Does the naughty step really work?

Does the ‘naughty step’ really work?

When your toddler has a tantrum, is giving them a 'time out' really a good idea? We ask Mothercare’s parenting consultant Elizabeth Day

toddler on stairs is a naughty step a good idea gurgle

Image: iStock

At the toddler stage in a child’s development (around the ages of two to four years old), children are very focused on themselves and their immediate needs. This is all quite normal but it can be quite tricky to manage.

The best thing to do is to keep communicating with your child if they do break into a bad temper. It encourages language development if you talk through their feelings and have a conversation about why they might be upset right now. In fact, you’re not only helping your child to understand what makes them upset, you are also helping them learn how to express their feelings more effectively as they get older.

You can find more useful tips on how to calm the situation in our article How to discipline your child.

Give your child confidence to take control

I personally do not recommend a naughty step. Children at this age look to us to help them manage their emotions, specifically the difficult ones.

Try giving your child options. If you find she is keen to select her own clothes in the morning, give her a couple of choices. This way you are letting her make the final decision and she feels in control.

Also try not to rush and to allow enough time when going to work or dropping off at nursery. Time is a big factor for all of us feeling frustrated and occasionally we need reminding that young children don’t live in our fast-paced world.

Sometimes, bad behaviour or being over-demanding of your time is a sign of illness or another problem. Find out more in our article about How to deal with an attention-seeking toddler

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