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Time Out Alternatives???

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Okay.  I was never going to use timeout.  I had read all the stuff about how it isn't good.  But then my son turned three and I felt like I had no control over his negative behaviors (hitting, kicking, being rude etc) so I read  1 2 3 Magic and started doing timeouts.  Well they don't work.  In fact they ruin my whole day.  He does not calm down during timeout and then will not calm down forever after.  His mood is just ruined.  And he is raging angry with me.  I keep thinking it will get better as he gets used to the routine but no.  Hasn't happened. 


So I need something else.  I need some help.  How can you manage a child's negative behaviors without punishment or timeout?  What can I do?



post #2 of 5

I think that to know what to do, we'd have to look at what was happening when he did those behaviors. What actions preceded the hitting etc?


And, btw, we can never have control over someone else's behavior; the trick is getting him to want not to do them. Behind every behavior is something he either can't handle or something he needs to learn, like a coping skill or an alternative, etc.


Your kid sounds like mine. You can't just manage him into good behavior; some kids are just really complex or really bright and there is something else going on, like intense frustration, or he's somehow mimicking what he thinks the parents do, or something like that.


So do you have any specific examples of situations where he's been especially impossible?



post #3 of 5

I think of a time out as not a punishment but time to sit quietly and restart. I have a VERY spirited little boy and he needs that quiet sit down time at least once a day. I let him choose where he is going to sit (unless he is out of control) and he can choose some books to quietly look at. After he is feeling better we talk and try to figure out what is going on.

post #4 of 5

We use 1-2-3 Magic and have some success with it.  We too have difficulties with DD (2yo) getting very upset with a time out.  What we do is follow up with a cuddle session and sometimes a story after the time outs.  We are also trying to be a proactive as possible.  Most of our time outs usually occur because she is having troubles with her little brothers.  The time outs help get her out of the situation and then the story times help reset her. 

post #5 of 5

yeah, I believe time outs are about learning how to cope with stress. I believe that tantrums are meltdowns from too much stimulation, tiredness, frustration, etc. and little ones don't have any coping strategies for these feelings. When I am feeling stressed or frustrated I need to remove myself from the situation and calm down. For me time outs are not a punishment. I do not get angry at my child. Instead I remind him that he cannot do whatever he just did. "Sweetheart, hitting is not something that is acceptable, ever. You do not hit. When you feel angry like that you need to cool down. Lets go cool down." I take him to a room that is darkened and quiet to remove stimulation. I then sit with him. I do not leave him there alone. I sit with him and listen while he cries. I do not try to stop him from crying. Crying is OK. Crying is what we do to relieve stress. I cry when I am frustrated. I hate it when people tell me not to cry. I need to cry. Once I am finished crying I am ready to tackle the issue. This is how it works for my son. I sit with him and listen to him while he cries. I stroke his head or his back or whatever. Sometimes he doesn't want me to touch him and this is OK too. If he were a teenager I would do the same thing. I would not leave him alone to cry by himself and figure out his issues, I would be there for him as his mother. So my son cries and is angry, but soon he cools down. Once he cools down we read a story or whatever, I remind him that I love him very much, and we continue on with the day. 

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