Advanced search

To think there is nothing wrong with saying to a child that doing something is naughty?

(114 Posts)
karencantobe Tue 21-Jan-20 09:27:14

And anyone I know that does ban the use of the word naughty, just uses another word instead anyway.

Blondefancy Tue 21-Jan-20 09:29:21

I use the word naughty all the time (when DD is actually doing something naughty) are we not allowed to say it now?? hmm

BillywigSting Tue 21-Jan-20 09:30:36

Yanbu but there is a difference between 'that's naughty' (indicates the behaviour) and 'you're naughty' (indicates the child).

One says the behaviour is unacceptable and the other says the child is. It's a subtle but powerful difference.

ittakes2 Tue 21-Jan-20 09:31:56

Try positive language ie you need to do this instead of that. Parenting coach said tell the child what you want them to do instead of what you don’t want them to do. Ie Be nice to each other, rather than Stop fighting.

Seeline Tue 21-Jan-20 09:32:04

I think as long as you explain why it is naughty, it is fine. Just telling a child off constantly for being naughty doesn't teach a child how to be 'good'.

Generally though, it is probably helpful to tell a child to stop doing X, with an explanation, rather than just saying stop being naughty.

flyingchip Tue 21-Jan-20 09:32:30

young family member now identifies himself as "the naughty one" as this is what his parents have said... he now actively tries to live up to the name. so I'd beware of what you call them!

slipperywhensparticus Tue 21-Jan-20 09:33:49

You label the behaviour not the child

But if they are doing something naughty bloody say so

echt Tue 21-Jan-20 09:34:33

What BillywigSting said.

And this covers any behaviour, whether by children/parents/employers, etc. Name the action not the person.

This is 101 teacher intervention.

paulinespeaksmanylanguages Tue 21-Jan-20 09:34:53

Yes,, I think we should say your behaviour is naughty.

I also don't like people being labelled as criminals. We should concentrate on the fact that their behaviour has been criminal.

drspouse Tue 21-Jan-20 09:38:11

Some schools and nurseries ban this.
I think children of this age (up to at least 6 or so) are too young to understand the difference between "you are naughty" and "that was naughty".
I prefer to be more specific e.g. that was not kind, that was dangerous, you've hurt X, you know you aren't supposed to take your breakfast into the playroom because we will get what? (Both DCs know the answer is MICE).

DonKeyshot Tue 21-Jan-20 09:52:09


I don't like people being labelled as victims because of the behaviour of murderers, rapists, and assorted other violent criminals.

Emmelina Tue 21-Jan-20 09:55:41

The ‘behaviour’ is naughty, not the child.
You don’t want them to pull the cat’s tail (naughty), you want them to stroke kitty gently (good). The undesirable behaviour needs to be separated from the person.

2020BetterBeBetter Tue 21-Jan-20 09:57:01

So you are judging how others parent? Does it really matter to you and how you live your life?

80sMum Tue 21-Jan-20 10:01:38

I think "naughty" is too generic to have much meaning to a young child. It's better to say "that hurts! Be kind. It's not kind to hurt people". Or "you broke Ben's toy and now he's sad because he can't play with it anymore". I think explanations of the impact and consequences of "being naughty" help children to begin to see why their actions are unacceptable.

lowlandLucky Tue 21-Jan-20 10:09:05

After 3 children ( now 30+) 17 nephew and nieces ( all born when i was between 7 and 21) and having had a career in Early years education i can tell some children ARE naughty . They are not all living the Enid Blyton life. Dress it up how you like but some children are little shits ( the woke are fainting now), and i have even come across ( only 2) children that are pure evil, not a nice thing to see but thats life. Time to get real, children are not perfect angels straight out of the mini boden catalogue

NoMorePoliticsPlease Tue 21-Jan-20 10:12:28

Ha Ha prepare for a very woke MN flaming from all the super Mums who have never come across a thoroughly unpleasant child

madeyemoodysmum Tue 21-Jan-20 10:17:48

Lowland grin

JacquesHammer Tue 21-Jan-20 10:20:22

I don't like the word "naughty" because it simply doesn't give enough information to the child as to why the behaviour isn't acceptable.

Far better to specifically address the particular behaviour that is causing the problem.

yellowallpaper Tue 21-Jan-20 10:23:07

So if a child bites you can't say that was a naughty thing to do? You say it was a bad/painful/thoughtless etc thing? What's the difference. It's just a label. I wouldn't cal a child a naughty child, but I would call a naughty act a naughty act.

funmummy48 Tue 21-Jan-20 10:23:30

@lowlandLucky I couldn't agree more!

karencantobe Tue 21-Jan-20 10:25:16

I have been a victim of crime. Why is that labelling? It is simply recognising reality.

80sMum Tue 21-Jan-20 10:25:24

09lowlandLucky I know what you mean! In the 15 years that I spent working in nursery and pre-schools I came across some children whose default behaviour was thoroughly unpleasant. However, every one of them responded positively to consistent handling of the poor behaviour. By the time they started school, they at least understood the connection between unacceptable behaviour and its consequences - and were fully aware of what was unacceptable and why.

I think telling a child that they are naughty only serves to reinforce to them that image of themselves until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Thestrangestthing Tue 21-Jan-20 10:27:45

Call g a behaviour naughty is fine, it's calling the child naughty that isn't great.

yellowallpaper Tue 21-Jan-20 10:30:00

@JacquesHammer So how do you label a behaviour? A child bites, so you just say you shouldn't bite? Naughty is a descriptive word, not a label. If your not allowed to use naughty, you end up with bad, unpleasant, rude, painful etc. Really don't see the point in banning one negative word for other negative words.

Child deliberately breaks their toy. So you say that's destructive? Doesn't mean you have a destructive child, just destructive behaviour.

In a school or nursery setting I can see why they don't want to use naughty, as it can become a label for that child, but in a home setting we, as adults, can tailor the wording to the behaviour and the child.

karencantobe Tue 21-Jan-20 10:30:56

@2020BetterBeBetter Be realistic, no one is ever judged for not using a word. Parents like me are judged for using the word naughty.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »