Naughty Step!

Lisamarie - posted on 05/12/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,
I have two children aged 4 and 22 months. My question is regarding the naughty step. My daughter (4 year old) has been using the naughty step since she was 2 years old, a minute for every year, we use the oven timer so it beeps when her time is up so she knows when she can get off. Unfortunately no matter how hard we try she still does not listen and still throws tantrums and runs away when she is on the step.
I am after some advice on exactly how other parents use the naughty step/chair, how their children behave whilst on the step/chair and do you have any back ups incase the step doesn't work?
I am just asking advice on naughty step discipline, please do not suggest smacking/spanking as it is personally something I do not believe in, I trust that the naught step works I just haven't figured out the right way to use it!
Thank you.

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Hi there, love JuLeah's comments, so spot on! But if you are going to use the naughty step, I prefer to call it the 'thinking spot' where they go to 'think' about what they 'should' have done or be doing. If they refuse to stay there or throw a tantrum, they get put in 'time out', which is a boring place where they can be contained till they can regain contol and are prepared to sit quietly and think. They can't think while they are out of control. With younger kids, sometimes they just need to be held, till they can calm down and think. They they return to the 'thinking spot' to think about the correct behaviour, "I need to pick up the toys like Mummy asked, not throw them across the room", younger ones may need you to verbalise and they can agree and follow up by showing they are going to be obedient. Strong willed kids can feel like really hard work, but if you can get a bit creative with the way you deal with things and pick your battles you'll have an amazing kid who hasn't had their spirit squashed and won't get walked all over.

JuLeah - posted on 05/12/2011

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Drawing on the wall: She draws on the wall, she cleans the wall. Then you put large paper on the wall so she has a place to draw :) Odds are she is doing that for attention.



Asking a child to say "I'm sorry" is teaching them to lie, in my opinion. She is not sorry. If a person is sorry, you see that in their behavior; they stop doing the things they are sorry for :)



Could be the hitting is about attention too, and if she is wanting attention; she hits her brother and you spend the next 40 minutes focused on making her sit on a step, then you offer hugs and kisses and talking time .... her plan really is working - She is getting a lot of attention for hitting her brother, and if that is her goal, she won't stop hitting him anytime soon.



On the plus side, she is a smart kid, congrats -



If all attention is given to the kid who is hit? If he is picked up and played with and she is ignored for a few minutes?



Say, "We don't hit" and then focus your attention only on him.



Then teach her better ways to get your attention. Give her something that will work and she will use it. Most always the goal of a child is attention seeking or work avoidence and knowing that, you can react and respond in a way to shape their behavior into something you want.



All bevahior is about getting a need met, so if you know the need and can help them meet that need with a behavior you want, it is a better day for all.



This is why punishment doesn't work. You can punish the behavior away, at least while the adult is looking, but the need remains and they will find a different behavior to get it met. The new behavior might be more extreem. Good luck

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My timeout chair is in my master bedroom. He doesn't ever play in there..it's so boring, there are no toys. I turn off the TV when I start my day, so it's always quiet in there too. The heavy drapes keep the room dark cool and quiet.
When I take him to timeout...I tell him, "You need to sit right here and calm down. I put him in the chair and I go to the door. If he stands up, I enter the room and sit him down. No words. If all else is failing...and sometimes even the timeout chair doesn't work...we go for a walk. Change the environment...we walk to the mailbox or go tour the blooming flowers. This is foolproof to end his meltdown...change the environment. Once he has calmed down, I go to him and reach my arms out...usually he already has his arms out wanting me to pick him up. This is when we have our "talk aboutit" (whatever he did wrong)
If the meltdown went as far as having to go outside...we have our talkaboutit out there...as soon as the sniveling is over.

Julianne - posted on 05/12/2011

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i think the minute for each year is crazy. her time should not even start till she is sitting quietly and then she stays till she is ready to listen and follow directions. if she gets up and does the same thing she goes right back.

Tammy - posted on 05/12/2011

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Try not using a timer, but instead telling her that she needs to sit there until she can make a better choice, behave appropriately...or whatever the situation. If she returns to the behavior, return her to the step. When you eliminate the time issue you take away the power struggle to have her comply with staying there based on time, and focus on the behavior you want to eliminate or replace. Good luck.

19 Comments

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Lisamarie - posted on 05/15/2011

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@Jennifer, not sure who your comment was aimed at but my daughter is 4 years and 4 months old.

