Experts Say Reasoning With A Child Is More Effective Than The Naughty Step

6 August 2015

Reasoning with a child

We all have our own approaches to discipline, and what works for one parent when it comes to addressing challenging behaviour won't necessarily suit another.

But now it seems experts agree that reasoning with a child is the best way to get them to behave.

The Daily Mail reports:

Scientists asked 102 parents how they dealt wth 'toddler noncompliance' – naughtiness to you or I – on five occasions.

They found that reasoning was the most effective immediate response to mild misbehaviour such as whining or negotiating – when young children try and argue their way out of doing something.

Punishments such as the naughty step were least effective.

I don't know about you, but staying calm enough to reason with my kids when they're playing up can be quite the challenge. I now I resort to threats and yelling way too often.

But, interestingly, my youngest daughter is fast approaching the terrific twos (I refuse to ascribe to the whole terrible two-year-old thing...) and I find myself not wanting to use the naughty step or time out approach with her, even though I did with her older siblings.

What's that about? Is it third child syndrome, which means she's destined to get an easier ride than her big brothers? I'm not sure, but I'm all for reasoning with her and keeping the naughty step as a last resort.

Maybe I'm going soft in my old age, but the whole concept of the naughty step just seems harsh and needlessly authoritarian.

That said, I might be singing from a different song sheet in a few months' time if the two year old stage does turn out to be more terrible than terrific!

But what's your view on this? What approach do you take to disciplining your child, and do you agree that reasoning with a child is a more effective approach than issuing a time out or sending them to the naughty step? We'd love to hear your views over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parenting Tips

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