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#1 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2.5 yr old ds is generally a happy calm pretty well behaved kid. He is an only child and gets almost constant attention from either me or dh. But lately he has been having tantrums and screaming when he doesn't get what he wants, or for whatever reasons and it is driving us nuts! We are first time parents and not sure how to deal with it. He will be pretty happy (thankfully) most of the day but then just get set off really easily into screaming and tantruming- usually they last only 5-15 minutes. We have never done a time out with him-  mostly because I am unsure how I feel about them and also not sure how to implement it. Dh and I are not super pushover parents either- I do try to set boundaries and be stern when I need to. But ds will tantrum for example when dh leaves the room and he wants dh instead of me he will scream till dh comes back. or when he wants to empty the contents of the fridge, etcetera. Often times his screaming drives me and dh nuts so we distract - we say- no screaming ds, and try to be firm- but we end up just tryint to ditract him or else we give in. My sister syas with her kids she puts them i ntime out till they can be respectful- her husband is more stern than dh and I are~ so it works for them.

 

Should we try time outs when he gets like that? We try sort of but he just screams so we give in. I do not want to raise a spoiled brat but I feel like dh and I are spoiilng him somewhat. I must restate that he is 85% of the time well behaved and happy and calm so I feel pretty proud of our parenting. We ar every attachment parenting style, but I always thought of myself as not a pushover parent. but now I just feel like I need gentle but effective discipline techniques so ds does not keep walking all over us! my mom keeps saying that dh and I need to be more in charge and not let ds run the show- and I agree but I don't know how.

Any ideas? Should we try time outs and if so hw does one implement a time out on a screaming 2.5 yr old?  And it is not about telling him- I hear that you are upset, etcetera- he is very well heard- he talks pretty well and we are very attentive and responsive. It is more how do we set boundaries when he is scereaming and tantruming so he doesn't walk all over us? thanks!

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#2 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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My nearly 2.5yo has the occasional tantrum too. I don't do timeout with her. I acknowledge her distress, empathise, offer an alternative/distraction and, if none of those work, I go about my day. I tell her "I'm going to keep doing the dishes, I'll be here if you want me."

I do find the tears/screaming distressing but I try really hard to only say no when it's important so not giving in is a bit easier for me because of that. I'm not 100% consistent though, I'm sure there have been occasions when I've just said "fine, whatever, I can't take it anymore" but generally not.

I'm not sure how I feel about time out for older kids either but for my toddler I think they would be too distressing and unfair as she is just expressing strong feelings in the only way she knows how. I don't see it as a lack of respect for me or DH. She doesn't have the skills to express herself any other way. I'm not going to punish her for that.

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#3 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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My opinion is just to ignore the tantrum if possible or give a time out....but with a warning first.  Count to three...and then put your child in timeout.  Timeout does NOT need to be a horrible experience.  It can be anywhere, especially at this age, but it should be consistent.  The bottom step of the stairs, a chair, a corner in the room.... and at age 2, it should not be longer than 2 minutes (unless of course the child is still screaming).  Just tell them 1, 2, 3, now you need to sit.  When we start timeouts we don't stick to the 1 minute per year of age...but start out with say 30 seconds and move up once they get the hang of it.  But BE CONSISTENT and DON"T give in.  The tantrums will just get worse if you give in and also if you only do the timeouts or whatever discipline you decide on sometimes.  The biggest key is consistency and that will be true all through the years of raising children.  That's my opinion....I'm sure others will have good ideas besides time out too but please be consistent with whatever you choose :)  Good luck.  We are at that stage too with our 2.5 year old.... these days he usually stops when I get to 2.... he says 'uh-oh!' and runs away! Tantrum over!  LOL....

