The Naughty Step Technique

The Naughty Step Technique for Discipline

This technique can be applied between the ages of 2 and 6 years old.

1.) Give a warning (This  is to stipulate the inappropriate behavior you want stopped. In a low toned voice having one to one eye contact and coming down to the child’s level as not to intimidate.)

*Walk away from the child, to give them a chance to think about what you have just said. If you see the repeated behavior, go straight to #2.

2.)Take child silently to the step, sit them on it, and explain to them why they are now in time out.

3.) Walk away set the timer for one minute per year of age. If a child calls you from their time out ignore them. If the child gets up from their time out take them back to the step with no communication and walk away resetting the timer to the beginning.

4.) When the child has sat there for the correct amount of time. Go back to explain for the second time why they were placed on The Naughty Step.

5.)Tell them they need to apologize and say sorry for their behavior (This allows the child to understand the importance in reflection, and that their actions have had an impact, and by saying sorry one can start fresh.)

6.) Hugs and kisses after the apologies. (This is important because it allows the child to see that this is their parent’s disciplining them and that mommy and daddy do still love them.)

The “What If’s” of the Naughty Step. 

 1.) My child doesn’t want to look at me when I give them a warning, and puts their hands up over their ears. When a child has done something wrong the last thing they want hear is the authoritative voice of their parent.  But trust me when I tell you they can hear every word you are saying. Hold their hands and bring them back down from their face, slow down your speech pattern and continue to give them a warning. Remember, this is your child trying to control the situation.

2.) When I take my child to the step, they keep trying to interrupt me, about what they did. And I never seem to get past step #2. When your child starts to give you a 1000 reasons why they misbehaved. Continue to explain why they are going to sit on the step and let them know that anything they want to talk about after the step is open for discuss. But for right now they are in timeout. This allows the child to realize that you mean what you say.

3.) I have to sit on my child to keep them on the naughty step as they keep running off.  It is important for you to do the discipline technique properly and not be side tracked with trying to control what you see happening. Trust in the technique, every child who is strong willed and feisty will immediately get off the step and walk away from it. The reason why they do this is to test, to see whether you will put them back on it. Your follow through is critical to the success of being able to discipline your child for difficult and unruly behavior. Follow through, follow through , follow through.

4.) My child never wants to hear the second explanation. They just want to hug me and get off the step. At this stage it is normally because the child is now feeling sad, which means reflection has taken place, which is a good thing. If they go to hug you, tell them we will do hugs in a minute but it is important that you explain. 

5.) Sometimes my child doesn’t want to say sorry and tells me to shut up and go away.  There are normally 2 reasons why this happens, one is because the child is still extremely angry  that they are being reprimanded. When they choose not to apologize it is important for you to leave them there for 30-40 seconds more until they have calmed down and ask for the apology.  Sometimes the child will tell you to go away and seconds later get off the step themselves. This is when it is important to take them back to the step and tell them apologies happen on the step. The other reason is simply they just feel like they don’t have to apologize.  And trust me I can trust you know that when a child is not willing to apologize, I can guarantee they live with parents that don’t apologize much either. In this case you will tell them if they are not prepared to apologize they can sit there a bit longer. 

6.) I go to hug and kiss my child but they don’t want hugs and kisses, and it makes me feel bad. That’s right! That is exactly their intentions. It is a child’s last attempt to make you feel bad for reprimanding them, and teaching them the importance of respecting their parents. And you thought your kids were not capable of this. Never under estimate our little intelligent cherubs. OR By the time I get to hugs and kisses I am so angry by my child behavior I don’t want to hug and kiss them. Do I really have to? Ye s it is important for you to do so, I understand how emotionally draining it can be especially in the toddler years when such behavior is repetitive. But remember as the parent you are teaching your children the difference between right and wrong and the respectful you value as a family. This is not about holding grudges you  know who your little children are. They need guidance and direction. Even when you are disciplining them to always  know that regardless you do love them.

Follow the same instructions as the Naughty Step but the only thing that will be different is that some families prefer to use this when they are out in public. The principles are the same it’s just the mindset that the application can happen if you are at the park, an event, or camping.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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