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to ask for help - timeout chaos! Is Supernanny out there?

(30 Posts)
LifeIsButtercream Fri 29-Jul-11 17:06:55

WWYD?
My DD is 2, she has been in time out for 2 hours (yep thats hours). She was put in time out for hitting and I've been going to her every 2 minutes (according to egg timer) and explaining to her why she is there and asking her to say sorry. She knows what sorry means and usually says it happily then its back to normal.

Today my requests for a sorry are met with a point-blank "no". Or I'm laughed at...........

I feel like I can't back down and let her off the step because she will only learn that I eventually give up and she doesnt have to apologise for her actions. She isn't distressed, just sitting there humming to herself.

WWYD? I mean, I know she is stubborn, but this is riduculous! Her tea is sitting her getting cold.

FWIW, I do know that I'm a rubbish mum!

2shoes Fri 29-Jul-11 17:07:58

2 hours. will she even remember what she did by now

LifeIsButtercream Fri 29-Jul-11 17:10:31

I hope so 2shoes as I've been reminding her every 2 minutes (the old "Mummy put you on the naughty step because you X,Y,Z and I would like you to say sorry"

2shoes Fri 29-Jul-11 17:11:38

sorry am shocked, as you might have guessed I know nothing about naughty steps, but surely 2 hours is too long.

LifeIsButtercream Fri 29-Jul-11 17:13:03

I know, me too 2shoes I might have to try a different tactic in future, I'm stuck as I don't know what to do next, she seems quite happy to sit on there for the rest of her life rather than apologise.....

lenak Fri 29-Jul-11 17:13:40

The punishment is the time out - saying sorry is nice but not part of the punishment.

All you are doing now is punishing her for not saying sorry - not for what she originally did.

It also sounds like she thinks it is a great attention seeking game.

Give her a hug, get her to eat her tea and then get her PJ's on ready for bed and have a nice cuddle.

wineandroses Fri 29-Jul-11 17:15:23

2 hours is much too long and clearly it's not working. You need to try a different tactic - personally I don't like naughty steps and time-outs, I prefer using reward charts etc, they certainly work in our house.

TotalChaos Fri 29-Jul-11 17:15:47

don't get locked into power battles with a 2 year old. being unreasonable is pretty inherent in being a toddler. as I understand (never did time out as my child was developmentally delayed at that age so wouldn't have got the concept) you are meant to do it for at most a minute for each year of a child's age.

TotalChaos Fri 29-Jul-11 17:16:30

I think 2 is too young to get hung up on saying "sorry" btw. Encourage it by all means, but no point getting at daggers drawn about it.

MamaChocoholic Fri 29-Jul-11 17:16:39

I especially hate the sorry bit at the end of timeouts. at 2, my ds was so stubborn he would have sat there for hours too. I would let her off the step.

FreudianSlipper Fri 29-Jul-11 17:21:48

she is 2 she does not understand the concept of timeout, naughty step, saying sorry or long explanations. most children hit out at that age, you ignore them and take them out of a situation if they are harming other children adn once they have calmed down explain what they did was wrong very briefly, but do not expect them to never do it again

and really make your life easier pick your battles, sometimes it is not worth standing your ground especially when they are at an age when they can not communicate what they are really feeling. jsut because you do not stand you ground does not mean you will end up with an unruly child

Tchootnika Fri 29-Jul-11 17:22:10

FWIW, I do know that I'm a rubbish mum!

No, you are not!!

But as has been said, 2 hours is an eternity for a 2yo.
For your DD, the past is a different country, etc...
By now, she won't remember (or care about) the original reason for TO. She will know that she's in an 'oh yes it is'/'no it isn't' game, and she's completely at the age where she's got a lot more stamina and interest in those games than you have...

Maybe a sterner approach to TO for first 10 mins or so (i.e. no requests for 'sorry', so that you're not asking for anything, just letting her know she's done wrong), then back to normal more quickly?

noblegiraffe Fri 29-Jul-11 17:22:44

Just read the wikipedia page on time out and no where does it say that a sorry is required for release from time out.

