When children do something wrong, even very young ones, it's important to have a way to instil discipline, and the 'Naughty Step' offers a good way to do this. The 'Naughty Step Technique' can be used for children who are old enough to understand when they do something wrong, and you explain why it is wrong. When this happens, take the child aside, explain what they have done wrong, and place them on the bottom stair where they must wait for a set duration.
You might use a fixed duration such as two or three minutes, or perhaps have them stay for one minute for each year of their age so that the punishment increases as they grow older. During this time, make sure that they receive no attention as this will encourage them to play up to the crowd.
Explaining what they have done wrong is essential, and try always to be consistent in meting out the punishment. Lack of consistency can lead to confusion and mixed signals. Make sure that once relieved of their post ofn the naughty step that you ensure you child apologises for their behaviour to the relevant party, and end with hugs to show that although you have disciplined them, that you still love them.
If you want to use this technique when you are away from home, then you could take a small mat with you as a portable 'Naughty Mat'. When needed, put it down in a quiet corner and have them stand for the same duration that you would use at home.
Every child is different, every parent is different, moods change, circumstances change, we all react differently; so why should positive parenting work in all cases for all children of all ages?
Positive parenting means dealing with a child's behavioural in a calm and fair way. It means focusing on the good rather than the bad behaviour and rewarding accordingly. Does your child get more attention when they are behaving well or when they are being badly? If the answer is 'when they are being naughty', then you may wish to read on and look at some ways of addressing this and putting a more positive spin on your parenting.
Why does it work?
It works because it builds on a child's desire to please you. They remember how they feel when they pleased you, and they like it and they want it to continue. It may work slightly differently for different children or ages, but in principal its the same for all.
How does it work?
- You show love and affection to your child and you create a good, secure relationship with them.
- You let them know when they do well and when they please you.
- You show a good example and they will be more likely to follow.
- You reinforce good behaviour by giving lots of praise and you ignore any minor bad behaviour.
- You work together with your child to make decisions.
- You avoid hard discipline and punishments.
- You are fair and kind in your approach.
Tips for Positive Parenting:
- Understand your child and their personality - children are all different and strong minded children may need a different focus to a more timid child.
- Keep calm and in control at all times.
- Lead by example - try and be a calm, polite person in your adult relationships as well as with your children.
- Keep expectations reasonable - remember they are children so make sure you don't expect too much.
- Understand why they are misbehaving - why are they doing naughty things? See if you can unravel a reason. Perhaps they are jumping on the bed because they haven't been out all day and need some fresh air and a run around outside.
- Chat about it - have a chat about why the behaviour is going on and discuss what you can do together to make it better.
Don't resort to severe punishment in every case. Keep in mind that the children are learning and pushing boundaries to see what they can get away with. It's our responibility to show them what they can and can't do, and to help them learn this so they make their own decisions about behaviour.