Tuesday 18 June 2019

What I'm Really Thinking ... about the Naughty Step

'I wish we didn't have stairs in our house'
'I wish we didn't have stairs in our house'

This whole Naughty Step thing really bothers me. My mam and dad love it. Me and my older sister hate it. Not that they use it on her much anyway. She is seven and a goody-two-shoes, so she doesn't get into trouble much. In fact, she's more likely to get me in trouble. They always believe her, so even if she is the one that starts the messing, I'll be the one that gets blamed. That's not fair.

Because I'm five now, mam says that I have to sit on the step of the stairs for at least six minutes if I do something wrong. That's not fair either. I often don't even know what's going to get me put out there. It might be something small, as well as the big things. Like the other day, I was in the playroom and I had all my stuff out and when mam told me to put it away, I said okay, but then forgot. When she went in there later and saw the stuff all over the floor, she gave out yards and put me out on the step.

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But that wasn't even my fault. I'd planned to do it, but my sister said she was opening one of her Easter eggs that she kept and she'd share it with me. I was totally making sure I didn't miss out, so I ran up to her room. I meant to go back, but then mam made us come to the shops with her and then I just forgot.

There have been some big rows about that step. I just think it's so unfair and I hate being out there all on my own. So, I usually try and beg her, or I'll argue with her. Often, she has to drag me out by the arm. That can hurt sometimes, so I give out to her about that.

Then, and this is the bit I don't get, she says that if I row with her that she'll add time on the step. How does that work? How else can I tell her that she's wrong and that I don't think it's fair? I was once out there for 15 minutes. Some of that was the row.

I'd often be crying when I'm out there and I hate that nobody seems to care. Mam closes the door to the kitchen and she says, "I can't be listening to you with your whinging." It feels really lonely then. I hate that. It's almost worse than the unfairness. It kind of feels like I am the worst child in the world then; like I must be so bad, my mam can't even bear to have me near her. That's mostly why I'm crying.

I've tried knocking on the door of the kitchen to see if I can just get her to listen to me, but she's often really cross and then gets crosser when I appear at the door. It's like there is no way to fix it or make it better. Except just wait out the time and hope that she's stopped being cross. Sometimes, I'm still pretty cross myself when she comes to get me. But usually I'm calmer… and sadder.

She often goes on at me about hoping I remember why I'm there and that I have to change my behaviour and I need to stop being bold. I can't usually concentrate on that stuff. Partly, cos I'm just five, and partly because I'm either so upset or angry about the whole thing and the unfairness and the abandonment.

I don't know how to change all this. I wish someone could. I wish we didn't have stairs in our house. But then it'd be a chair in the corner. Like in school. Does everywhere have somewhere for bold boys to go? Probably.

As imagined by David Coleman

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