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took one hour to get my 4 year old to sit on naughty step

(34 Posts)
united4ever Wed 12-Mar-14 22:28:35

Is,there something i was doing wrong here?

started when my 1 year old was lying on the carpet and he started jumping over her head. I said its dangerous and not to do it. He continued so i said if you do it again you go on the naughty step. So he does it again.

then sat him down on the step and said that i told him not to jump over his sisters head because its dangerous. You did it again so now you can wait here for four minutes. As soo as i leave the room he's up so i keep going back in to sit him down. No tears yet, he thinks its a game and i am keeping a calm face/ tone.

this goes on and on until he's jumping all over the bed and laughing and thinking its a game of chase, i show no emotion and just put him back. Eventually he starts trying to fight/hit me when i put him back. After,an hour there were a few tears, he did 4 minutes and at the end i looked him in the eye, explained why i did it, told him to say sorry and we had a hug.

we haven't used the naughty step for a few weeks. Usually use it when he hits someone and it might take ten minutes (sometimes less) was this the wrong punishment? Or badly carried out. We have had some success with it before.

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Mar-14 09:31:10

I don't use the naughty step at all, I don't like it. For something like that an accompanied timeout would have been plenty, I think (especially as although he was being a bit reckless he didn't actually hurt her). Positive Discipline is a very useful book if you feel in need of some more ideas.

puntasticusername Thu 13-Mar-14 16:13:25

We don't use the naughty step either (not that I disagree with it myself, we just haven't needed to so far) but from your description, it sounds as if your implementation of it this time was textbook. An hour is a long time to take for your DS to come round, but kids can be very determined...!

The only things I'm thinking about it taking that long are: have you, or other caregivers previously been inconsistent about your use of the naughty step? Leading your DS to believe that if he continued to play up, you might abandon the punishment?

Or, as his original crime (jumping over his sister) was a very physical thing, was he just particularly full of energy for some reason? Rainy day, cooped up indoors or something?

neolara Thu 13-Mar-14 16:18:46

Which is why the naughty step doesn't work for lots of people. The theory is that the punishment is removal of attention. But if you end up playing a game of sit on the step / running off the step / fight mummy etc this means the child ends up with masses of attention, albeit negative attention and for the wrong reason. But for most children, any attention is better than no attention. So all you are doing are reinforcing the bad behaviour you wanted to eliminate in the first place.

Instead of the naughty step (hate that phrase) why don't you put your child in another room for a 4 minute time out. If necessary, hold the door shut so dc can't escape.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 13-Mar-14 16:25:53

I don't use punishment at all. I'm not sure if your naughty step procedure sounds effective.

puntasticusername Thu 13-Mar-14 16:28:13

Oh, that's a good point neolara. In theory putting the child back on the naughty step is done without emotion or any kind of engagement with the child, but inevitably - yes, it's still attention isn't it?

Ok then, different question back to OP - what was happening just before DS started jumping over his sister? Were you all interacting positively, or was he in some situation that made him feel he needed to start using extreme tactics to get your attention?

apermanentheadache Thu 13-Mar-14 16:28:19

Atthestroke... what do you do when they have done something dangerous or really bad, then ?!? No punishment, ever??

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 13-Mar-14 16:31:34

If a child does something dangerous I don't think punishment is appropriate. They do need to realise the significance of a potentially dangerous act, like sticking fingers in a socket, but that is curiosity, and it's my job to keep them from danger anyway.

Really bad- I can't say that has happened- what do you mean? There hasn't been a situation that like that.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Mar-14 16:35:14

We used the naughty step but attached to a reward. It went like this.

Sit on the naughty step and think about what you did. Then you can come and say sorry. Then you can have some cake, you can sit and watch a video, play with a favourite toy, etc.

If you don't sit on the step and say sorry you cant have the nice thing.

There is a reward for accepting the punishment.

Moomoomie Thu 13-Mar-14 16:40:04

I use a lot of humour and distraction.
" don't jump over your sister, if you fall on her she will be squashed like a pancake, and who wants a pancake for a sister?, now why don't you go and get your Lego/ cars/ whatever and we will play together"

Often by saying to a child" don't do that again," all they hear is "do that again"

mawbroon Thu 13-Mar-14 16:47:02

I don't use punishments either. I have never had a complaint from anyone, ever, about my children's behaviour. Don't get me wrong, they are not angels all the time at home, for sure.

I am more interested in establishing why they behave in a certain way and dealing with the root cause rather than punishing them.

I want them to behave well because they know it's the right thing to do, and not because they are scared of punishment.

MoreBeta Thu 13-Mar-14 16:53:00

To be honest we used it very rarely.