Tracy - posted on 05/15/2011

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@JENNIFER Unfortunately Katilyn knows what she is doing that is why she will shut the bedroom door before she turns on the light. When she has something she is not supposed to she takes it and hides with it then tears into it. She waits until I am out of the room folding laundry or in the bathroom then heads behind my recliner which she has to get down and crawl to get there which is in a corner so it is deliberately blocking stuff (printer, DVD's, file cabinet) that she is not supposed to be into it. As soon as she notices me there she will try shoving the stuff back and quick getting out of there or get off the counters quick or shoving arm fulls of clothes back into the dresser. Kaitlyn has accidentally head butted me so I seen stars and she then strokes my face and says "sorry, sorry, sorry". These are all signs that she is quite capable of reasoning. She knows she is going to get in trouble and does it anyway

Jen - posted on 05/14/2011

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I work with 2 year olds; and honestly this doesn't seem to strange. They call it the terrible two's for a reason. lol.

We can't use time-outs or naughty steps with the children, unless they're 3. I don't think a child can understand why they're being punished that way at that age.

Some of the toddler's dont' even get why they're in trouble. I don't think they're brain is developed enough to understand certain things. One developmental book I've had to learn even said that children dont' realize their actions have an affect on other's until their 6 year'sold.

I'm not sure I fully believe that. Children can learn their actions can hurt other's etc. But its a process.

I'm not sure 2 year olds are there yet though..no matter how much you try. A child in our group; around the same age as your daughter; couldn't understand why he was getting in trouble for biting another child. All he could think of; was that the other child hit him. Of course the other child did, he was trying to stop this kid from biting him.

the child got stuck on being hit; and didn't even realize it happened because he started it with biting.

A time out...or naughty chair is not going to help this child undestand. Aging and developmental changes to his brain that happens with aging...will help him understand.

Tracy - posted on 05/14/2011

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@KIM I want to take her to a child psychologist first to have her evaluated and then do therapy as needed. I would rule out the ADHD/ADD for the simple fact that the redirection does not work she does not forget what she was doing and is quite intent on returning to it as soon as I leave her alone :) The real problem is she acts a lot like me, extremely defiant and stubborn and ...I am Bipolar Disorder II and it is or can be hereditary and I hope I am wrong about it but if I am not I want to have her treated now so she doesn't turn out like me, I was not diagnosed until I was 35 (three years ago). I have quit college twice, amassed quite a bit of debt due to "spending sprees" that is a sign of being bipolar, switching jobs every so many years because I get bored or depressed where I am and had I known this when I was in school, boy where I could be today!

Kim - posted on 05/14/2011

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Tracy - WOW!!!! and i thought my 10yr old gave me a hard time. She is now an angel compared to your little one lol. Have you had her tested for anything like ADHD/ADD. Sometimes these conditions come with other things attached like ODD which is Oppositional Defiant Disorder which is the case with my girl. It took a lot of fighting against having my girl labeled but it has really helped me in the way of knowing how to respond to her to help her with her melt downs and being so deliberately defiant. She also has been diagnosed with mild anxiety which has meant alot of problems relaxing and sleeping at night. Now that we are aware of this we are able to give her methods to help rather than the screaming matches we used to have because we thought she was just being 'naughty'. Maybe she has a really high IQ and doesn't know how to handle it and is lashing out because she is bored/scared/confused? Glad to see you are taking her so see someone. Make sure you find someone that will listen to your little girl instead of trying to analyze her.

Tracy - posted on 05/14/2011

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I gave up on trying to keep her out of the kitchen instead I make sure she has a full cup in the fridge so she doesn't have to try and open and pour milk jugs, it always scares me when I catch her trying to put a full gallon on the counter in case she doesn't make it...UGH. I leave snacks on the table like bananas, or pop tart (easy to open), crackers, fruit snacks, or whatever else in easy to open containers or packages and that way she doesn't have to climb on the counters or look any further and as far as your toilet issue they do have toilet seat locks but if it was me I would make a hanger high enough she can't get to it and just grab it when you go in and remove it when you leave it may be inconvenient but electrocution and electric fires would be more so. I can't get her to stop so I just try to minimize the damage.

Lisamarie - posted on 05/14/2011

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Aww Tracy, I feel for you, I really do. My daughter has done the stealing thing to the extent that we had to put locks on the kitchen doors, which annoys me because I feel I shouldn't have to but I just don't know how to get her to stop! I've tried keeping her in her room, not giving her any treats and lots more but nothing so far has worked! She also flooded my house twice (toilet paper in the sink then filling until overflow) once even nearly ruining our electrics! Dangerous!! So scary!
It's a hard thing as a mother to ask for help and I applaud you for your honesty. It is hard to cope sometimes with 2 young children.
I wish you all the best for your little ones and hope everything works out for you!
Oh and if you find anything that works be sure to let me know! ;-)