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#4 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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My 2.5 year old generally needs hugs and snuggles to start feeling better.  "I need a hug!" and "I need a tissue!" are the two requests that I'll comply with if even if she uses a screaming voice.  They show that SHE knows she needs to calm down, but needs help doing it.  I don't think time-out usually helps her to calm down when she's upset.  We DO do them sometimes, but I use them as a tool when we both need to pause and then reset when she's misbehaving a lot and I'm angry at her. 

 

Really, I think your best bet is to let him know you're there for him if he needs comfort, and he can find you in the other room when he's ready for that.  Or something along those lines.  But, don't, don't, don't give in! (I know you know that, it can be so tempting sometimes.) 

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#5 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks guys. more responses welcomed but I wanted to respond so far. Reading even those two above responses helped me realize that I don't think time outs would be a good approach for me. I think it would feel un natural to me and a little like shaming which I don't want to do.I am not totally sure though because I don't even really get what a time out is- I mean the kid does something I don't like and then I say- your punishment is to go sit alone till you can be quiet? I am not sure he would even do that or if it would even make sense to me or ds.

 But I do think dh and I need to be firmer about no and to try to not give into the screaming and tantrums more.

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#6 of 50 Old 10-11-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 newmamalizzy: I actually  give in way too much!!!

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#7 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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Is the screaming in distress with crying and tears? If so that is actually felt like pain, like the pain of injury, that's why parents instinctively try to calm and show love to their child. Doing so is actually very beneficial emotionally and physically for the child. It helps the child's brain to develop properly and reduces that flood of cortisol to the body and brain. To just allow that state without comfort can set a child up to be a 'hot head' who never develops the body's own calming mechanism. But the higher brain is not developed enough to do so on it's own without the help of calm loving adult (Newmamalizzy was talking about this). Distractiion even helps to develop the brain and make connections between lower brain and higher brain, so that a child's body is able to calm down sooner. This will carry over into adulthood, so that the body and brain are able to calm sooner.

Time outs can alienate a child just when they need mothers presence most, as they don't yet have a way to deal with strong emotions they feel at such a young age.

I learned about tantrums from reading Margot Sundland's work. She is director of Children's Mental Health Hospital in London.

The link sums up what I read in the book, it's extremely informative:

 

http://tinyurl.com/9a9wrty
 

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#8 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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no he doesn't scream in pain and also to clarify I never ignore him. Quite the opposite- I always comfort him and often give in to what he wants. It is more like- " I want to open the fridge and pour the milk on the floor.!" no, ds you cant spill the milk on the floor, please close the fridge,"  " ahhh!!! screan whine" from ds. when I say to ignore it I mean I always get so affected by it that I think I need to learn to not let him scream at us till he gets hwta he wants. not that I give in and say oh you can pour milk on the floor- more like I say- ds, do you want a cookie? because that stops his crying but then it teaches him that he can scream at me and get a cookie! I am very attachment parenting attentive loving to him. I never ignore him- I just used that language because my mom said- try to ignore the whining/screaming and I am just trying to find a better method than the one I have now.

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#9 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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I probably didn't explain it very well, that link though is very helpful. No, I didn't get that at all, that you leave him, it seems you are very loving indeed.

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#10 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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no he doesn't scream in pain and also to clarify I never ignore him. Quite the opposite- I always comfort him and often give in to what he wants. It is more like- " I want to open the fridge and pour the milk on the floor.!" no, ds you cant spill the milk on the floor, please close the fridge,"  " ahhh!!! screan whine" from ds. when I say to ignore it I mean I always get so affected by it that I think I need to learn to not let him scream at us till he gets hwta he wants. not that I give in and say oh you can pour milk on the floor- more like I say- ds, do you want a cookie? because that stops his crying but then it teaches him that he can scream at me and get a cookie! I am very attachment parenting attentive loving to him. I never ignore him- I just used that language because my mom said- try to ignore the whining/screaming and I am just trying to find a better method than the one I have now.


