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|So, my ad has a theory that the naughty step/time out is more damaging, long term, than smacking

(23 Posts)
lisbey Thu 29-Oct-09 11:11:55

It goes along the lines of you (me & DSis) were smacked and you turned out OK, so were your mother & I. It's a short sharp punishment, which is generally effective and then all's forgotten. We were smacked, not beaten and only rarely for really bad behaviour BTW.

Time out gives the massage that the behaviour (or child) is so awful that we (the adults) can't bear to have them near us.

It's mainly aimed at MY DSis, as her boys (2 & 3) do seem to send a lot of time on the step and he argues that any punishment you need to use a lot isn't working.

What do you think?

lisbey Thu 29-Oct-09 11:13:03

That's my Dad blush

FlamingoBingo Thu 29-Oct-09 11:14:03

I think they're both as damaging as eachother.

lisbey Thu 29-Oct-09 12:39:30

what do you use then Flamingo?

FlamingoBingo Thu 29-Oct-09 12:40:49

I don't 'use' anything. We try to do the things that are suggested in books like How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. The book that has made us think the hardest about how to parent is Winning Parent, Winning child - about consensual living.

Prunerz Thu 29-Oct-09 12:51:44

Smacking is a no-no for all sorts of obvious reasons (my dad has exactly the same views as yours).

I never got along with the naughty step but I find as ds is older now (6ish) that sending him to his room is sometimes the only way we can both keep sane beyond a certain point in the argument. I try not to let things get to that point and they don't any more.

We never did the naughty step because a) ds flatly refused and that caused a bigger hoo-hah than the one we were trying to teach him was unacceptable (would have had to hold him dow = abusive imo)
b) MN put me off it - the wholesale acceptance of it as a 'technique' gave me the willies
c) I sort of agree with your dad there.

I don't have any answers. We had a very stubborn, very forceful toddler, and I have had a lot of hard times over it. We couldn't tackle any of that in any serious way until he got a bit older. The 'if you nip it in the bud now' thing is a pretty idea but not always true. Now, things are much better. The naughty step would probably work quite well now, funnily enough (but it makes me shudder).

Stigaloid Thu 29-Oct-09 12:55:23

We tried the naughty step over the weekend as DS thought it amusing to throw things at my face and continued after being told to stop. We placed him on the step and told him to wait there until he was ready to say sorry. He just sat there obediently! I couldn't even last the 2 minutes before going to him and saying 'are you ready to say sorry for throwing things in Mummy's face?' and he said 'yes - sorry mummy' gave me a cuddle and ran off to play. Am wondering if the child minder has been secretly using the naughty step as i expected it to be a lot harder to get him to stop and behave.....hmm

FernieB Thu 29-Oct-09 12:55:33

I tend to think that any punishment which involves lengthy explanations is not effective for very young kids - they don't have the patience to listen or the ability to understand fully. Sometimes a quick smack would be more effective. My Gran once told me that as a young child my mum went through a phase of biting her siblings. After one incident, my Gran took my mums hand and bit it - my mum never bit anyone again. Whilst I don't think I could do this myself, I can see the logic.

Mine are now 9 and able to understand explanations, however, boring they may find them (and I make them really boring - it's part of the punishment). As little ones though, I never had to use a naughty step, I found they responded to "No" or else I would threaten to count to 3 (luckily this worked, I actually had no plan of what to do when I got to 3). I think I was blessed with particularly well-behaved kids, although their bickering is making up for it now.

stakethroughtheheartofgold Thu 29-Oct-09 13:00:34

all isn't forgotten with smacking. 30 years on i still remember hiding petrified in my room anticipating a smack that never came. i have not wish to instill good behaviour in my kids through fear.

time out diffuses a situation (ime, if it didn't i wouldn't do it) and makes it less likely that the adult will strike out (verbally or physically) through anger.

claw3 Thu 29-Oct-09 13:13:30

I think there is a big difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline teaches a child to replace an old behaviour with a new behaviour ie we dont do that we do this instead. Punishment ie withdrawal of privileges, time out, smacking etc doesnt teach a new behaviour, just stops the old behaviour in the short term.

Smacking a child for smacking, wouldnt make any sense at all.

lilyjen Thu 29-Oct-09 13:47:08

I agree with Claw3 about there's a difference between disapline and puishment. However Claw3 I think your missing something in your argument there..You cannot teach a new behaviour to a child without teaching them that the current behaviour isn't acceptable. You also canot reason everything out to a child as if they were an an adult so you need methods of controlling their behaviour in order to teach and guide them in an age appropriate manner.

Time out/naughty steps, smacking, withdrawel of privileges etc are all methods different parents use to make clear boundaries to their children. I don't think any of these methods work if they're not used properly, consistantely or in a moment of temper but I think that NO method/back up plan in the face of wilful difiance in controlling children's behaviour is a very bad idea.

More worring is the effect of NO correction than debatable types/methods.