Tracy - posted on 05/12/2011

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Sometimes nothing works. I either yank toys, send her to her room, or stand her in the corner until she can behave. Just today I called a child psychologist to set up an appointment for her to be evaluated because she is not normal. She does not care what the consequences are she is going to do what she wants to do. My biggest concern is when she wants something her sister is playing with she will physically take it away and I will take it and give it back to her sister she gets mad goes at her sister and will literally grab her shirt with two hands, shake her, throw her down, sit on her, grabs her hand and bites her finger. Kaitlyn is 31 months and Kylie is 21 months old and of course this behavior does not sit well to say the least but nothing works. She is seeing a speech therapist because she doesn't talk not because she can't but because she doesn't want to (she had a stand off with the therapist about a month ago she held out and refused to say the word Down for over 1/2 an hour and she was squirming and doing everything else to get down in the meantime). She has put on her own coat correctly since she was 24 months old including getting it out of the closet. Last month she started zipping it on her own. She mimics me and she mocks me when I tell her to do something and the therapists about flipped out when they seen her do that.. When she was 19 months old she liked to play dress up in the middle of the night. However when she would get up she would Shut the door and then turn on the light so she wouldn't get caught. She does not come to me in the middle of the night she helps herself. I have woke up at midnight and heard a rustling noise and found her on the kitchen table getting herself a juice box, she gets in the fridge and gets her drink or something to eat I have found her on the kitchen counters in the middle of the night, she will not ask for help, if something doesn't cooperate she starts beating on it or shaking it because she is mad. The therapists and everybody else is amazed by her intelligence but are just dumbfounded that she will not listen and that she even mocks me but the reason I called to have her evaluated is her actions to her sister. Other times she just wants to give sissy a hug and sissy doesn't want one and Kaitlyn doesn't care she wants to love her and puts her arms around her neck throws her down and then pins her down hugging her and sits on top of her until she is done loving her so go figure. I am about ready to get her her own apartment because she is so independent LOL. I could use some realistic suggestions too if anybody has any.

Katherine - posted on 05/12/2011

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I like JuLeah's idea of Natural Consequences too. They work and it's a gentle parenting technique.

Katherine - posted on 05/12/2011

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I like JuLeah's idea of Natural Consequences too. They work and it's a gentle parenting technique.

Julie - posted on 05/12/2011

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we have found that the best is the times starts when you sit quietly. It can take a while for them to get that concept but when they do it works very well. Maybe if you rename it to the" thinking of what i have done spot" It might get the reaction of getting more attention. I use it very well and it is a great thing but you have to be consistant and perservere. Keep up the good work as our children will be the leaders in a years to come.

Lisamarie - posted on 05/12/2011

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Mainly she gets put on the naughty step for hitting her younger brother, which we then talk about after and explain why we shouldn't hit, she apologises to him. Drawing on the walls and not listening.
You actually make a very good point, JuLeah, I would love to know your discipline techniques, I will pretty much try anything at the moment.
Thanks for your comment.

JuLeah - posted on 05/12/2011

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What is your goal? Time out is not a replacement for spanking. It is not meant to be used as a punishment.

So, I get back to, what is your goal? In any situtation with any behavior ask yourself, "What am I trying to teach her?" "What do I want her to learn?" Then ask, "is my responce to her behavior teaching her what I want her to learn?"

Discipline teaches, punishment really doesn't teach, except to teache a child to avoide punishment, right? The goal of discipline is self discipline .... you want her to be able to regualate herself.

I don't know what you put her on the step for, but there might be ways to responding that would work better. Can you give some examples of the behavor that results in the step?

Lisamarie - posted on 05/12/2011

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Thanks ladies! We do stay firm with her and most of her time outs last between 20-40 minutes!! Her naughty step is the bottom of the stairs, I used to use a chair but she started throwing it across the hallway!
The naughty atep is used as a calming and discipline method, but what do I do if she screams the whole time she's on there? We always do the "talk about it" thing and kisses and cuddles after but she seems to be doing the same thing 5 minutes later.
I saw on Nanny 911 that when a child refused to sit on the naughty step for any amount of time the nanny threatened to take a toy away everytime he got off the step, I think she ended up taking away about 5/6 different toys which he then had to earn back through good behaviour. I have to admit that this idea did tempt me but surely that defeats the point of the naughty step.
I am at a loss at the minute and am finding it very hard to control her sometimes.

Louise - posted on 05/12/2011

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You have to stay firm with her and even if it takes 20 minutes for her to do her 4 minutes so be it. keep placing her on the chair and begin the 4 minutes again. Insist she stays on the chair and place her back on it again and again. You do not need to say anything to her other than you will sit on the chair for your 2 minutes then start the clock again. BUT you must not let her just get off and walk away. When the time is up get down to her eye level and tell her what she did wrong and ask for an apology then very importantly give her a cuddle before she leaves the chair.

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