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To use the word "naughty"

(406 Posts)
speedymama Tue 29-May-07 09:40:37

DTS are 3 yo and go to nursery. This weekend they chastised me and DH for using that word. They did something that I had asked them not to do and I told them to stop being naughty. DT1 retorted with "don't say naughty, I'm not naughty, you can't say naughty". So I responded with "well stop misbehaving then!"

I spoke to the nursery about this and they confirmed that they are not allowed to use the word naughty because it labels the child rather than the act. Now I'm all for positive parenting but there comes a time when you have to just tell how it is. I don't call my boys name but I do point out their bad behaviour and I also praise them when they are being good. In fact, I praise more than I chastise.

As a child, when my parents told me that I was being naughty, I took notice. Now my 3yo DTS read me the riot act. Well, I will not be dictated to by a toddler and if that makes me a dinosaur in terms of modern day parenting, so be it.

So am I a recalcitrant, anachronistic, old fashioned dinosaur who refuses to indulge the latest fads in parenting as dictated by a bunch of pinko liberal, arm wringing, bleeding heart busybodies?

Hulababy Tue 29-May-07 09:53:44

I don't tend to say "you are naughty" type comments, but I will label a behaviour as naughty or not nice.

So "don't do that, it's naughty" rather than "don't be naughty".

Popple Tue 29-May-07 09:53:45

I don't think you should call a child naughty.
I've read a lot about this - it's to do with being labelled and how this affects your expectations of yourself and shapes your behaviour. Can any of you look back on your childhood and identify how you were labelled and then lived up (or down) to that label? It's almost like placing a rubber band around a person and saying 'you are this person, this is your identity'. It makes me feel upset that people think this is OK.

Nurseries are not supposed to call children naughty. Perhaps they were just correcting other children who were calling your twins naughty? Rather than saying 'your mummy isn't allowed to call you naughty'? I wouldn't complain about it and get het up at the nursery staff when they are obviously trying to treat your children well.

It is fine to say 'drawing on the walls in a naughty thing to do'. They then see that behaviour as something that is bad rather than just them being bad.

So, yes. I do think you are being unreasonable. Look around on the internet and have a look at the literature that backs this approach up.

speedymama Tue 29-May-07 09:53:59

I agee with not labelling children but I don't see what is wrong with saying "stop being naughty" as oppose to "you are being naughty".

The former is labelling the behaviour whereas the latter is labelling the child, as far as I can see.

OrmIrian Tue 29-May-07 09:54:58

How about 'ill-advised' or' challenging' or 'below par in the behavioural stakes'.

fireflyfairy2 Tue 29-May-07 09:56:03

I think it also depends on what you have been brought up with saying. Eg: A potty training thread I was on yesterday I said I asked my ds if he was dirty & he said no.

A couple of posters advised me not to use the word dirty incase ds gets to thinking that his poo is dirty & holds it in more [which I can totally understand] And I have taken it on board, telling the c/minder today not to use it [she looked at me like I was a monster & I didn't try to tell her that MN suggested we lose the word for a while]

But here, dirty is a common word, everyone says it, so it's not like he is any different from lots of children being potty trained around the country....

Perhaps your use of the word naughty is as common as my use of the word dirty?

JoolsToo Tue 29-May-07 09:56:06

Popple - must be why I'm a gibbering wreck then


Greensleeves Tue 29-May-07 09:56:08

Your OP is obnoxious IMO speedy. There's a definite ring of the "PC Gone Mad!!!" Sun-reader-style blustering indignation about it.

Hulababy Tue 29-May-07 09:56:26

I also think labelling the behaviour or act actually helps to clarify things more for a child. "Stop beingnaughty" means very little really - - they may not always know exactly what it is they are doing that is the naughty bit, especially when little. However "don't crayon on the wall, it is naughty" or similar identifies exactly what behaviour is the naughty bit and makes it clearer for the child. Do that make sense??

speedymama Tue 29-May-07 09:56:29

Popple, I did not call the twins naughty, I asked them to stop being naughty - there is a big difference there which seems to be lost on a lot of people these days.

morningpaper Tue 29-May-07 09:56:57

I agree with the nursery

I don't say "You are naughty" or "You are mean" or "You are stupid" - how many people will tell you that their parents said things like that to them, and it became self-fulfilling?

I will say "That was a naughty thing to do" or "That was a silly thing to do" instead

I hear people saying "You are so naughty" etc. and it does grate a bit

The nursery aren't sending the children home to tell you off - all you are hearing is what the nursery say to the children, e.g. "Archie don't tell Stella she is naughty!"

littlelapin Tue 29-May-07 10:00:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

speedymama Tue 29-May-07 10:00:36

Greensleaves, well fortunately I don't read the Sun, Mail etc and my post is borne out of fustration with the creeping curtailment on parents being trusted to use their own judgements and common sense without being made to feel inadequate or insufficient to raise their own children responsibly.

morningpaper Tue 29-May-07 10:01:02

[Actually I don't think I use the word NAUGHTY at all. Except when reading 'My Naughty Little Sister'. It's a bit of a strange word isn't it? Something we only apply to children. It's got a bit of the Kenneth Williams about it.]

littlelapin Tue 29-May-07 10:01:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoolsToo Tue 29-May-07 10:02:29

You know, on these forums there are some posts that come across as being very righteous but in the same breath are condemning whole groups of people for reading certain newspapers or whatever as though they are somehow second class and have no right to an opinion.

morningpaper Tue 29-May-07 10:02:32

Speedymama only YOU can make yourself feel inadequate

The best thing to do is find out all about the issue and make a reasoned decision one way or the other

GiantSquirrelSpotter Tue 29-May-07 10:04:21

Hold on, Speedy isn't saying she wants to call her child naughty. She's saying she uses the word to describe a behaviour. Labelling the act, not the child, exactly what we're supposed to do. Where's the disagreement? Isn't she complaining about the non use of the word naughty to label behaviour?

Greensleeves Tue 29-May-07 10:05:08

Nothing like a bit of sideways passive-aggressive non-specific lily-livered needling, is there Jools

Gobbledigook Tue 29-May-07 10:05:56

Spot on Jools

littlelapin Tue 29-May-07 10:06:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MellowMa Tue 29-May-07 10:06:27

Message withdrawn

Greensleeves Tue 29-May-07 10:06:40

pmsl at the pincer movement

Gobbledigook Tue 29-May-07 10:11:19


morningpaper Tue 29-May-07 10:11:20

Certain newspapers are crap and offensive and poisoning our society into becoming a group of xenophobic, irrational, paedo-hating nutters

is that ok?

cheekymonk Tue 29-May-07 10:11:33

Speedymama I was also corrected by my nursery when asked how I told my child off. I say "that was naughty" rather than "you are naughty" but was told that I should talk about feelings as that is what nursery do.
Apparently I should say "it makes mummy cross when you do that" or it makes "mummy sad" etc. I have said this in the past but worried it would be loading unnecessary guilt on ds. I did notice however that this had the best effect! I felt very put in place but would rather know sooner than later. I know I am far from a perfect mum!

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