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enlighten me - what's wrong with time outs? - Page 2

post #21 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Exactly what it says. Imposed by the parents. Parents making up a random punishment for an action.
I understand this in young children who cannot comprehend how a time out is related to putting things in the toilet, for example.

But, what about in older children who can reason? When does it become appropriate to say "if you do x when I ask you not too, then y will happen"?

And if the "punishment" is consistent, how is it random? If the same thing happens every time (loosing a privilege, like TV, or going to the park).

I KNEW when I was kid that if I did something wrong I wasn't allowed to ride my horse. There were no "random" punishments, and honestly, I can see how that would be confusing to a child. But if the consequences are consistent...
post #22 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by karre View Post
I have not read all replies yet so forgive me if someone covered this.... but my understanding is that time out threatens childern with one of their biggest fears, being seperated from their parents. It starts to build insecurity in the relationship. The child can no longer trust that the caregiver/parent will always be there for him/her and the attachment relationship starts to disintergrate.

Anyway gotta go take the kiddo outside.
Well, if that's it, then what I perceive/do as time out is fine (for us) since DS is not separated from me. He's usually no more than 2 or 3 feet away. He is not treated in a demeaning manner, nor is he physically hurt. He knows I'm right there the whole time.

Hope you had lots of fun outside!
post #23 of 185
I think you have to look at the intent sometimes. Is removing the child from the dog the goal? If so, why couldn't you just go to another room? Is giving the child a chance to calm down the goal? What happens if the child isn't calm by the time the timer goes off? Or is calm well before?

Most of the time it seems that time-outs are designed to make the child wish they hadn't done whatever it was.

Especially for AP parents, it seems so strange to me to spend all this time building the attachment and trust and then using that against the child--taking it away when they've done something that displeases us.

Punishment, in general, doesn't teach the kind of lessons I want to teach my kids. I don't want to set up that whole adversarial relationship and have them worry more about being caught than doing the right thing. I prefer to explain things to them and give them tools to meet their needs.

Anyway, a good read on time-outs is this:

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/peter_haiman.html

Or Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting.
post #24 of 185
I didn't have time to say this earlier since my kiddo was patiently waiting for me to finish posting so i could take him out to the garden (and he is only 18 mos!), but i was talking about time outs as a form of behavior modification. Time outs that are removing yourself or your child from a dangerous situation are fine as far as i can tell. Routine time outs that are designed to punish bad behavior could damage the parent/caregiver child relationship. Hold onto your kids has more info about this i think.
post #25 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I understand this in young children who cannot comprehend how a time out is related to putting things in the toilet, for example.

But, what about in older children who can reason? When does it become appropriate to say "if you do x when I ask you not too, then y will happen"?

And if the "punishment" is consistent, how is it random? If the same thing happens every time (loosing a privilege, like TV, or going to the park).

I KNEW when I was kid that if I did something wrong I wasn't allowed to ride my horse. There were no "random" punishments, and honestly, I can see how that would be confusing to a child. But if the consequences are consistent...
I think the older kid they could still feel hurt by the time out. Kids (even older kids) desperately want approval from their parents so the time out could be percieved as a removal of acceptance and love because the child did something they shouldn't have. I remember i used to feel hurt and ashamed by time outs.
post #26 of 185
I am a time out advocate. I find it to be a very effective and gentle tool for the big problem behaviors that don't have acceptable natural consequences. I've become sort of a broken record on this in the Gentle Discipline folder but one of the things I think time outs work very well for is violent behavior. Hurting someone else is not ok and should be addressed immediately. For me, the way to address that kind of behavior is with time outs and it's been very effective. I believe it would also be effective for most kids.

We're here to help our children figure out how this world works and how they can best work in their world, you know? A person is only a child for 1/5 of their life, if that, and while it's a very important part of their life, the adult version of our children should be a big priority and I don't want to leave my kiddo wondering how to behave in various situations. Time outs are just one tool a parent can use to help a child figure out what's ok and what's not.

Edited to add: I thought I should add how exactly we do our time outs. For example, if my son hits the cat or whatever, I immediately react by picking him up and sitting him in a chair in the dining room (a central room in our home). I kneel down and explain to him that he is getting a time out because he hit the cat (important to be specific about this so he can understand) and that he must sit in the chair for 3 minutes. Then I set the timer and walk away. I'm usually either in the kitchen or sitting out int he living room, both are within eyeshot. When the timer goes off, I kneel down in front of him again and I ask him if he understands why he's in time out. We talk about hitting the cat, is that an ok thing or no? What can we do next time the cat frustrates us (can you tell the cat vs. boy thing is an ongoing issue in my home? ), like saying "I'm mad!" or whatever. Then we hug and that's that.
post #27 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I find time outs to be necessary when 1 child is attacking the other, so you need to sequester the attacker to comfort the attacked. If they go willingly, great, but if one child if being violent and refuses togo upstairs, I will close them in my room while I tend to the victim, then I promptly go talk to the perpetrator.

