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enlighten me - what's wrong with time outs? - Page 8

post #141 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3 View Post
Yeah, life has plenty of it's own consequences, we don't need to impose arbitrary ones to "teach a lesson"...
I'm not sure. I think children are pretty insulated from consequences. That is the nature of being a child in the world, they are supposed to be insulated from the big, real consequences.

But I think it does not follow that parents should never impose consequences. Kwim?

Example: Child draws in marker all over the wall. The consequence, in my world, would be that we pay for the cleanup or risk eviction. Mama gets the consequence. See what I mean? So I would in turn impose some kind of consequence on my child, personally.

Or kid doesn't put on shoes (this is a pet peeve of mine if you haven't noticed ) = mama is late for work or school.

I don't think the natural consequences only thing works all that well personally.
post #142 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post

Example: Child draws in marker all over the wall. The consequence, in my world, would be that we pay for the cleanup or risk eviction. Mama gets the consequence. See what I mean? So I would in turn impose some kind of consequence on my child, personally.
I would agree that sometimes parents help to impose consequences. But in that situation, the consequence for the child would be helping with the clean up and/or repainting...

-Angela
post #143 of 185
thismama, I think you're absolutely right. I don't have any issues with shoes, so we wouldn't consequence for that but I can understand if you do!
post #144 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would agree that sometimes parents help to impose consequences. But in that situation, the consequence for the child would be helping with the clean up and/or repainting...

-Angela
Yep. That is what i would do. But it's definitely parent imposed.

eta - Plus I'd b*tch that the paint is "'spensive!" My kid knows what "'spensive" means.
post #145 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Yep. That is what i would do. But it's definitely parent imposed.

eta - Plus I'd b*tch that the paint is "'spensive!" My kid knows what "'spensive" means.
Yes it's parent imposed but it is neither random nor a punishment. Simply what has to be done.

And at spensive...

-Angela
post #146 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Yes it's parent imposed but it is neither random nor a punishment. Simply what has to be done.

And at spensive...

-Angela
See I get so confused becoz i've gotten the impression on here that anything parent imposed is punishment. So I say "I do punishment," but really this type of thing is about the extent of it.
post #147 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
See I get so confused becoz i've gotten the impression on here that anything parent imposed is punishment. So I say "I do punishment," but really this type of thing is about the extent of it.
Hmmm, never seen that thought. Because sometimes the natural consequence needs to be pointed out by someone who's taller than 3ft Um, you dumped a bowl of cereal and milk on the floor- we need to clean it up.

My impression is that those are natural consequences. Though I suppose if one were trying to be difficult one might say the NATURAL consequence of dumping the cereal is wet sticky mushy feet... and cleaning it up is a LOGICAL consequence.

Either way I don't see it as a punishment. Whereas, you dumped your cereal on the floor, now you have a time out, seems pretty much like a punishment to me...

-Angela
post #148 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Hmmm, never seen that thought. Because sometimes the natural consequence needs to be pointed out by someone who's taller than 3ft Um, you dumped a bowl of cereal and milk on the floor- we need to clean it up.

My impression is that those are natural consequences. Though I suppose if one were trying to be difficult one might say the NATURAL consequence of dumping the cereal is wet sticky mushy feet... and cleaning it up is a LOGICAL consequence.

Either way I don't see it as a punishment. Whereas, you dumped your cereal on the floor, now you have a time out, seems pretty much like a punishment to me...

-Angela
Well, ITA with you.
post #149 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well, ITA with you.
And this day shall be recorded in the history books...

-Angela
post #150 of 185
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post #151 of 185
I don't believe in using time-outs (or that any other form of punishments are necessary) but i think it has to be said (despite how obvious it is) that it is possible to screw up your kids even if you don't use (and don't believe in using) coercion or punishment. I also think all parents who have posted on this thread are deeply concerned and aware of the effect their actions have on their childern. I think this in itself puts them in a postion of working hard to maintain the attachment relationship with their child. I think this deep awareness and concern will probably go much further then simply subscribing to a single parenting style....

For example, if a mom finds herself in a situation where she is getting very angry at her child (and is unwilling to use time outs because of the damage they could cause her child) she might get so angry that she gets to a point where she calls her child a hurtful name. In this case, perhaps issueing a time out so that she never gets that angry in the first place would do a lot less damage then calling names. I certainly hope that if i am ever in that situation i will have the forsight to do this as opposed to hurting my child with angry words (my mom once called me a little s**t.) I don't know if i would call this a time out but maybe if a particular behavior always elicts the same reaction in me then i would need to use time outs while i learned to control my anger or respond differntly to the behavior.
post #152 of 185
i give time outs when my dd definately crosses a line. I do not belittle her or make her feel bad though. I explain that it is time to take break in her room when she gets out of hand. I defiantly believe in time outs over physical punishment if
post #153 of 185
I don't do a formalized time-out. DD is just too willful, and it would be more of a fight to get her to sit in one spot for 2 minutes then it is worth! Instead, when things get out of hand, or when no other consequence seems logical (for instance, when she hit me in the face in public the other day as we were checking out), I remove her from the location (in this case, I took her outside the store while my mom checked out), hold her, and talk to her about what went wrong and what can be done instead. I try and make sure she knows that a lot of these situations are things that NO ONE should do, not just her. I also make sure to use the same tone of voice that I would when I am asking her what she wants for breakfast (for example). My voice is not raised, or stressed. I'm trying to show her that it is a CONVERSATION, not a LECTURE.
post #154 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Hmmm, never seen that thought. Because sometimes the natural consequence needs to be pointed out by someone who's taller than 3ft Um, you dumped a bowl of cereal and milk on the floor- we need to clean it up.

