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Do you use time out? - Page 3

post #41 of 54
Danger is one thing we don't mess around with.

We recently had an issue with this and the fireplace. He almost got burned. It freaked us out. So dh has lately been involving him when making a fire, and as his experience with it is growing, he is more cautious around it and is seeming to be gaining some responsibility with it.
post #42 of 54
Often, when my daughter reacts in a way similar to the “get in the car” scene that laurag mentioned, I feel that she is testing my limits. I think that one of the many things going on is that she wants to know where my wants/needs override hers. Sometimes I think she doesn’t really care about the “issue” she’s freaking over and she’s just trying to see what happens. Do you all know what I’m staying here? This helps me very much if I can remember it during such a stressful time.

I think to myself, “Okay, this is not about the car it’s about limits, it’s about who’s needs matter most, it’s about how much she can push me, it’s about power, it’s about curiosity, learning”.

I know that, for my daughter, this is true because when I give her what she wants during this type of interaction it never satisfies her and she just begins on another “test”.

I know that there are other things that factor in like being over tired or stressed but this is just an idea.

Back to the OP’s question, no, I haven’t used time outs but I think that I would when my daughter is a little older. In fact, I’ve started thinking about them when we have a situation that needs calming down. I’ve asked Aya to “lie down” to see if that helps her feel better or I’ll recognize that she’s stressed and ask her if she wants to rest with me for a while.

I noticed a little part of this tread about “AP” being too permissive and while, I don’t think that it has to be, I think it can be. I was at a real loss with my daughter several months ago and couldn’t find any help for a young toddler who needed some serious help with discipline. Things are better now but I still feel like there is so much (in “AP” parenting) that is ruled out in terms of discipline but it hasn’t been replaced with any good solutions for parents struggling to do the best thing for their kids.

I must say that during my difficult time, I made a shift away from the very “AP” child centered focus I had to a more Continuum style philosophy about my child being one equal part out our family. This shift in attitude was very helpful…for all of us!

Edited to add:

First, Heavenly, I LOVED the idea of a “HUG OUT”! I’m going to try it…very sweet!

And, secondly, I noticed a slight debate over giving a child more time, or saying “yes” instead of “no”. I think that in most cases a parent should double check their demands and indeed be sure that “no” is the best answer.

When things get difficult for us again, which I suspect is just around the corner, I think I will develop a mental list of strategies to try.

My first will be to double check the demand…Can I say “yes” instead of “no” right now. But, for my daughter I know this will not even come close to solving the problem the great majority of times. I will think of more strategies to try before I come to some form time-out.
post #43 of 54
Zealsmom -
I truly hope that you did not feel that I was bashing your parenting! If I did, I am so sorry, mama. I was truly asking those questions in general, in my response to several posts I have read and also some things I have heard IRL that have gotten to me. From your examples of your ds's communications to you, it sounds like you are doing exactly what is right for your family, and I am very glad that you all have found such a nice "flow" that makes everyone peaceful and secure, especially your little one
I think I have just had a lot of really negative experience with superduper "perfect" holierthanthou AP moms IRL, and I am more and more shying away from being labeled AP, though we do/have done just about everything on Dr. Sears checklist : . I only hope that when my spirited little is able to talk really well, that she'll communicate so positively with myself and dh, as your son does iwth you .
post #44 of 54
Originally posted by HannahSims

I must say that during my difficult time, I made a shift away from the very “AP” child centered focus I had to a more Continuum style philosophy about my child being one equal part out our family. This shift in attitude was very helpful…for all of us!

