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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Are we wearing out the naughty step?

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I was once that smug mother, you know the type, the one who has the "perfect" child, who sleeps through the night, hits all her milestones and left me thinking I had it all under control. I may have confessed this before but apparently this had nothing to do with my parenting and more to do with her placid and compliant nature. My youngest daughter came into our lives to remind me that I am a normal mum (who apparently likes sleep much more than she does) but I need to deal with her behaviour in a way that is not normal for my control freak like nature.

My youngest daughter is what some would call "spirited" and last week I used the naughty step for the first time. Unfortunately it wasn't just one time. She even seemed proud to tell Daddy when he got home from work. She understood that she was sitting there because she had been naughty but I am not sure it is an effective technique for her. She is a character and I don't want to crush her spirit but she also needs to know that a temper tantrum is not the way to solve her frustration.

I asked some fellow mums what they did to discipline and encourage their toddlers and they came back with some really interesting suggestions.

Walk & Talk

Becky from Baby Budgeting said "It is really really hard for spirited children to sit still and process things as they often will just feel resentment at being 'contained' I think a walk and talk works better with their energy...guidance and support to achieve what you want them to do rather than isolation (as it can feel like punishment). Thinking helps calm an emotional/angry child too (medically proven!) so getting them to count/read/do simple maths allows the chemicals to stop racing. Consequences (if necessary )can always come later I think".

Time Out

Helen from Kiddycharts said "We called it "time out" as naughty was a word I would rather avoid using. Time in their room works, I usually let them calm down and then we have a cuddle and a chat. The reason for going usually means someone has been a little bit aggressive, shall we say, and needs time away from the situation to calm down"


Penny from Alexander Residence suggested counting. "For some reason counting worked, I have no idea what he thought would happen when I got to 5 but it seemed to have the desired effect"

Naughty Box

I was a little worried that Kelly from Domestic Goddesque was going to suggest putting the toddler in the box but actually love her suggestion. She said "I developed the Naughty Box into which my daughter's favourite toy of the day must be put if she trangresses massively".

I love some of these ideas and will be trying them over the next few weeks in the hope that we can avoid Christmas Temper Tantrums.



This won't be the first blog post on those Toddler Tantrums and I have more fabulous suggestions to share and try. But for now, it seems that I am the one wearing out the naughty step. I was sitting on the stairs the other day and the little one looked at me and said "you been naughty mommy?"

She is just too darn cute for me to be cross for long!


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  1. Alison Johnson

    The naughty step worked wonders for us until my son started hiding toys in our stair basket to play with when he got put there!

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  2. The jar of marbles is another alternative. I'm with Helen though we call it time to calm down and usually in their room. Mainly I use praise and positive reinforcements - but they know that so know how to wrap me around their fingers to get them.

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  3. I always found the naughty step to be quite effective as long as I could get them to stay still!

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  4. Some excellent ideas here and I am convinced that all will work for everyone but with such a great mix there will be something that works

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  5. Thanks so much for including me - the naughty step never worked for us...used to send my daughter into a fit at the mere idea of being called naughty?!!? :-D xx

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  6. I too was that smug mother, my 1st child was a dream...the 2nd a little more 'spirited' and the 3rd..well, he knows his own mind! Counting no longer works as he knows that nothing happens when I get to no.3...he does go on the naughty step the odd time but I think he quite likes it....I find that avoidance & distraction works best - if I can sense him about to play up I can usually manage to talk him around or distract him with something. These kids are sent to try us, that;s for sure! x

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  7. I love these suggestions. Much more balanced than I have been in the past!

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  8. I am an advocate of the naughty step if used well. We do use it, but don't have to too often.

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  9. My nine year old STILL gets the pleasure of sitting on the naughty step... sighs...

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  10. We went down the time out route with our eldest, I phrased it as 'time out for both of us to calm down' because I had to accept that he wasn't the only one building to an explosion on many occasions!

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  11. Brilliant ideas, we do the counting too!

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