I don't think I'd use time outs with an only child... I only do so I can comfort the attcked one in a way that makes them feel safe (the attacker out of the picture for a few minutes).
And I don't even see that as a time out- more of a triage dealing with the situation kind of thing.

-Angela
post #28 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I understand this in young children who cannot comprehend how a time out is related to putting things in the toilet, for example.

But, what about in older children who can reason? When does it become appropriate to say "if you do x when I ask you not too, then y will happen"?

And if the "punishment" is consistent, how is it random? If the same thing happens every time (loosing a privilege, like TV, or going to the park).

I KNEW when I was kid that if I did something wrong I wasn't allowed to ride my horse. There were no "random" punishments, and honestly, I can see how that would be confusing to a child. But if the consequences are consistent...

Past a young child you get into the argument that punishments are not appropriate. Of course there is a lot of disagreement on that.

But I'm coming around to that way of thinking... I've not yet come up with a senario that I'd personally feel okay with issuing a punishment.

-Angela
post #29 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I think you have to look at the intent sometimes. Is removing the child from the dog the goal? If so, why couldn't you just go to another room? Is giving the child a chance to calm down the goal? What happens if the child isn't calm by the time the timer goes off? Or is calm well before?

Most of the time it seems that time-outs are designed to make the child wish they hadn't done whatever it was.

Especially for AP parents, it seems so strange to me to spend all this time building the attachment and trust and then using that against the child--taking it away when they've done something that displeases us.

Punishment, in general, doesn't teach the kind of lessons I want to teach my kids. I don't want to set up that whole adversarial relationship and have them worry more about being caught than doing the right thing. I prefer to explain things to them and give them tools to meet their needs.
:

-Angela
post #30 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Boy's Mama View Post
I am a time out advocate. I find it to be a very effective and gentle tool for the big problem behaviors that don't have acceptable natural consequences. I've become sort of a broken record on this in the Gentle Discipline folder but one of the things I think time outs work very well for is violent behavior. Hurting someone else is not ok and should be addressed immediately. For me, the way to address that kind of behavior is with time outs and it's been very effective. I believe it would also be effective for most kids.

We're here to help our children figure out how this world works and how they can best work in their world, you know? A person is only a child for 1/5 of their life, if that, and while it's a very important part of their life, the adult version of our children should be a big priority and I don't want to leave my kiddo wondering how to behave in various situations. Time outs are just one tool a parent can use to help a child figure out what's ok and what's not.

Edited to add: I thought I should add how exactly we do our time outs. For example, if my son hits the cat or whatever, I immediately react by picking him up and sitting him in a chair in the dining room (a central room in our home). I kneel down and explain to him that he is getting a time out because he hit the cat (important to be specific about this so he can understand) and that he must sit in the chair for 3 minutes. Then I set the timer and walk away. I'm usually either in the kitchen or sitting out int he living room, both are within eyeshot. When the timer goes off, I kneel down in front of him again and I ask him if he understands why he's in time out. We talk about hitting the cat, is that an ok thing or no? What can we do next time the cat frustrates us (can you tell the cat vs. boy thing is an ongoing issue in my home? ), like saying "I'm mad!" or whatever. Then we hug and that's that.

And for *me* that just doesn't sit right. I want my dd to not hit the cat because she cares about the cat not because she's afraid of a punishment.

-Angela
post #31 of 185
I don't think a time out like that is teaching him to be afraid of the time out though. It's a time to reflect on why it's not OK to hit the cat and that's why we talk about it briefly beforehand and then more in depth afterwards. If avoiding a time out is also part of his reasoning for not hitting the cat, I'm OK with that too. Life is filled with all kinds of social consequences for unacceptable behavior and I think it's an important part of growing up to learn how this all works. For example, if he hits me then not only is getting a time out going to occur but I will also be upset and I will explain that to him. I don't like being hit, it hurts and hurts my feelings and he needs to understand and digest that.

Ok and now it's sounding like my son is just a hitting machine and he's totally not! I'm just using these situations as examples.
post #32 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Boy's Mama View Post
I If avoiding a time out is also part of his reasoning for not hitting the cat, I'm OK with that too.
And I'm not okay with that.

