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Naughty Step - how do you introduce it?

(55 Posts)
missorinoco Mon 08-Jun-09 14:38:48

DS is two, and I like the idea of the naughty step as a parenting technique. I understand the concept behind it, and how to keep him on it, but am wondering how those of you how use it started off?

If I just say "right that's it, you're going on the naughty step" I don't think he'll know what I'm talking about.


Gateau Mon 08-Jun-09 14:52:21

Well, I've only used this once for my DS, also two. I didn't introduce it as such, it was a kind of 'at the end of my tether' measure but he did look quite affronted when I did put him on it. Nothing usually has any effect!
From now on, though, I am going to start with the counting thing because they do that at his nursery. I'll say something along the lines of "I'm going to count to three and if you haven't stopped what you're doing then you'll be going on the naughty step."
I'll see how it goes.
However they don't like using the word 'naughty' in nursery. I really don't understand how this is an offensive term. I mean, if they're naughty, they're naughty, right? There's no other word for it. It's not like you're calling them bad or stupid. They get 'time out' in nursery if the count to three method doesn't work, ie , in the same room but separated from the rest of the kids for two minutes. Same principle, really, just a different name.

piscesmoon Mon 08-Jun-09 19:41:05

Why do you like the idea? Just curious.

FrannyandZooey Mon 08-Jun-09 19:41:52

<whispers> don't bother

hullygully Mon 08-Jun-09 19:42:59

It's RUBBISH (shouts very loudly and emphatically).

FrannyandZooey Mon 08-Jun-09 19:43:46

TheBreastmilksOnMe Mon 08-Jun-09 19:43:57

Personally I wouldn't use the word 'naughty step' as it's making it into too much of an issue. Instead I would call it 'time out' then you can just use it and say 'right- time out' when you think you or him has had enough. In my house we've got the 'silly-billy step' grin

Highlander Tue 09-Jun-09 08:16:56

he won't understand why he's there and how it is supposed to contribute to socially acceptable behaviour. DS1 (4.5) is asked to go to the bottom of the stairs to think about how to be gentle/not throw things etc etc.

Up until 4, they learn more if you gently discourage naughty stuff and at the same time (V v v important) demonstrate the correct behaviour.

e.g Ooh, DS2 we don't hit! That can be sore. Oh look at DS1, he is very sad because you hit him and he's hurting. Why don't you show him how you can be gentle (muchos praise for being gentle).

With all children, it's important to have a ratio of approx 5:1 of positive:negative praise.

PortBlacksandResident Tue 09-Jun-09 08:27:00

As a general rule i have found the children who have a naughty step are naughtier.

Is it becasue they can almost get away with it by sitting sulkily on a step for a few minutes then back to twatting little sister or is it that the parents make a bigger deal of 'naughty' behaviour so they end up on it more or it becomes more noticeable <head explodes>.

flyingdolphin Tue 09-Jun-09 08:41:39

Why bother - haven't seen any sign that it works for friends who use it - all our children are equally naughty.
I think it is designed for parents to get some peace and quiet for a few minutes every now and then.

messymissy Tue 09-Jun-09 08:58:40

Agree with flyingdolphin - havent seen anyone who it works for - except on TV!

Also, i just dont like the idea of humiliating and labelling the child like that - you are naughty so you have to sit on the step. And at two I just dont think they can grasp the concept of naughty. I think highlander has the right idea.

psychomum5 Tue 09-Jun-09 09:02:09

works for me, altho it doesn;t have a name, they just get told they will have to sit on the stairs if they don;t stop what they are doing by the count of three.

I have always done it, did it when I was a childrens nanny (she clearly stole the idea from mewinkgrin), and my children know I mean business when I threaten them with it.

I don;t even have to count out loud anymore...........holding up one finger works just as well, and they stop.

well, I say that.........doesn;t always stop the psychoboy2 when he is dangling off the bookshelveshmmangry.

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:04:21

It also works for my son's nursery, although, as I said before, they don't call it 'naughty step.' It's 'time out' there.

missorinoco Tue 09-Jun-09 10:49:20

Thankyou for all your replies.