My impression is that those are natural consequences. Though I suppose if one were trying to be difficult one might say the NATURAL consequence of dumping the cereal is wet sticky mushy feet... and cleaning it up is a LOGICAL consequence.

Either way I don't see it as a punishment. Whereas, you dumped your cereal on the floor, now you have a time out, seems pretty much like a punishment to me...

-Angela
:

But . . . I have to disagree the sentiment that one is being difficult if one describes that situation with NATURAL consequences and LOGICAL consequences.

I think this is a perfect example of how individuals may use different words to describe the same thing.

I do not advocate the use of TOs as punishment. I actually do not advocate punishment, period. To me, punishment is more about the adult getting back at the child for making them angry, then actually teaching the child anything.

However, I want to add that what actions I believe constitute punishment can be entirely different for another parent. And actions I take may be defined as punishment by some, even if I do not define it that way.

That is the problem with discussions such as this -- we are all working from our own personal definitions. Here are mine:

*Punishment is about intent.
If my child does something and I impose a natural consequence (such as immediately cleaning up the mess, so that they end up losing 30 minutes of playtime), then this is NOT punishment.
But if I put them in a time out because what they did made me angry, then that IS a punishment.

*Time outs are legitimate tools.
Like any tool, TOs can be (and often ARE) abused. But I think they have their place when used in combination with discussion, natural consequences, and respect for the individual (parent and child).
For me, time outs were appropriate with my DD when she went into full on melt down. This happened rarely, as I used all the other tools I had to avoid it (being aware of her needs, having a routine, etc.), but it DID happen. So I would take her to her room, talking to her the whole time. I told her that I loved her, but I did not have to be around her when she acted this way. Then, I would tell her that she was welcome to come out when she calmed down. There was never a time limit (this example took place when she was three) and I always made it clear that I wanted to be with her when she was ready to talk. I was always readily available, usually just in the next room.

Really, I agree with pp who have said that GD can and does run a spectrum. If we are on this board at all, I think it speaks volumes about our desire to raise happy, healthy, attached children who will become happy, healthy and attached adults. There is more then one GD path that leads to this result.

Lastly, I want to say that I am grateful that this forum (and MDC in general) can allow for us to have these discussions. I know I learn and grow every time I read other people's ideas and experiences. :
post #155 of 185
I've been following this discussion with interest I think a lot of the disagreements come with semantics and what *we* as the adult consider a punishment (or not).

Coming from my behavior modification background, I can't believe many parents *never* use punishment, even if they dont' call it punishment and it's logical / not punitive. Punishment is anything that decreases behavior. If your child colors on the wall, and you ask them to help clean it, and they don't like it (let's assume you don't force, but the child would rather play) and that decreases the likelyhood the child will color on the wall again, you punished. The consequense you imposed (help clean up, lose playtime) decreased the behavior you didn't like (coloring on walls).

If you have a fenced in yard and your child opens the gate and runs into the street 100x and nothing happens, but 1x (G/d forbid) your child gets hit by a car, that was a natural consequense. It happened in nature. Obviously we don't want that to happen!

If you tell the child they run out the gate, outside playtime is over and we go inside, you are imposing a logical consequense. It's related, relevent, etc. If that logical consequence deters your child from running out the gate in the future, you punished. Yes, you used a logical consequence, but you punished. You bringign the child inside (unplesent for the child) decreased the likelyhood the behavior would happen again (running in the street). If you said "that's it no more TV the rest of the week and no dessert either" you also punished, but it was unrelated, and punitive.

Something so gentle as telling a child you are upset, showing a frown, telling a child you are disspointed / angry / hurt, etc. can be considered a punishment if it decreases behavior. Anythign that decreases behavior is technically a punishment, even if it's just you saying "it makes me upset when I come in and see the playroom a mess after we cleaned it." Lots of the things we say to say on the GD board are technically punishemnts, but they are gentle and related. If they decrease behavior they are punishments, even if you are just telling a child the cat likes gentle touches, or it's not ok to hit your brother, etc.

Just my .02

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post #156 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Example: Child draws in marker all over the wall. The consequence, in my world, would be that we pay for the cleanup or risk eviction. Mama gets the consequence. See what I mean? So I would in turn impose some kind of consequence on my child, personally.
That's a good point. It's funny that I've always considered myself to be anti-parent-imposed consequence, yet my reaction to that would be, "Yikes! Look at the wall! We need to figure out how to get this fixed!" and then involving my son in the clean-up/repair. Hmmm.

