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Bad Behavior - Supernanny Naughty Step And How It Can Be Used By Parents

She's done it again and that's the fourth time this morning! If you're exasperated by your child's bad behavior, set out some clear house rules and try putting them into force using the Supernanny Naughty Step Technique.

This is one way of giving her time out, giving everyone a chance to calm down and allowing your child a moment to think over what she has done. The Naughty Step could be a step, a chair, a corner or anywhere, so long as your child will be somewhere where nothing will distract her

How it works:

- When your child misbehaves or breaks one of the House Rules, explain what she's done wrong, tell her that her behavior is unacceptable, and warn her that if she behaves in the same way again, she'll be put on the Naughty Step. Make sure your voice remains calm, not angry, and use a low, authoritative tone.

- Is there a particular toy or something which is triggering the situation which you could calmly remove? Or is your child tired or hungry?

- If she misbehaves again, immediately put her on the Naughty Step. Explain clearly why she is there and how long she must stay there (one minute per year of her age).

- If she comes off the Naughty Step, put her back on using gentle but firm movements and keep putting her back onto the step until she realizes that you're committed to keeping her there for the agreed set time.

- Once your child has completed the agreed set time on the Naughty Step, crouch down so you're on the same level, use a low and authoritative tone of voice, and explain why you put her there. Ask her to apologize, and when she does, praise her warmly with a kiss and a cuddle. Say thank you, go back to what you were doing and forget about the incident.

- If your child refuses to apologize (or shouts "sorry" in a way which makes you think she probably doesn't mean it!), continue this technique until she realizes that you need a proper apology. But don't forget the kiss and cuddle at the end!

Variations on the Naughty Step for older children:

Older children will outgrow the Naughty Step, so try to cultivate in them a sense of responsibility for their actions by creating a reflection room or chill-out zone. They can be asked to go there when they're angry to give them time and physical space to think things over.

Once disciplined, however, it is especially important to find out why your child behaved in a way which was out of character, as understanding their actions will help you to prevent it occurring again.

Submitted by:

Anna Daubin

Anna Daubin is a parenting expert with the Supernanny team and is currently based in London, UK. Supernanny (http://www.supernanny.com) started life as a top-rating television program, and has now joined by a popular website with parenting advice, forums and clips from the TV show.


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