Toddler

My Supernanny approach to parenting

Lisa and Peter van de Geyn have implemented the "naughty spot"... again. This time it's for real.

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If you know me, it should come as no surprise that I’m hugely invested in pretty much every reality TV show in existence. So I’ll admit that I’ve spent many, many, many hours watching Supernanny. (Not as many hours as I’ve spent watching Dance Moms and Big Brother, but several hours nonetheless.) Anyway, I’ve watched Jo Frost stick unruly kids in the “naughty spot” dozens — maybe hundreds — of times, and a couple of years ago, we tried it out once or twice with Addy to see if we could do it. At the time, we weren’t overly impressed — the kid would cry, I’d get annoyed, and I didn’t think she actually understood what a “time out” was.

A few days ago, Peyton was being her brutal little almost-three-year-old self, and I decided my only recourse (short of losing my mind) was to reinstate Supernanny‘s supposed no-fail naughty spot technique. So when she wouldn’t stop spitting (that’s her new thing) at her sister, and after two warnings, I picked her up and put her into the corner. I got down to her level, told her why she had to spend three minutes in the spot by herself, then got Peter to set the timer on the microwave.

Read more: Why I love my super-terrible two-year-old >

Jo’s rule is that if the kid gets up from the spot and fusses, protocol is to put them right back and restart the time. Peter probably reset the microwave timer about 25 times. Eventually, she stopped her crying, whining and moving around, stayed put, and the two of us told her again why she was put in the spot, told her to apologize to us and her sister, and give everyone hugs — which she quickly did.

I’m not going to lie, I was kind of impressed with myself. I persevered (despite my patience level) and really felt like I got the point across to Peyps… until we went upstairs and she did it again — like, 10 minutes later.

We quickly picked a naughty spot location upstairs, and did the whole thing again.

Since then, she’s visited the spot four or five times, and, while I’m not sure if she actually “gets” it, I’m going to keep the discipline up. The kid has to realize that she’s not the boss of this place, and she can’t get away with, for example, spitting at her sister — even though she attributes the reason she spits to Peter. “Daddy does it out of the car window and on the grass,” she says.

Anyway, I want to know who has implemented the Supernanny naughty spot (or a similar discipline technique) with your kids — and has it worked on toddlers?

Do you think your point gets across and does their behaviour change? Let me know here or tweet me @lisavandegeyn.