Practical Parenting Advice Online Parenting Course

Return to Website

Parenting Message Board

Please report abuses to

Parenting Message Board
Start a New Topic 
When they suss out the 'naughty step'. What next?

My childminder has been using the ‘naughty step’ with my daughter (just over 2) who seems to like poking the family retriever in the eyes. The trouble is she trots to the step, sits there for the allotted time and then runs back in to say sorry. Soon afterwards she will abuse the dog again.

In short she has learned ‘the system’. At home threatening her with bed is the only thing that seems to annoy her so much she will stop the unacceptable behaviour. I have only had to carry out my threat a few times so far.

Have you any alternative method you think might work with my cheeky daughter as I have read that 'bed threats' are not a great idea?

I have no other children.

Re: When they suss out the 'naughty step'. What next?

Okay this is going to sound harsh and I may be worng but this is my suggestion. Get rid of the dog. I know it is a part of the family but consider sending the dog to a family member or friend for a few days.
I am assuming she loves the family dog and this is her way of playing with the dog. While the dog is gone try to reinforce the idea that doggie went away because she is hurting the doggie and he will only come back and stay if she promises to be kind and loving towards the doggie. Make sure you show her what is kind and loving.

Good luck

Re: When they suss out the 'naughty step'. What next?

You have to find out what does work. I have 3 children and I have found that they are all motivated by different things .... older children can be motivated by money, other children by withdrawal of privileges ( like no pudding etc ... that worked for my youngest for a while).No TV works for some children. Unfortunately ... as soon as they suss out what you are doing the cleverer ones make sure it doesn't matter to them anymore do you can't use it to motivate them. Star charts often work for a while ( praising good behaviour etc). If possible re-inforcing good behaviour is better than punishing the bad ... One thing that worked for me was a pot of sweets or pennies.... every time they acted up a sweet or penny got taken out ... at the end of the day whatever was left in the pot was theirs...Good luck ... I presumed the dog is the child minders... so you can't get rid of it ... is that right ?

Re: Re: When they suss out the 'naughty step'. What next?

I would up the length of time on the naughty seat, probably only have to do it once or twice for the effect to take place. She has worked out that 2 minutes is not that long and worth it - she may not like 4/5 minutes and will get upset at the sudden change of rule. After all we make the rules and we can adapt them up to suit the behaviour. Once the naughty seat starts to work you couild then reduce it to the age she is - 2years = 2 minutes etc
Hope this helps and good luck - the naughty seat still works for my kids - 9 minutes sounds an eternity to my daughter and the fear of it is warning enough to stop the behaviour.