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Do You Do "Time Outs?" - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Well, every kids is different. My older son, when he was young, would go from calm to explosive in 15 seconds. But, he is not like 99% of other kids. He had bipolar disorder

Yep, they are all different. And for some, sending them off for a quiet time might provoke a tantrum, not prevent, because they get a chance to seethe over perceived wrongs. Who knows? That's why every parent has to try things on their own children. The results can surprise.


I just thought I'd add my 2cents on when and how it worked for us.



post #22 of 38
We don't do time outs for punishment. I guess what we do could be considered "time ins."
DS is only 27 months, but when he's displaying some sort of undesirable behavior, one of us removes him from the situation, sits him down, and explains why what he's doing isn't acceptable. He's old enough now that he gets what we're saying and he's able to tell us that he's ready to be nice to the dog/mommy/daddy, stop banging on the window, etc.

When he's done something that makes me really angry, I send him to sit on the couch for his own safety while I calm down and/or clean up whatever catastrophic mess he's made.
He usually knows when he's caught doing something wrong so he'll say "Silas Kenni!" (Silas Mackenzie, his first and middle name, the dreaded Mom's Angry combination) and go running for the couch by himself. The cuteness usually erases my anger immediately so I go to him and talk about whatever it is that he's done.
Both situations always end with snuggles.
post #23 of 38

I suppose we do something like a "time in". DS is 2 & very spirited. And we do follow "unconditional parenting" for the most part. I'll often tell him he's not listening well or not being gentle & give him a hug while explaining why we have to change activities (he's very focused so distraction doesn't really work). If he's having a really hard time with a particular situation, we usually retreat to the "safety" of his room to calm down together. Lately, though, he's been catching himself & just telling me that he wants to go in his crib with some books.... It's his own quiet time.


And, yes, I often need a time out myself...


You know, I really don't think "time outs" bother me, as long as they're not punitive. I think every child & every situation needs it's own tools. The only thing that really bothers me is hearing "time outs" used as a threat ("do this or you're getting a time out") or, again, when they're used punitively & the child is left to cry alone. But that leaves a lot of room for developing approaches that work for all sorts of kids & families.

post #24 of 38
We do time outs, but not with a time limit. We do "take a break". Our style is to teach deep breath taking. E can already do it at 10 months. When I can see that she's getting frustrated I'll encourage her to take a deep breath and try again. I've noticed already that there are times when she's getting frustrated and just as I'm about to say something she'll take a deep breath on her own. With our little friend who is just 2 (but gifted and cognitively and verbally 3+), we've been doing deep breaths since she was a baby as well. At about 20 months we started having her do a deep breath and "take a break" when she was overwhelmed and out of control, and this generally means leading her away from the group and having her sit down. She chooses when she is ready to come back. At first that would be immediately, and as long as whatever it was didn't happen again (usually this was only for extremes like pushing, hitting), this was fine. As she's gotten older and more verbal she now decides for herself that she wants a break. She'll say she's going, walk away, sit down until she feels better and then come back. She'll sit and take several deep breaths, calmly and quietly.
I like that she regulates herself and that I am teachng her a useful skill for her whole life rather than just trying to get her to acquiesse.
post #25 of 38
I don't do time outs. I started avoiding them because with my explosive older child, it would have turned into a physical punishment - I would have had to physically keep her somewhere - and I wasn't willing to do that, partly because of my history (toward end). Then I read Unconditional Parenting, and that resonated with me, and I started trying to think of other ways to handle her tantrums. I decided that for her, just letting her do her tantrum thing and then reconnecting when it was over was the best choice. It wasn't something she was doing to me, it was simply a loss of control, and it felt wrong to me to punish her for losing control when she wasn't trying to anyway, I decided. There have been times when I've been tempted as the years have passed by, not because I thought it would teach her something but just because I thought it would cause a behavior to at least end in the moment and that would be nice. But I've just tried to handle things as well as I could without them, and now she's 9 and is doing well. My younger one has never had a tantrum at 2.5 (knock on wood) and is the calm, easy child I'd read about when my older one was little, so it hasn't even come up as an issue with her.

So for me, I've done ok without them. I see why people use them though and I do think they can be used gently and as a part of GD.

I will add to be fair that I grew up in a home with a sometimes abusive alcoholic, and because of that I sometimes feel natural reactions that are outside of the reality of what my kids give me, and need to separate myself for a time being because, frankly, I feel an urge to hit them. So I briefly separate myself to protect them, and I don't doubt that has at times felt to them like they were given a time out as it's still a separation. But I've decided that's the best choice available to me at those times. The older one is well past all that, and the little one is quiet, so it hasn't come up in a long time, but certainly it was an occasional occurrence when the older one was younger. Though tantrums weren't a trigger for me - I found I usually just empathized with her loss of control. I can't remember what specifically triggered the feeling. It was probably more about me than them.
post #26 of 38

I do both with my son (4). Right now we are in a new-baby transition stage and he has been at grandparents/getting lots of big brother presents, so it has been fairly difficult. Talking it out is my first approach. We talk about what happened, why it was inappropriate, what is appropriate and why. However, if he decides to continually do things that he is aware after our talk; then he is sent to time out. A lot of times that works better than trying to talk it out with him- simply because it shows that I mean business and he WILL get in trouble if the behavior continues. Prior to the chaos of the new baby a simple talk and then a warning of time out would cause a change in behavior. I feel like if you tell the kid why they are in time out, not to do said behavior again and give hugs/kisses after; then it is a productive time out. However, putting a kid in time out w/o elaborating on why they are there is pretty useless.

post #27 of 38

We "take a break" instead of "time out".  It's not necessarily a punishment, we don't have a time out chair, or corner or anything like that.  It's just a break, to take a few moments to calm down and regroup.  I haven't had to use it too much at home, but when I taught Montessori preschool we had a little rug with a 3min. hourglass along with a few little solitary activities.  My favorite was a little rubber duck.  They could lay down on the rug with the duck on their tummy and watch it go up and down with each breath.  It was a great way to get them to focus and take deep breaths to calm down.  It worked very well!

post #28 of 38

For those of you who teach meditation or deep breathing to pre-verbal children, how do you go about it?

post #29 of 38
Originally Posted by AmaraMonillas View Post

For those of you who teach meditation or deep breathing to pre-verbal children, how do you go about it?