This is definitely what has worked for us. I really like the idea of children being an equal but not more important part of a whole unit
post #45 of 54
in answer to the original post and subsequent follow up, no we don't use anything we've termed "time out". dd is 2 yrs 9 mo and would be completely traumatized by a "mainstream" time out where she had to be by herself. she rarely leaves my side as it is. that would be real punishment for her. she is pretty spirited, though. very opinionated and much much more vocal about things than any of her peers. can melt into wails at any moment, but doesn't usually kick or hit. it has happened occasionally, though. we usually act very shocked and tell her that's not nice (not so sure of myself on that wording).

we're expected her little sibling in about a month, so i may be posting here with questions like laurag's then, but for now, as far as what i would do in the situation laurag described, i would probably let her look at the flowers for a little bit and tell her when she was ready we needed to get in the car and go. she's usually pretty receptive to this. we negotiate a lot. i also point out things on the way to the car or as we're leaving the park. "look at that pretty tree over there", or, "hey, we get to go across the baseball field", or, "look at that ant", etc, etc. all these things would be in the direction i wanted her to go. doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.

usually if, like zeal's mom, i acknowledge her feelings of needing to explore a few more minutes, but remind her that we need to go, she'll go. if she pitches a fit, which has definitely been known to happen, i don't yell unless she is running into traffic -- very appropriate time to yell imho, but grab her hand and hold her/pick her up and acknowledge her feelings -- "are you feeling frustrated because you want to look at the flowers some more?" if i'm having a rough time, too, i'll tell her my feelings, "i'm feeling pretty frustrated, too. i'm hungry and need to go home and have lunch. i get cranky if i don't have enough to eat." (dd gets cranky really quickly on an empty stomach, so i'm trying to get her to recognize when she's hungry. she's usually a happy kid if she's well fed.) after she's comforted she'll usually calm down enough to get in the car seat.

last night, though, we went to our local elementary school to vote. there was hardly anyone there and it wasn't very exciting, but dd pitched a fit when we left. dh was with us and he was holding her (she wasn't trying to run away) and asking her what was wrong. we figured out through the wails that she wanted to stay. there was nothing else to do there, so staying wasn't much of an option, and the polls were closing. we showed her some picnic tables on the way out (still wailing, but not quite as loud) and tried to get her to talk (she's very articulate when she's not too worked up) about what she wanted. dh was suggesting going home and swinging in her swing which she loves. we did put her in the carseat wailing. finally she said she wanted to go to the mall. that worked out great for us 'cause i really needed to vacuum and dd hates the vacuum. i usually sweep, but we just had a door installed yesterday and sawdust and drywall dust was everywhere and it really needed vacuuming. i had been waiting til dh got home to do it so he could occupy her. so we dropped me off at home and they went to the mall for an hour and a half and had a great time. i think she just wanted to be out and about some more because we had been home all day with the door guys. we all worked out a compromise that worked well for us. obviously, not applicable to all situations, but if we can get her to talk to us then we can usually go from there. might have to say we can't go to the mall tonight, but we'll go tomorrow or something, but getting her to articulate or at least giving a guess as to what's wrong helps us a lot.

for the diaper change thing, unless it was poopy i'd probably leave it or let her be nekkid. dd is potty trained (mostly -- peed on the rug today : ) and looooooves to be naked. she's napping right now naked and has since she was a wee one. i don't think kids usually pee while they're asleep. it's when they rouse up that they go. just my experience.

btw, i don't like the infant buckets too much although we did use one with dd some and we still have it so we may end up using it with the new baby. i'm planning on slinging a lot more than i did with dd, though. really hope this kid likes the sling.

if anyone is interested in the negatives to time outs you should check out the gentle discipline forum. i'm sure the mamas there could tell you more about it. i think the folks who don't like them, though, don't like the traditional ones where the child is banished. the ones that most of the mamas here are talking about are much more loving than that.

oh, someone asked about standing on the arms of chairs. what i did with dd (not a very adventurous climber anyway) was to show her when she tried it how the chair would tip over. i let her put her weight on the back of the chair and let it start to tip, but i held her so she wouldn't fall. then i explained how she might get hurt if she really tried that. she's older, though, so i don't know if that would work with an adventurous 20mo-something.

hth, and really if you're looking for more creative ideas than time out, check out gentle discipline, http://mothering.com/discussions/for...?s=&forumid=36 . the mamas who hang out there have great advice.
post #46 of 54
I am not totally against the idea of time outs, per se, but I have really disliked the whole process when I've seen it being done. It's like a public shaming.