Listening to your child is very important..but they also need to listen to you and you need to teach them how. They are not adults with fairness already programmed in. No parent enjoys having to teach their child in a way their child doesn't like but it's none-the-less an ESSENTIAL part of parenting and it takes a hell of a lot more out of you to do than not do.

Personally I think permissive parenting is everywhere at the moment and if you look around you it's clear what the results are already. We live in a very selfish society where people think they can do what they want to who they want and right and wrong is changing all the time...i'm ranting

claw3 Thu 29-Oct-09 14:14:31

Well the idea is you replace an unacceptable behaviour with a more acceptable one, so there is no need to teach that the old one was unacceptable, you are replacing it ifswim.

For example you tell your child not to do something and they go ahead and do it. If you gave them a smack or time out, you are just stopping the behaviour for the time being. If you show them what you want them to do instead, you are replacing the behaviour.

Im assuming we are talking about young children here who are still learning right from wrong and not 16 year olds!

lilyjen Thu 29-Oct-09 14:31:48

I'm not sure that simply showing them what you want them to do instead is enough to make them actually want to do it. How many times will you show a child what you want them to do? If they choose to ignore that because it's less appealing to them what are you going to do? I don't think anyone punishes a child for a first time misdemeaner, in that case you would show them how to do the right thing, i'm talking wilful defiance here..they know what they should do and they don't want to!

Sometimes you need to stop their behaviour because they wont..

16 year olds are definately in a different category to smaller children.

claw3 Thu 29-Oct-09 14:43:24

Punishing them doesnt make them want to do it either. 9/10 children are behaving that way, because they dont know an alternative and we assume that they know what we want them to do instead.

Telling a child what you want them to do, instead of what not to do, makes a difference. For example my older boys (when younger) always kicking a football around in the house. I would tell them time and time again to stop playing football in the house, until i would end up shouting at them.

I assumed they knew what i wanted them to do, i changed to pick the football up and put it in the garden and it stopped. No shouting and so much less stress.

Bubbaluv Thu 29-Oct-09 15:41:53

I use the naughty step when DS ignores even after being shown what we would prefer him to do.
If he hits the dog he is told NO and shown how to gently stroke the dog. If he hits the dog again he sits and faces the wall. This does seem to have an effect on his behaviour for quite some time afterwards. He now also takes himself off to look at the wall if he hits or kicks or does something he knows warrants such a punishment.

claw3 Thu 29-Oct-09 17:54:26

Yeah sorry should have added, that i do use time out, not against it, just pointing out the difference between discipline and punishment

lilyjen Thu 29-Oct-09 20:09:06

I don't think it matters whether or not they want to do it Claw3 and I thinks that's more to the point. You have to teach a child to do things they don't want to do and sometimes it's a tough lesson.

Good to know you do use a disapline method though and I do get what you're saying.

colditz Thu 29-Oct-09 20:16:59

I think what we have to remember is that everyone's idea of 'good behavior of children' is completely different. Ditto everyone's idea about their own children - one of my friends seriously told me the other day "I'm so pleased with X, he's turning out to be such a good mannered boy" - X is the rudest child I've ever met.

So people could be saying "Well I use method A and my children are lovely" - they might be the only person in the universe who would describe those children as lovely!

We cannot judge the effect of each individual discipline by anecdote alone - anecdotes are a very personal, emotive thing. Of course I'm going to say "I did A and my children are perfect" - even parents whose children are onn the brink of going to Young Offender's Institutions think their children are wonderful most of the time!

TombliBOOOOOObs Thu 29-Oct-09 20:38:13

I don't agree with the naughty step for young children at all. Not least, because it makes everything much bigger and I think, in turn the children remember it and continue to do whatever it was the parents are trying to stop.

I have seen the naughty step used frequently with 1 and 2 year olds, way too young imo.

I agree with time out for some older children, having time to calm down and come away from a negative situation can often help.

I don't agree with smacking and don't think that smacking is better than any of the above, though the regularity and severity of some people's naughty step methods can be just as aggressive.

TombliBOOOOOObs Thu 29-Oct-09 20:44:28

I also agree with Colditz about people linking their method and the fabulous results they have seen with their 'challenging' child, I am especially dubious when said parent is extolling the virtues of <insert latest discipline technique> whilst said child is hitting everyone in sight. wink

pipWereRabbit Thu 29-Oct-09 20:52:57

I think parents need to have as many different tools available to them as possible, e.g. anticipating a tantrum; distracting a child at the key moment; using reward charts; listening to a child and helping them find their own solutions; time out; using lots of praise; ignoring bad behaviour etc.etc.etc.

Part of the skill of parenting is being able to pick the right tool for the right occassion. No one approach is going to work day in and day out. Plus, keeping the element of surprise can give a parent a headstart. grin.

lilyjen Thu 29-Oct-09 21:12:54

I totally agree pipwereRabbit..nicely put smile

Prunerz Fri 30-Oct-09 15:51:14

I find the idea of a small child being made to face the wall absolutely heartbreaking.
I am not a fan of the naughty step but it's at least not as emotive as that.

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