See my post above.  :)  I used that technique with preschoolers, but I'm sure it would work with pre-verbal children as well.

post #30 of 38

I used to be totally against time-outs, but now I see that they can be really useful if they are used as a tool instead of a punishment. I don't threaten my daughter with time-out, but if she's just too psycho, she NEEDS to be somewhere to calm down. Time-out can be for as long as she wants it to be. She sits on the bed in the bedroom and when she feels ready to come out and be her sweet self again, she comes out. I don't set a timer, because it isn't a punishment.


MOST IMPORTANTLY: I think it's very important that she sees me having time out. When I get very angry with her, instead of yelling at her, I tell her I'm angry and so I need to have a time-out and calm down. I go to the bed and sit with a book and she will come in to check on me periodically to ask if I'm feeling better. It's good for me because I get time away from her to calm down and it's good for her because she see's that it's not a punishment. It can help someone feel better.

post #31 of 38

We haven't done time outs until very recently.  DS doesn't have a timer set for how long he stays in a time out, it is whenever he feels better.  More often then not he calms quickly and he is back to playing in a matter of momments.  Thats when I come in and join the game and causually bring up what just happened ::wink, wink::  Don't know if it is the right/wrong way of doing things but it is working out so far. 

post #32 of 38

Pros: avoidance of harsher discipline methods, removal of stimulation which may be causing a meltdown, etc.  I never heard of any cons.  Even with an extremely stubborn child, timeouts will eventually have some training effect.

post #33 of 38


Originally Posted by AmaraMonillas View Post

For those of you who teach meditation or deep breathing to pre-verbal children, how do you go about it?

deep breathing is abdominal, not from the chest. mindful meditation isn't about emptying your mind, it's about letting distractions fall down around you and not affect you.


you could have the child lie down and put one hand on their tummy and one hand on their chest, then you do it along with them. the goal is to breathe so that you move the hand on the tummy up and down, not the chest. after that's going, it's easier to do sitting up. also have them close their eyes, you can guide their meditation by telling them about a peaceful place. verbal kids can talk about their own peaceful places. (or stay silent.) for my daughter, she likes to picture positive thoughts going up around her inside bubbles, and for negative or neutral thoughts to fall down around her as autumn leaves. distractions are totally normal, you just view it as falling down around you (or going up around you) but not actually affecting you. like, "my shoulder itches" just floats by peacefully, as does "i feel angry." takes practice, like anything else, but it's very fun to practice together luxlove.gif


i like the rubber duck on the tummy idea!

post #34 of 38

Interesting posts, I might have to try teaching my son deep breathing :)


What about time outs a la Super Nanny, if anyone has seen that show? That always made sense to me, but I never knew any different methods.

post #35 of 38
We do time out, but there is some connection afterward. We talk about the situation. I did time out for my son when he was 1 1/2 yrs old since he is just out of control. We is super hyperactive and needed some for of bad behavior = time out. I don't know of anyway differently to deal with him. But I also do other teaching when time out is involved, for example-
ds takes all the books off the shelf and tries to rip them apart over and over again. I may put him in time out if he is just out of control, and/or I will then show him them and say, "this is what we are supposed to do with books, and get one and read it.
Or like when biting his sister, I take him to the kitchen and get him a carrot to show him what teeth are for. He would get a time out for biting if he is just wont calm down.
post #36 of 38

I tried time outs briefly when my first child was a toddler.  He did not respond well, got more upset, didn't understand why he was getting a time-out etc.  So I stopped.  But he was always a calmer, more cautious kid.  My younger dd is now almost 3, and she has a much hotter temper, hits, bites, provokes her brother, etc. etc.  I recently started removing her from the scene when she and her brother can't work things out and they are threatening (or starting) to hurt each other.  I don't see it as a punishment, more as an opportunity to cool down and restart.  She responds well, and she seems to be getting the message that she can't hurt other people (whereas explaining this to her was getting me nowhere). I still very rarely use it, but it's useful sometimes.

post #37 of 38

I too thought i would not use it.  Till I had kids who kick and scream and make me unable to stay and help.(by that I mean my own mental place, I can't do anything useful, so it's better I leave than get angrier)  We NEED the time out.  Only when it is calm can we talk about anything.

post #38 of 38

We use time-outs when there's physical violence involved. If he hits, kicks, bites, or pinches he gets 10 minutes to calm down and learn to control himself better around other people. I encourage him to beat up a pillow or his stuffed animals to help satisfy that urge, but hitting other living creatures is never okay. And I give myself time-outs frequently because mine are less than two years apart and my patience is thin sometimes.


Other than that I try to come up with natural consequences for behavior (drawing on walls means no more crayons for a while, throwing silverware or touching the stove knobs means you can't go back into the kitchen, throwing food means we're done with that meal, jumping on the bed means you can't be in the bedroom alone, etc.). Punitive time-outs aren't very effective for our family, and physically removing a child from a situation in which he's physically out of control makes logical sense to me.

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