1. Keep calm
Whether your child is crying over their muffins not coming out of the oven cold or a bit of sibling rivalry, keep calm! Children can pick up on your emotions and it shows who is really in control.
2. Always give a warning
This can give the child an opportunity to:
a) Realise their behaviour is not acceptable
b) Understand that there are always consequences for this behaviour and sometimes (on a good day) allow them to change it. Remember to be clear, firm and at their eye level when speaking to them.
3. Time it properly
There is nothing worse than putting your child on ‘the step’ for 1 minute. They will not learn anything and won’t take it seriously. Every child is very different so make sure to adapt the time spent accordingly. However, the common rule of thumb is 1 minute for every age of your child, for example 6 minutes for a 6 year old. Keep this consistent and don’t extend the time if you feel they have been extra ‘naughty’!
4. Don’t let it slip
You have done great getting your child on ‘the step’ so make sure you follow through. Don’t allow them to get off early and if they keep getting off, pick them up and put them straight back. Continuity is KEY!
5. A bit of positive reinforcement will never go amiss
It has been an emotional ride for both you and your child and you so make sure you end on a high. They have a clear understanding WHY they were put there in the first place and that this behaviour isn’t appropriate. Follow up with a ‘sorry’ from your child and a lovely long hug and kiss. This shows you love them unconditionally despite their silly behaviour.