Hi, a friend of mine makes her child sit on a naughty step if he is bad. I have tried it but my little boy thinks it’s a joke and runs off. It seems more trouble than it’s worth. What do you think?
Sammy, Wales
CG: The naughty step/chair is a place a child sits after a display of unacceptable behaviour to allow him or her time to recover. I know this technique is used very successfully by many giving the child time to reflect on his bad behaviour and removing him from the situation where he has been disruptive. However, I fully appreciate that the time and energy spent trying to make the child sit on the chair/step can, to use your phrase, be more trouble than it’s worth. It also reminds me of a Dickensian classroom – where a child who misbehaved was shamed and made to stand on a stool in front of the class. If the child has been warned about his bad behaviour and been told that a sanction will be imposed if he doesn’t stop, and he persists in unruly behaviour then I use Quiet Time. The child goes somewhere quiet (alone) e.g. his bedroom until he calms down and is ready to apologise. I find this works by giving everyone a cooling off period and time to reflect. Also the child is not put in a position of being able to sabotage your discipline by running off. If the child refuses to leave the room for quiet time you can be the one to leave, thus enforcing quiet time. Like so many strategies for managing children’s behaviour it is what works with you and your family and what you feel comfortable with.