To Naughty Stair or Not to Naughty Stair?

When is the right time to start disciplining your child? Now, next year or when they are a certain age and how do you discipline them? There are so many answers and so many theories, you could read up on them until your eyes pop out your head in a gooey mess or you could trust your instincts.

I have, in principal, chosen not to smack Madame – not that I see anything wrong or right with it, I was raised with a good AAK or 10 and I didn’t turn out THAT bad and I never lost respect for my Mom or Grandfather when I got a hiding, I was never given a hiding for just the sake of it, I had earned it (probably tenfold). I have chosen not to smack her because well, I just don’t want to and it won’t work for Madame.

Madame has a strong will and is as stubborn as me and her Granddad put together and multiplied by 5. We often have battles over the oddest of things, mostly putting clothes on or going to sleep when she’s dead tired. The other night we had a tantrum about going back to sleep, so I put her on the naughty stair for a time out and when I picked her up again it was all over. Now before anyone has a hissie fit at the fact that Im putting a 7 month old on a naughty stair hear me out first?

You can’t tell me she doesn’t understand, this one is clever and far too clever for her own good. She knows to stop doing things, like when she grabs my hair I ask her to let go and not pull Mommy’s hair and she does. She has touched a plug once and I have told her not to go there again, and she will push by going near it but won’t go to it exactly. I don’t find there is a need to smack her or yell at her. I simply talk to her, explain why and she gets it. I seldom use the word no, it’s rather don’t do this or that, or stop it. Sure I might be “negotiating” with her some might say, but I see it as explaining why I am doing it or saying it, giving her a reason.

Anyways back to the other night and the naughty stair, I put her on it in full tantrum swing, tears streaming down her face, screaming blue murder and being blood red. I sat her down on the stair told her to stop her tantrum and think about her being silly. I stepped out of direct sight, counted to 15 and went back to get her. Before I picked her up I went down to her level, asked if she had finished crying and she sniffed, took a deep breath and gave me a hug.

Now tell me that the naughty stair doesn’t work at this age?

Obviously everything in moderation, I won’t leave her there for long periods of time. I won’t be completely out of sight. I will never put her on it if there is no valid reason. I will always explain to her why she is being put there and I will always ask her if she is finished and follow it up with a big hug and lots of kisses. She needs to learn right from wrong and she needs to learn it from the beginning.

Yes, I might be a strict Mom, far stricter than my Mom was, but I’m a fair and loving Mom too, there is more love and giggles, smiles and laughs than there are tears and discipline.


One thought on “To Naughty Stair or Not to Naughty Stair?

  1. The Blessed Barrenness says:

    We use the naughty step with Ava as well, pretty much for the same reason’s as you do. I also don’t want to smack Ava and this is purely because on the one or two times when I have smacked her I have (a) hated how it made ME feel, (b) smacking escalates her behaviour, (c) don’t want to discipline her when I’m angry.
    I can’t remember exactly when we started using the naughty step with her but it has always worked well. Apparently this approach requires one minute for each year of the child’s life, we are now up to 3 minutes on the naughty step but she hardly ever has to go there because the mere threat of the naughty step is usually enough to make her stop.
    The downside is that she is also VERY stubborn and strong willed and will often reject saying sorry to get off the naughty step and prefer to say she doesn’t want to say sorry and that she will sit there for longer, to which I told her that she could then continue to sit there until she’s ready to say sorry then she can call me… FIFTEEN MINUTES later I heard a little voice telling me: “Mommy I’ll say sorry now” and then all was well again!

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