Toddler grabs toy from other child on the playground. Mother scolds: "You do NOT treat people like that! You do NOT grab! Now go sit in Time Out until you can learn to share." Toddler hangs his head in shame, cries, finally submits and sits looking sad and humiliated and angry. I see it in my extended family all the time too: my cousins (extreeeeemely mainstream parents all the way) constantly put their children in time out, and they also constantly spank.

Think about it: the whole concept of isolating a person from other people until they are rehabilitated, or more often, until they won't do whatever they did wrong again, even if they still feel exactly the same motives and emotions they did when they did it in the first place. It's the same concept as jail. It might work, but it IS punitive. There's no getting around that. It isn't compromise, it isn't working things through--it's not any lesson learned. They learn not to do something, but not WHY not to do it. They learn not to do something because they don't want to be shamed and isolated again. More importantly, just like with spanking, they learn that mommy can be the one who shames and isolates.

The reason I say I'm not TOTALLY against it is that I imagine it can be done humanely and that it can be a chance for a toddler or child to cool down and calm down (it could also be a chance for them to seethe and get even angrier...). My dd is 2.5 and I've never done this yet, but I suppose it's better than spanking or screaming if it comes down to those choices.
post #47 of 54
Sometimes I think she doesn’t really care about the “issue” she’s freaking over and she’s just trying to see what happens.

My dd has been doing this thing where we let her choose what pjs to put on, she chooses them, then 2 minutes later cries and falls over bc she now wants the other pair! Just to see how we deal with it. But dh, who handles the nighttime parenting, is a strong advocate for teaching consequences. Usually dd is just too tired, ready for bed, and doesnt really care what pjs she's wearing, its just Custers Last Stand.
post #48 of 54
Chemigogo, I'm so sorry to hear your IRL experiences with AP parents have been so negative. I feel terribly fortunate to have met some great IRL AP role models with both younger and older children so I've been able to see how AP really pays off. I must admit I've never met an AP parent who has ever thought they were perfect! If you don't mind sharing, exactly how did these moms make you feel so bad? From what I've seen from mostly lurking on these boards, you seem to really try and AP your dd. Sorry that you don't have more IRL support.

As far as time-outs go, I try really hard not to use them because I find that they are a slippery slope for me. (I think I would be the same way with spanking were I to every use it, which I wouldn't.) The few times I have used them as a part of my regular discipline repetoire, I overused them too easily. I was sending my child away rather than trying to figure out the real cause of the problem whenever I was really tired, frustrated, etc. Now I limit time outs to dangerous situations where one of us is either out of control or close to it. But it never feels "right". I'm just not sure what the answer is...Not much help, huh?
post #49 of 54
So far we've never had a total meltdown, tantrum, whatever you want to call it. We try to read the situation before it ever gets there and "head it off at the pass"
OMG I totally envy you! My dd had meltdowns from the day she was born. If she was hungry or had a dirty diaper and we didn't get to her fast enough, she'd work herself into a fit and would no longer care even if we offered her the bottle (breastmilk in it-- I pumped). She would forget she was hungry or whatever and it would talk a long time to get her calm again. If she cried, we literally sprinted to her before she got worked up or we'd pay for it big time. Even at that age distraction didn't work. So you can imagine what the terrible two's have been like. :

Anyway, my point is that it's very individual to the child what works and what doesn't. I always thought that just talking to her and using distraction and all that would work but that was before I had her. I grew up in a very, very abusive household. I mean, I went to school with welts and bruises on my legs from the switch. So for me, time out is not the evil thing that many people make it out to be. It's a LOT better than what I faced as a child.

The point of AP is to stay in tune with your child from the beginning. I feel that AP's helped so much in me being in touch with dd and figuring out what works best for her. In our home time out is a last resort but we are not afraid of using it. She knows she's very much loved and spending 1 minute in the laundry room calming down is not going to cause her life-long damage. She's a very confident, happy little girl with a big temper and a big stubborn streak. Perhaps teaching her now how to calm herself down when she gets in these moods through time out will be a good tool for her to use herself when she's older and on the brink of losing control of herself.

post #50 of 54
Timeout does not work for my son, simply because he is very strong willed, and I end up physically holding him in the chair with him on my lap..and it breaks my heart. We have started using a reinforcement oriented method instead.