What, for you is the purpose of the time out? To get her to calm down? To remove her from the situation? Because if you are attempting to get a two year old to reflect on her actions, be genuinely repentant and offer an honest 'sorry' after two minutes, I think your expectations are a bit high.

When you say she knows what sorry means, she probably think it means 'what I have to say to finish a time-out', or what you say when you do something bad. She's not actually sorry, so why force her to say it?

FreudianSlipper Fri 29-Jul-11 17:23:32

and no you are not a rubbish mum, look up on other parenting advice other than supernanny you may find something that you are happier with and suits you needs. and many child behavioural psychologists do not agree with her tactics

loiner45 Fri 29-Jul-11 17:26:36

Time out is supposed to be one minute for each year of their age... at that point I would let them off the step - but I never found time outs very useful, I tried to use star charts.
I was a rubbish mother too - but mine seem to have survived to adulthood OK and are all very nice people now :-)

BertieBotts Fri 29-Jul-11 17:28:45

Don't let the "method" override common sense.

MamaChocoholic Fri 29-Jul-11 17:32:26

noble that is how supernanny implements it, with a compulsory "sorry" - see here

noblegiraffe Fri 29-Jul-11 17:37:01

I also note that that supernanny site says that you should start using the naughty step when your child is 3.

Good to know that even supernanny doesn't attempt to get a 'genuine apology' from a two year old.

Maryz Fri 29-Jul-11 17:38:04

My son has never said sorry in his entire life. At 2 he would have sat there for days rather than say sorry (and in fact once spent two weeks' worth of breaks at school on a chair outside the headmistress' office because he wouldn't say sorry - he was only released when I found out about it by chance).

You aren't a bad mother, but you might have to be a little more careful about backing yourself into a corner if you have a stroppy determined child smile. You can always breeze in and say "Now, I know you are sorry and won't do X again, so let's go, it's teatime" or something similar.

OrangeHat Fri 29-Jul-11 18:06:26

Oh dear it's turned into a fun game for her! Attention every two minutes with you going to and fro and to and fro...

Let her off and call it a day IMO. You may want to rethink your punishment!

Is she just 2 or nearly 3? Our just 2yo wouldn't really know what was going on, although I have put her behind the stairgate in her room a couple of times (for biting, yikes) and although she did say "orree" when prompted afterwards I don't think she really knew what it was all about. If she is only just 2 I think your aims may be a bit high.

hellospoon Fri 29-Jul-11 18:40:20

ok, this is what i would do.

2 minutes on the step for bad behaviour. If she doesn't complete a FULL 2 minutes within 30 minutes you explain that as she hasn't done a full 2 minutes you are confiscating favorite toy or no time watching TV, whatever is a luxury for her for the rest of the day.

she will soon learn 2 minutes is alot less than a whole day of no favorite item

hellospoon Fri 29-Jul-11 18:40:50

meant to put on the end - 2 hours is far to long it is just a battle of wills now and you need to ensure she knows you are boss

MamaChocoholic Fri 29-Jul-11 18:56:18

I think the supernanny program makes a big thing out of not giving in. you get the voiceover "after returning Dennis to the step an amazing gazillion times over an exhausting twelvety-ten hours, he finally sits quietly and apologises" as if this is the way a successful parent is supposed to treat their child. this may be what is needed to make tv break a child whose behaviour is unmanageable within the timeframe allowed by the schedule, but imho (and I'm still working out this parenting business) something like hellospoon says is going to work better in the long run. after all, I don't actually want to break my child's will, I want to (help him to) control it a little.

LaWeasel Fri 29-Jul-11 19:01:43

Please don't feel like you are rubbish.

Lots of people do naughty stepping with 2yos, and yes the whole "you must say sorry" thing that supernanny does really doesn't seem to work very well at this age. They are just too stubborn for it.

I have a 2yo DD and have two approaches to time outs. One is to do it, then go back to her, explain reasoning and say "are you sorry?" - you are way more likely to get a yes than a sorry if they are being silly.

The other is to judge that the reason she is being so badly behaved is that she is over-tired and put her straight to bed, regardless of the time.

2shoes Fri 29-Jul-11 19:04:12

op your not rubbish, sound like your dd wasn't upset, have a cuddle with her and open the wine.

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