching them right from wrong and not disciplining, I like that, how are you ensuring the message is accepted. Repetition?

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