I liked the idea as a time out strategy (that seemed to work for Supernanny blush, might be overestimating my parenting skills here) and I know someone else who uses it, although lots more of you say it's rubbish, so I'm now wondering.....

That's a great idea re not calling it the naughty step.

Off to have a rethink. Those of you who think it's rubbish (quietly or loudly!), can I ask why?

piscesmoon Tue 09-Jun-09 11:51:40

I think that Supernanny uses it because she deals with dysfunctional families where things have gone very wrong. She tends to try and get the family to spend time together and have fun, but the thing that sticks in everyones mind is 'the naughty step'. She has a very short space of time and TV cameras, who want a lively programme.
If you only have a 2 yr old (no time for things to go badly wrong as still a baby really)and have had them from birth, with lots of time you should be able to avoid the confrontation and not have to resort to it.

flamingobingo Tue 09-Jun-09 11:57:34

You don't grin

Horrid invention, as is Supernanny.

Suggest you read How to Talk so Kids Will Listen... by Faber & Mazlish and Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn.

It's rubbish because

a) it doesn't work
b) it's counter-productive
c) I think it's morally wrong
d) it doesn't work
e) it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy
f) it doesn't work
g) children are a million times more complex than conditioning-type 'discipline' methods like to think
h) I would prefer my children to grow up learning not to hit because it's not a nice thing to do, not because they are threatened with the naughty step (or any other punishment)
i) time out for a tantrum is not helpful - tantrums require a loving adult on hand to help the toddler learn how to calm down until they're old enough to take on that emotional job themselves
j) it doesn't work

I've got four children - trust me, unconditional love does work, and is morally right.


Good luck with whatever you choose - complicated thing, bringing up children wink

greenelephant Tue 09-Jun-09 11:57:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flamingobingo Tue 09-Jun-09 11:58:19

Sorry - naughty step is rubbish because... not faber & mazlish is rubbish because... blush

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 12:02:38

OP, if you want to use this method of discipline then go ahead with it. Your child, your discipline method.

greenelephant Tue 09-Jun-09 12:03:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maltesers Tue 09-Jun-09 12:05:23

I still use the naughty step for my ds and it works here. Once my ds comes off the step after a few minutes he is fine and behaving well. What other tactics do you mums use then to get in control of your badly behaved kids ?
At 2 its still a bit young but by two and a half, if you want to introduce it then you say.
"This is the naughty step and when you are naughty and dont do as mummy says then Mummy is going to make you sit her on this step for a little bit"....

psychomum5 Tue 09-Jun-09 12:06:17

works for mine flamingo............but then, while they are on the stairs I am normally sat next to them explaining why I have told them to sit there, and because it is on the stairs (and therefore the boring spot away from the TV), I normally get them alone for said explaining/telling off, which means the others aren;t there staring at them, and they take in what I say properly.

I rarely use it now, except for the DS2 houdini child!

flamingobingo Tue 09-Jun-09 12:10:10

yes, green elephant, you can love them unconditionally. Unfortunately they don't know you're still loving them when you are banishing them somewhere and, therefore, feel loved only on condition they behave. Which can make them behave worse to test your love - vicious cycle.

Ok, it may work to get them doing what you want, but, to me, it doesn't work to get them doing the right thing because it's the right thing. Extrinsic motivation vs. intrinsic motivation.

maltesers Tue 09-Jun-09 12:16:16

Very surprised so many mums think the Step is rubbish and doesnt work. You cannot negotioate with a 2-5 year old.. when they are being impossible and disruptive and disobedient. It the only thing i found really works and i have looked after kids for 30 years. I am now 50 with 3 kids, 21, 18 and 8 . My 8 yr old still goes there , rarely but i still mention it to stop bad behaviour. He respects it and still goes there to reflect about what has happened. It is a place for TIme Out, yes, and a good one. Better than smacking, the old fashioned method. However, i often now take away a privilege which works well too.

bosch Tue 09-Jun-09 12:21:45

ds3 is 2 1/2 and seems to see getting sent to the naughty step as a bit of a right of passage. If he's throwing food or not eating nicely, then he gets a warning and then gets sent to the naughty step. When he comes back he tells us he's going to be good now and generally does stop whatever the behaviour was. For now he's nearly disciplining himself so for me it works!

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