Monday, November 15, 2010

The Supernanny Time Out

Yes, I'm a fan of JoJo, otherwise known as Supernanny. I've loved her since day one. I've read her books and watched her shows...Her simple, no-nonsense, but loving way with children (and parents!) is so amazing - and I love her accent! I've been watching her for too many years, and have yet to completely incorporate her rules and regulations, however I must admit that I have stolen several of her innovative ideas and surprised my children with how smart and organized I am (Shhh! Don't tell!).

My DH is always nagging at me: why do I watch Supernanny so much, but I don't use her strategies. Au contraire! I do! I just don't stick to the same procedures all of the time, which completely musses everything up and creates a big question mark. I, like many other parents, simply don't have the energy to follow through on all of the steps required to do it JoJo's way. But, I'm trying it again...and my six year old, Wes, was the guinea pig this time.

Yes, JoJo, I finally followed through on a time out and both Wes and I were proud of ourselves, but we went through some steps before we made it to the proud point...

It seems little Wes has an issue with "touching himself" (I'll leave it at that), and it absolutely DRIVES.ME.UP.THE.WALL! So, when I caught him Saturday night, I immediately said, "Wes, go to bed!" It was, after all, beyond the bedtime mark and I was tired of the hands straying...

Then, I thought quickly. "As a matter of fact...sit in that chair-" I pointed. He looked flabbergasted, as he was already geared up to throw his usual I-don't-want-to-go-to-bed-tantrum-routine. 

"The naughty chair. You'll need to sit there for -"

"I know," Wes said, "Six minutes." He was far too willing to sit in the naughty chair as opposed to going to bed.

"Yes, six minutes," I said, barely covering my proud smile. "Lucas, please time six minutes and let me know when time is up." Lucas happens to be proud of his glow-in-the-dark, digital alarm watch and is always looking for reasons to keep track of time, so I figured I would pull a Lazy Mom move instead of getting up and setting the timer (after all, it was past bedtime on Saturday night).

We both seemed to forget about the time out, as when Lucas finally called out, "Wes, you can get up," we both were pretty surprised. Wes (my overly active, bounce around the house, from ceiling to bed to walls to chairs, child) had sat still in the chair without tipping it backwards for six whole minutes! 

I remembered JoJo's next step. "Wait a minute, come here."

He came over, "Yes, Mom." I hid another proud smile.

"Do you know why you had to sit in time out?" I asked...another JoJo step in the naughty chair/time out procedure.

"Yes. I touched myself. I should do that in private and then wash my hands, " he said, as serious as the night.

I was laughing inside. For some reason, the whole conversation was extremely hilarious to me, and Wes was being so very serious about it, which made it even more funny to me. "That's right, Wes. Now the next time..."

"I know, I know, Mom. I will sit in time out for six minutes, and the time won't start until I'm quiet."

"Very good, now you need to -"

He was ready with the apology before I could even request it. "I'm sorry, Mom. I'll try harder next time." Again, too funny. He hugged me, and off he went. 

Moments later, Wes popped up in front of me and had a confession to make, "Mom, you know why I was so good in time out?" he asked. I shook my head, curious to hear what he had to say. "I completely forgot I was even in time out, I was so busy watching the game."

This time, I let him see me laugh. Then, I looked down and rolled my eyes...that "I'm caught" look immediately crossed his face as he realized that his hand was once again where it did not belong, and he turned around and headed to the naughty chair. "Sorry, Mom."

I'm going to keep on working on JoJo's advice. My kids have seen the show a million times and know the routine. The Naughty Chair, it is, JoJo...we'll stop Wes from the inevitable hand-on-the-crotch issue sooner or later! (I hope.) 
Sometimes, I think Wes wants to be punished. Not spanked or whipped or beat, but he wants guidance and he wants someone to tell him that he is not acting appropriately or misbehaving. He wants boundaries and discipline. I know this, because he really tries hard when he is given attention and guidance. I also know because he knows the rules and regulations and he knows the routine for the time outs...and he's willing to serve the time if he does the "crime". 

You may not be able to use all of JoJo's advice at once. That's complete overload. Just take one idea at a time and practice and perfect it. Small changes can have a big effect. 


  1. We had a 'naughty step' when my daughter was 2. I love that show, and the naughty step worked great for us!!

  2. Hey, it's me again. =) Just wanted to let you know I listed you as one of my favorite blogs (That Versatile Blogger Award). Hope you stop by to check it out and accept it!!


  3. We instituted the naughty chair for my 18 month old. I don't make him explain why he's there yet but it works. Now if only I could put my husband in time out. :) Seriously, just need to get the hubs on board with the proper way to do time out. Making my sign for above the chair tonight.

  4. Too funny, Zombie Mom! If you ever want to write a guest post, the Husband Naughty Chair Time Out would be adorable!


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