I think I begin with the assumption that he wants to do the right thing, so he'll willingly help rectify the situation. And there's also the fact that if he refuses to help, I'm not going to impose some other consequence (except that he might have one very frustrated mom). But you're right: there's still some level of imposition on my part.
post #157 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireFrog View Post
That is the problem with discussions such as this -- we are all working from our own personal definitions. Here are mine:

*Punishment is about intent.
If my child does something and I impose a natural consequence (such as immediately cleaning up the mess, so that they end up losing 30 minutes of playtime), then this is NOT punishment.
But if I put them in a time out because what they did made me angry, then that IS a punishment.
I agree with you that everyone works from their own definitions. The above is a perfect example.

IMO, punishment is only a little about parental intent and mostly about the child's perception. Does the child feel punished by something the parent has imposed? Then it's probably punishment. That's why I generally think any level of parent imposition (making a child clean up a mess, for example) takes a consequence out of the realm of natural occurrence. (I guess an argument could be made that nature intends for the parent to be the "manager," so anything the parent imposes is natural, but then pretty much everything we do to our kids would be natural, so I don't think that works. )

IMO, the exception would be safety hazards. It is absolutely the natural province of parents to keep their children safe. So the example in a post above where a child runs out of a front gate toward the street and the parent carries the child back, I wouldn't call punishment (despite the child wanting to run for the street and not being able to). Making the child go inside probably would be because it isn't necessary for keeping the child safe (unless the parent can't be outside to watch the child).

I guess I apply the "least restrictive means" test. Probably read too many First Amendment cases.
post #158 of 185
I'm going to pop in a few quotes about punishment here from Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog. For those who aren't familiar with her, she's a behaviourist who sparked a dog (and other animal) clicker training revolution with her techniques. She also wrote a seminal book on breastfeeding in the 70s :-)

I'm currently reading it for interest's sake - because I like to get a balanced view, and although I'm not about to "train" my toddler or put my baby in a Skinner box, it's interesting that "behaviourism" makes the point that punishment doesn't work. I'm not necessarily advocating her methods, but if we're talking about "what is punishment" she's a good resource.

She says, I think, in the book somewhere that we shouldn't be allowed to have children until we have successfully trained a chicken - because chickens don't respond to punishment, you have to learn other ways to teach. Whether that method is her type of training or not, I think it's a good method - you can teach without punishment.

"(Punishment) is humanity's favourite method. When behavior goes wrong, we think first of punishment. Scold the child, spank the dog, dock the paycheck, fine the company, torture the dissident, invade the country, and so on. But punishment is a clumsy way of modifying behavior. In fact, much of the time punishment doesn't work at all."

"The hideous thing about punishment is that there is absolutely no end to it. The search for a punishment so bad that maybe this one will work is not a concern of apes or elephants, but it has preoccupied humans since history began and probably before."

"..the subject learns nothing about how to change the behavior. Punishment does not teach a child how to achieve a better report card. The most a punisher can hope for is that the child's motivation will change: The child will try to alter future behavior in order to avoid future punishment."

.....

To me - a timeout that is simply a punishment (you drew on the wall, so sit in the corner) is vastly different than being "invited" to cool down and come back when you're feeling calmer. In fact, I believe that the latter is modeling a good way to handle emotions, as long as the parent is doing the "inviting" calmly and lovingly (not dragging the poor child to their room bodily).

Again, I don't think that GD is about avoiding all consequences, but I think you can draw a line between explaining to a child that they need to clean the wall, whether they want to or not, and imposing some arbitrary "consequence".

Something else I submit is that punishments can impose fear. Not necessarily knee-quaking fear, but fear of something "bad" happening. Drawing on the wall and getting smacked (not that anyone suggested that) or ordered to the "naughty spot" doesn't do much more than remind the child that the parent is "in control" and to be feared, and that there will be a punishment. Draw on the wall and clean it off - it doesn't make a child fearful. It enforces that if they do something destructive, then they'll have to un-do it.

I guess there's no easy answers... and I echo the sentiment that it's nice we are discussing something that doesn't include physical punishment!

P
post #159 of 185
subbing
post #160 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
That's a good point. It's funny that I've always considered myself to be anti-parent-imposed consequence, yet my reaction to that would be, "Yikes! Look at the wall! We need to figure out how to get this fixed!" and then involving my son in the clean-up/repair. Hmmm.

I think I begin with the assumption that he wants to do the right thing, so he'll willingly help rectify the situation.
ITA.


Quote:
And there's also the fact that if he refuses to help, I'm not going to impose some other consequence (except that he might have one very frustrated mom). But you're right: there's still some level of imposition on my part.
I would probably do time out for refusal to help clean up a mess she made. "Then you can sit there until it is done," is what I would probably say. In a not very nice voice. I just can't see myself cleaning up a giant mess like that, made by my child, while she plays with her toys. That would drive me crazy!
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