The Naughty Step

The naughty step, time out area, thinking step and all the other names we have come up with - whatever you like to call it, the same psychology is used. The naughty step has become an incredibly popular parenting method when it comes to discipline and teaching our children from right or wrong. Spending time with young children is enough for anyone to soon realise they need some time out every once in a while (not to mention us) and lets face it, it works..for now!

However, psychologists believe that this technique can have a negative impact on a child's self-esteem. A child that ends up on the naughty step on a regular basis believe that they are naughty as opposed to their behaviour. In the topsy-turvy world of modern parenting, it is the turn of the "naughty step" to receive a ticking off.

Staying calm and in control while your child learns their boundaries is key - but you've got to be consistent! Parents should emphasise the rewarding of good behaviour and not the punishing of bad. Every child is different and learning what works best for them is vital to providing healthy childcare. What might work well for one child may not work at all for the next. Teaching children to take some "time out" by removing themselves from a situation if needed and encouraging them to understand others and their own feelings are all invaluable life skills. Its the apology that comes after all of this that is up for debate.

Psychologists have said the apology that follows the naughty step technique is a complete waste of time. The naughty step is a place of reflection where the child realises they've done something wrong but forcing them to apologise for their actions just to leave the naughty step is like a 'get out of jail' card. So, do we just let our children return back to play after their time out with no signs of empathy (because lets face it, they have very little), or do we continue to force them to apologise, like getting blood from a stone, in the hope that one day they may do it sincerely.

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