However, psychologists recommend a time-out should never last longer than the child's age in years. 1 year old, 1 minute, 2 years old, 2 minutes, and so on.
post #51 of 54
Originally posted by normajean

However, psychologists recommend a time-out should never last longer than the child's age in years. 1 year old, 1 minute, 2 years old, 2 minutes, and so on.
And our time outs, last as long as Kailey wants to stay in her room. Sometimes less than a minute, sometimes longer.
post #52 of 54
I have not used timeouts with my youngest yet (he just turned two), but I did at times with my two older ones (who are now in their teens. My oldest is a freshman in college). I have never used them punitively. I liked someone's comment early in this thread about "calm outs"--that's more like what I have done. If my kid (or I or both) is to angry or frustrated to deal with the situation, some time to be quiet is very helpful. I do this when I'm in conflict with an adult, too--if I'm too worked up to handle it constructively, I need a little time to calm down, so I take it.
Physically, this means that my kid and I will sit down together, preferably somewhere away from the spot the conflict took place, and just be quiet together. Usually, they are on my lap (although there was a point when my older two didn't want to sit on my lap anymore).
So far, none of my kids have been frequent tantrum-ers (thank goodness), but when they have, I always sit down on the floor with them and hold them until they have calmed down. I'll usually speak softly to them. I'll tell them that I understand how frustrating (whatever it was) can be, that when they are all done we can try to figure out what to do, etc.
All of them have tried kicking me when they're really frustrated. I will usually sit down on the floor and hold them, but with their backs to me and their legs behind/beside me so they can't kick very hard (they're lying sideways with my lap pillowing their head and upper body, so they can't hurt themselves, either). I keep up the soft talking if it seems appropriate--that I know they're really angry, but I will not let them hurt me or themselves.
The teens don't tantrum anymore, BTW, so I'm not having to do this with someone taller than me! I'm pretty sure they had both quit tantrums by the time they were three or so.
To me, what makes time-outs punitive rather than constructive is using them to isolate or shame. That is both destructive and unnecessary, IMO. However, using it as a chance to calm down, or as a "pattern interrupt" seems to work pretty well.
Actually, I have used a form of timeout with my youngest--I'll pick him up and walk away from wherever the problem is and cuddle until he's calmer. Sometimes that's enough, all by itself.

post #53 of 54

my dd is only 14 months, but something that has worked WONDERS for us, is giving her choices whenever possible. diaper changes were becoming quite the battle, until i started saying "which toy would you like to hold while we change your diaper?" magic!!!! works like a charm, she's completely fine with the diaper change now!

perhaps something like that for getting into the car? like, would you like to listen to this CD or that one? or would you like to sing songs or tell stories? you get the picture....

or maybe you could ask her where she would like to have her diaper changed, her room or the bathroom? etc etc....

post #54 of 54
Thread Starter 
I know that, for my daughter, this is true because when I give her what she wants during this type of interaction it never satisfies her and she just begins on another “test”.
YES! I was just thinking this today. She is not really upset about getting in the car, it is just a test of limits/power. And after this one, there will be another. Puts it in a whole new perspective.

I have not used a time-out with her yet. Seems like it would just start another power struggle. What I have been doing is offering choices and letting natural consequences occur. It is really making a difference. Even in one week things are so much smoother.

We still have some blow ups, but much less frequent and we both "recover" from them much quicker.

The other day in the car she started screaming at me saying she wanted to drive. Obviously that wasn't going to happen. I tried to explain it but she was determined and cranky. Then she took her shoes off and threw them!! So, I decided that instead of freaking out I was going to let her have a natural consequence to that action. She had to walk from the car into the house without her shoes on. The temp is very mild here, but the sidewalk was cool enough that she did not like it. So then she very calmly asked me to help her get her shoes on. Seems to have worked pretty well.

Thanks for all the advice here mamas - I continue to learn more each day.
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