Four and a Dog

A blog about family life

When the Naughty Spot Stops Working

I first heard about the naughty spot when watching Super Nanny. I’d used a similar technique with kids in school before, but had never given it a formal title or a time frame. As usual with any type of parenting technique, people either love or hate the naughty spot.

We started using it a little while ago and, as you can imagine, the scenes resembled those on Super Nanny. Diva would run, hide, pull faces and try to make it in to a game. Eventually she got the hang of it and the threat of it has been successful ever since (mostly). Once in awhile she decides to test us, just in case we’ve forgotten what it is, or it no longer exists, or she has broken our will. Thankfully, we are as persistent and stubborn as she is (something I’m really looking forward to in the teenage years). After a repeat of the original attempt, including the running, hiding and face pulling, we settle back in to the pattern of threats being enough.

Before she is sent to the naughty spot there is always a warning followed by a count to three. If the bad behaviour is still continuing after the number three is reached, she is swiftly marched to the spot, told why she is there and left to think about the fact that she purposefully poured a drink on the carpet.

This has all been fine until this week. The problem is that our daughter is clever. She also has a superb imagination. Tonights performance is an excellent example.

Once again, Diva had been tormenting the dog and had to take a trip to the naughty spot. I did my warning as usual, but couldn’t actually take her to the naughty spot because she was already there…laughing.

Seconds later she was up and running off. However, after a few bolts for it, she seemed to settle down.

Then she tried to claim she needed the toilet. Imagine her surprise when I returned her to the spot once she had finished! The second time I didn’t fall for it.

Then the singing started. The next bit of this tale should be sung to a made up tune. If you are familiar with the television show, ‘Wonderpets’, you’ll get the idea.

Diva: Oh No! I on the naughty spot.
Mummy has put me on the naughty spot.
I be naughty. On the naughty spot.
Someone help me!
This, is, serious.

She then got up and ran again. Each time I went to get her, she would dance back to the spot shouting, “Hold on to your hat!”. Once back on the spot the singing became a monologue.

Diva: I have to stay on the naughty spot. I be mean to Uncle M and now he sad. I sad because I on the naughty spot. Mummy being mean. She keeps putting me on the naughty spot. I no like the naughty spot.

Then the running began again. Followed by more singing.

Diva: I on the naughty spot.
This is the naughty spot.
There is the radiator. (Stop it door, you not my friend.)
I no like the naughty spot.

Eventually she stayed on the spot for her full two minutes. She apologised beautifully and was able to recount exactly why she was there. I have never wanted to laugh so much at my child as I have tonight. Hubby came home right at the end of all this and I had to try and fill him in without letting on to to Diva how funny it had all been.

This weekend she turns three and the naughty spot time is supposed to increase to three minutes. I’m not sure I can keep a straight face that long.

What techniques does everyone else use? Surely there is something that works on a clever kid.


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