I think it IS because you're so well attached that this is so hard.  I mean, you spend the first almost 18 months of life trying to feel your child's emotions as though they're yours almost, and then...you almost have to detach.  You have to separate his disappointment and anguish from your own relative calm.  It's definitely tough.  I think you either end up feeling your child's sadness (and likely giving in as a result), or being angry that your child is failing to tap into your feelings and just calm down.  I also think that the amorphous situations, like he acting out when you're paying attention to someone else, are the hardest to deal with.  If you've tended to give in or provide a treat in the past, you may find that your son develops a calming routine pretty quickly once you stop doing this.  In other words, there may be less screaming to endure than you think :)

 

Asiago, thanks for posting that site.  I curious to see what the article has to say, as I have a really hard time dealing with the physical aspect of emotions myself. 

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#11 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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So instead of saying "do you want a cookie" could you say "you really want to pour the milk on the floor don't you? It'd be fun wouldn't it? What if we got a jug of water and poured it in the bath [sink etc insert suitable alternative]?" The other option would be not to offer a distraction but just the empathy. My LO doesn't usually want to be touched when she's having a tantrum so I just sit near her, offer empathy and then sit quietly. I can usually tell the difference between really upset and just ratty so if its just rattiness then I keep doing what I was doing as I said in the first post but for genuine upset I'll sit with her til she's ready for a cuddle.

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#12 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 10:51 PM
 
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I do time outs where I set DS in his room for a small amount of time, but it seems more effective when I pick him up and remove both of us from the situation for a few minutes. I'll hold him and just try to get him calmed down. It doesn't always make him 100% happy because I usually don't give him what he's screaming about, but it does calm him. HTH!
 


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#13 of 50 Old 10-12-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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http://tinyurl.com/9a9wrty
 

That's a really interesting article! It gave me a little insight into my DS for sure! TY


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#14 of 50 Old 10-13-2012, 05:05 AM
 
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Glad you found the article interesting!

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#15 of 50 Old 10-13-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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thanks guys. more responses welcomed but I wanted to respond so far. Reading even those two above responses helped me realize that I don't think time outs would be a good approach for me. I think it would feel un natural to me and a little like shaming which I don't want to do.I am not totally sure though because I don't even really get what a time out is- I mean the kid does something I don't like and then I say- your punishment is to go sit alone till you can be quiet? I am not sure he would even do that or if it would even make sense to me or ds.

 But I do think dh and I need to be firmer about no and to try to not give into the screaming and tantrums more.

I don't leave my children alone in a time out situation.  They just sit somewhere close by.  I only leave if I"m so angry that I"M the one who needs time out...but then I leave the room and they don't sit.  Time out, in my opinion, is a calming situation and a change of direction without reinforcing the behavior.  Once the child makes the connection between "I have to sit because of what I did or how I'm behaving" (they make a connection though probably not in those 'words') time out is usually a calming time.  This usually takes a few episodes.  It only took my toddler about 3 times of 30 second time outs.  He doesn't like timeout, but he doesn't act distraught either.  He will usually run if I start counting, because he doesn't like it, not because it's a terrible ordeal.  It's not a shaming technique. I don't say anything mean to him.  I probably say "no", "don't do that" but after his 30 seconds, 1 minute,  or whatever they seem to need I do give hugs, cuddles, kisses etc.  I do restate 'No pushing'   or whatever the problem was but I let him know I love him and then we do something soothing or fun.  As long as the discipline is followed by love, the child learns but does not have problems with shame, etc.    Whether you choose to do this or not is up to you, but I wanted to try and clarify what time out is about and make sure you know it's not a shameful thing at all and isn't even really a  'punishment'...   just a way of controlling the situation, teaching the lesson the child needs to learn and not allowing a bad situation to become worse.  I hope this helps at least a little. 

