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How to make the Naughty Step work for you

Updated on April 29, 2014

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I am sure a lot of parents around the world are using the naughty step or a naughty corner or a timeout place, as a way to discipline young children.

For that method to work, parents need to stay calm and in control, whilst the child is learning his/her boundaries. This method is used when a child’s behavior is unacceptable and unreasonable. One and only way does not exist and every child (and every parent) is different, therefore all parents need to adopt that method to their family life, routines and house rules. The ultimate result is that the child will have a chance to calm down and think over what was wrong with their behavior. So, here is some advice on how it can work best for you and your little one.

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How to make the Naughty Step work for you

Be consistent and you will be successful. Children will always repeat bad behavior within a short period of time from the moment you used the naughty step. And the next day, they will automatically do the same thing. If all the adults of the household use the naughty step consistently, then it will become a routine and then a house rule. For a toddler to associate the action with the consequence there needs to be a consistent approach. There is no need to shout or scream, but parents need to remain calm and be in control.

You are the adults and you have certain rules in the house that everyone respects. That is the way that you showing your child your expectations and that, despite they are young and playful, they have to respect those house rules. Do not give up and do not bend.


Do it the Right Way!

You might have to put your child on the naughty step 10 or 20 times but at the end the unwanted behavior will stop. You must be strong and show to your child that you are going to fight or argue about certain things. You are their parent and not their friend, and so there is no need to pull or push. You are there to teach your child the proper behavior and give them an opportunity to think, however small they are, their actions and the importance of saying sorry. Always be gentle but firm. Continue to put them back on the naughty step and keep telling them the reasons for being there.

In addition, try to ignore their tantrums and by remaining consistent, they will eventually accept the punishment.

In case your child finds this amusing and laughs about it, it is usually because they are testing your boundaries. Eliminate all distractions and place the naughty step in a quiet place, where there is nothing to fiddle or nobody to talk to. If you can choose the most boring corner for them, the better. If you are outdoors, then do not wait to go back home and put them in their naughty corner. Find a quiet place and speak to them about their behavior. Once your child understands that the fun can carry on, as long as the behavior is corrected and says sorry, then you can all carry on and enjoy the rest of your day.

Hot Use the Naughty Step Correctly

Change the Behavior, Not the Child

Remember, you are trying to change the behavior and NOT the child. So, be careful about the things you say to them. Stick on the actions and never mix too many of them. One action at a time! You do not want to confuse them.

Every new rule or discipline technique is difficult at first. Just stay calm, be consistent and remain firm and it will get easier... eventually!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had to read this simply because I didn't know what a naughty step was....now I get it, and I agree completely. Your line that the parent is the adult is right on. This needs to be read by about a million parents. Well done.

    • DemiT profile image
      Author

      DemiT 4 years ago from Greece

      Thanks billybuc! I think sometimes parents get confused about what's their role in the family. I strongly believe that knowing that you are not their friend but their parent, is a key to many issues that arise in a family.

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