-Angela
post #33 of 185
I have no problem with the concept of time-outs. I know many great parents who use gentle discipline, don't spank, have lots of love in their home, and they use time-outs. I think it depends on the personality of the child. Parents who take their parenting seriously know what works best for the kids and for some that means a time out.

I also have a hard time believing that just because a child has a time out they make this emotional leap into believing they've lost their parents love. I've worked in social services for over 20 years and I've seen lots of kids horribly abused and yet they still believe their parents love them and they still want to stay with their parents. Kids who have time out by loving parents in a loving, stable home will not end up as therapy patients in the future.

I also think that we should put time-outs in our cultural context. As an American, I would be happy if we could change our pro-spanking culture (all those polls and surveys show that most Americans believe in spanking and it makes me shudder) into a pro-time-out culture. Changing from violence to non-violence would be a good thing.
post #34 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
And I'm not okay with that.

-Angela
Well Angela, isn't it wonderful that we can be so different and still have such great children? Every parent has to do what feels right to them (obviously I'm discounting sickos) and what feels natural. I'm doing exactly what feels natural and right for me and my son while I'm sure you're doing the same.
post #35 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by naturegirl View Post

And to be completely honest, sometimes I need the "time out" and we both would be better off with a moment of separation.

I am also looking for realistic options to avoid the time out situation and open to workable solutions.
ME TOO!
Lately I find myself really flustered (okay raging mad) at the kids esp when they are all fighting and bickering and then the youngest has a meltdown for not having his way. If I try to talk it out while I am angry I say things in a meaner or sometimes even yell:. So I send everyone to a different room and cool off. My dh thinks I am letting the kids walk all over me. He doesn't get the idea that I have boiling lava in my veins at the moment.

I think I use better words to explain when I cool down...they also realize I am hot and don't push it when they are separated.
post #36 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Boy's Mama View Post
Well Angela, isn't it wonderful that we can be so different and still have such great children? Every parent has to do what feels right to them (obviously I'm discounting sickos) and what feels natural. I'm doing exactly what feels natural and right for me and my son while I'm sure you're doing the same.
Well.... just doing what feels right and natural I don't buy. Plenty of moms say it feels right and natural to hit their kids too...

-Angela
post #37 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Boy's Mama View Post
I am a time out advocate. I find it to be a very effective and gentle tool for the big problem behaviors that don't have acceptable natural consequences.

{snip}

...(can you tell the cat vs. boy thing is an ongoing issue in my home?
But, if it's still happening all the time, then what's effective about the punishment?

Obviously no one's saying that putting your kid in time-out is a direct line to the bell tower, but there are other repurcussions that make it problematic for many people.

Another problem for me is how time out takes the focus off the cat and puts it on the kid and his payment. And at the end of 3 minutes, the payment for hurting the cat is paid in full and off you go. That's not the message I want to send about harming animals. That it can just be paid off in some set parcel and then you just move on.

I'd much rather talk about the impact on the cat, practice tools for better interactions with the cat, and provide reminders/support for the kid to interact with the cat. Because I'm pretty sure that 99% of toddlers do NOT want to hurt animals. They forget, they like the reaction, they don't know how to gently touch the animal, etc. So punishing them for developmentally normal behavior just seems so off to me.

My first was a terror to the cat! If you asked him, "What does the kitty say?" he would HISS! Because that's pretty much all he heard when he would even look at the cat. But we worked and worked and worked on it together and now he's a model citizen with animals at age 5. Punishment not needed.
post #38 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Another problem for me is how time out takes the focus off the cat and puts it on the kid and his payment. And at the end of 3 minutes, the payment for hurting the cat is paid in full and off you go. That's not the message I want to send about harming animals. That it can just be paid off in some set parcel and then you just move on.
Very good point...


Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I'd much rather talk about the impact on the cat, practice tools for better interactions with the cat, and provide reminders/support for the kid to interact with the cat. Because I'm pretty sure that 99% of toddlers do NOT want to hurt animals. They forget, they like the reaction, they don't know how to gently touch the animal, etc. So punishing them for developmentally normal behavior just seems so off to me.
Yeah, that really bothers me. Like people who want to know how to discipline their 10 month old who keeps pulling on cords....

-Angela
post #39 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Well.... just doing what feels right and natural I don't buy. Plenty of moms say it feels right and natural to hit their kids too...

-Angela
That's what I meant by "sickos". Hitting is not ok!
post #40 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Boy's Mama View Post
That's what I meant by "sickos". Hitting is not ok!
But bossing kids around just because we're bigger is?

-Angela
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