Only in circumstances where DS1 or DS2 really had to sit down, calm down and think about what they were doing.

HootHootTootToot Thu 13-Mar-14 16:56:14

I used calm, short and consistant time outs for all my kids. They worked really well. I think you sound like yu did everything correctly. Perhaps you can have a chat to him later about his behaviour and the role of the naughty. Step. I don't think you will know if you did the right thing until next time you need him to be punished.
I had my kids pre supper nanny and before the rise of the naughty step so I did things a bit differently. If my kids were going through a naughty stage I would be more strict rather than only focus on the important issues. This seems a bit different to the current advice. My kids were well behaved though so it worked for us.
At 4 I would expect the kids to have stayed put.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 13-Mar-14 16:57:29

Naughty step is a very overrated parenting technique. I always think it only works for the children who don't really need it iyswim.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen has lots of effective techniques for managing behavior. If you use the naughty step and it doesn't work you are told to do it more, or do it differently but really it isn't going to be effective for your child imo.

ZuleikaD Thu 13-Mar-14 17:18:08

No, we don't really do 'punishments' as such either - punishment doesn't actually result in better behaviour.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 13-Mar-14 18:17:27

It's interesting to hear that there are others who don't use punishments too.

Kewcumber Thu 13-Mar-14 18:25:43

I have a child with separation and attachment issues and the naughty step is more than he can cope with - his behaviour escalates dangerously when there is a risk of separation and exclusion.

We use time in instead. If he was being too aggressive/violent then he had to sit on my lap quietly for the right amount of time. I think of it more as a calming technique than a punishment. Like others I've actually had very little problem with his behaviour in public and he's 8 now.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 19:03:47

Why on earth didn't you move the one year old? I have a 4 and 2 year old. I would tell ds what would happen if he landed on her head then move the little one.

Mumstheword21 Fri 14-Mar-14 10:27:25

Personally I'm not sure that naughty step techniques or similar actually result in a long term change of behaviour and I am with the others who don't use punishment...discussion, explanation, humour/playing where appropariate and other such things, but I do try to teach/educate rather than punish.

OP from what you have mentioned in your thread, maybe encourage your DS to ask for attention/a cuddle etc...from you if he feels like he needs it (or if you notice this is what he is really after!!) rather than do something counter-productive.

Meglet Fri 14-Mar-14 10:32:25

It never worked for us either. Not did time out in their rooms, I would be holding the door for 20 mins+ while they kicked the door and bellowed at me. DS had an epic 45 min time out once (against my gut instinct) and it didn't make a jot of difference, thanks HV who claimed he "would learn" hmm.

All I have managed to do is a very stern telling off, star jumps / push ups etc (to diffuse the situation) or time out in the garden if the weather is ok. Even then they've been known to throw things at the windows.

They're fine at school though.

Meglet Fri 14-Mar-14 10:33:49

kew I love the idea of 'time in'. Never heard of it before, I'll give it a go smile.

Goldmandra Fri 14-Mar-14 10:40:14

Next time tell him to "Stop". Then get him to sit down for a moment to calm down. Once he's calm, ask him why it isn't a good idea to jump over his sister's head and then get him engaged in a different activity.

If you need to impose a consequence make it one that is caused by his actions, e.g. "You will now need to choose a quiet sitting down game to help you stay calm and remember what I have asked you" or "Well I was going to go and get the new jigsaw out but now I will have to stay with you to help you remember not to jump over your sister."

Don't impose a consequence that he has to cooperate with and can end up going on so long that he's forgotten what he did to earn it. Supernanny uses it to show children that their parents have taken charge and they now mean what they say. There are better ways to do it but they may not make such good TV. If your DS already recognises your authority you don't need to engage in such a ridiculous charade.

You might also find that he cooperates better if you tell him what you do want him to do, e.g. sit down, rather than what you don't want him to do.

Superworm Fri 14-Mar-14 10:59:37

This is a really useful guide to boys discipline and provides rationale behind it. Children aren't able to reflect before five so the naughty step is pointless really.

The techniques work if you adopt them consistently.

MrsC1966 Fri 14-Mar-14 11:46:28

Never used the naughty step method as it seems like pretty hard work that often doesn't work. Personally I would have picked up the 1 yr old and made an awful lot of fuss (rushed him/her off to administer albeit fake first aid) whilst totally ignoring 4yr old. But later discussed my disappointment of jumping on head incident with 4yr old in a grown up way.
Wise words from Mawbroon - "I want them to behave well because they know it's the right thing to do, and not because they are scared of punishment"

TheGreatHunt Fri 14-Mar-14 12:08:16

MrsC, the boy didn't jump on her head. He didn't hurt her, just could have done.

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