Wednesday, 2 May 2012

What do you think about the naughty step?

In recent years it has become very fashionable to punish children by making them sit on the naughty step for time out. I am really interested to find out what you think about this as a discipline method?
I understand that there are occasions when it is in everyone’s interest to have some space and I think there are other ways to get this.  My issue with the naughty step is, that far from the child focusing on what they have done to merit being on the step and coming to the conclusion that what they did was wrong, that they are sorry and then decide not to do it again, it actually has the opposite effect.  
Think back to your own childhood and to something you did that evoked a negative reaction from your parents.  My experiences usually involved my younger sister and I would be sent to my room (the naughty step hadn’t been “invented” yet) to “think about what I had done” and to cool down! I wan’t allowed down until I had said sorry!
What might you be thinking about in this situation?  Would you be contrite or would you be seething?  Would you decide, a) I’m never going to do that again or b) I’m going to make sure I don’t get caught next time?  Maybe you might spend the time deciding how to get your revenge on your sibling or maybe you just felt helpless and decide life just isn’t fair.
Whatever your experience was, I’m guessing it didn’t have the desired effect.  
Some other ways to ensure better behaviour are:
  • Praise positive behaviour
  • Set a few clear and fair boundaries
  • Be firm, but also listen to your child
  • Set a good example
  • Show your child you care with positive comments and lots of affection
  • Use a reward system as these are also a positive way of encouraging good behaviour 

Remember, if you use the “Naughty” step often enough, your child will conclude that he is naughty and will play up to this label. 

You now know what I think of the Naughty Step but what do you thnk?  Please post your comment below.

Happy parenting.

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