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no he doesn't scream in pain and also to clarify I never ignore him. Quite the opposite- I always comfort him and often give in to what he wants. It is more like- " I want to open the fridge and pour the milk on the floor.!" no, ds you cant spill the milk on the floor, please close the fridge,"  " ahhh!!! screan whine" from ds. when I say to ignore it I mean I always get so affected by it that I think I need to learn to not let him scream at us till he gets hwta he wants. not that I give in and say oh you can pour milk on the floor- more like I say- ds, do you want a cookie? because that stops his crying but then it teaches him that he can scream at me and get a cookie! I am very attachment parenting attentive loving to him. I never ignore him- I just used that language because my mom said- try to ignore the whining/screaming and I am just trying to find a better method than the one I have now.


Why do you want to stop his tantrums?

I see tantrums as toddlers releasing negative energy instead of bottling it up inside them. Let him scream. He's frustrated. Dd also has I-want-to -spill-milk-on-the-floor tantrums. I tell her: no, you may not. I offer her a hug if it helps her feel better.

 

You said in your first post you don't want him to walk all over you. You can just do that by not giving in. But I won't punish him for expressing his frustration.


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#17 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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it is just that he likes to control me and dh a lot! We are visiting w- my parents now and they are commenting on it too. Like dh will sit down and try to rest and ds says- no dad, no sit down, no read book- and I will come and say, ds, I will play with you- and if he wants dad that time he will insist by screaming. I don't thin it iis a good idea to just let him scream at us, it feels like we are setting up a bad dynamic of him being in control by screaming at us to get what he wants! So I am trying to find a way to be more in charge- to enforce what dh and I want- without resorting to punishing- I would never be inclined to do any harsh punishments anyway- but I feel like it would be good if I had some sort of consequences to be able to have him not throw a fit if he doesn't get just what he wants! again, this is far from a constant thing- but when he gets in those moods I often feel ike I don't have the tools at ahnd to be able to enforce him listening to me. Someimtes I can and actually I am nore stern than dh. but I am just trying to figure out how to not let him be too over controllong of us and to still keep the upper hand! while at the same time continuing gentle attachment parentign methods. I do know some kids whse parents never enforce no and they really can get out of control with their behaviors and I do not want that for our family.

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#18 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 11:47 AM
 
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Ooh, parenting when a grandparent is present is the worst isn't it!

 

Just remember: him tantruming and him controlling the situation is NOT AT ALL the same thing. You can still be in charge by not giving in. If your dh needs to rest, just take your ds out of the room and let him scream.

Other PPs had great suggestions, like ignoring his tantrums or offering a hug. My 2 dk were different, when ds was little just ignoring or distracting worked best for him; with dd, offering a hug or nursing her makes her feel better.

For example, dd refuses to brush her teeth before bedtime. I offer her the choice to brush herself, or have me brush them, I can give her a hug if she's too upset, but by the time she's in bed, she WILL have her teeth brushed, no matter how much she tantrums.

 

It's an age thing, sooner or later he'll stop tantruming whether you make him stop or let him be. By not stopping my dk's tantrums it may sound like I'm not "disciplining" him, but personally I think of it as giving my kids the opportunity of self-discipline.


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#19 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, I guess for me it is sort of a gray area and essentially I am not sure what I am asking anymore-! because when I read some of the suggestions I am thinkng- oh, I already do that. for example with the teeth brushing- he gets his teeth brushed weater he screams or not. when I first wrote the original post it was just after a tantrum (turns out he was tired and overwhelmed by a long visit with his cousins) and I was like- ah, what do I do! My sister had suggested time outs and we had never done it. Anyway, I think  I just need to keep being firm and keep holding my boundaries. I think we are doing ok. thanks for the ideas!!

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#20 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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I don't and won't use time outs. Dr.Laura can explain better than I can: http://www.ahaparenting.com/Default.aspx?PageID=1280679&A=SearchResult&SearchID=5324351&ObjectID=1280679&ObjectType=1
 


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#21 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't and won't use time outs. Dr.Laura can explain better than I can: http://www.ahaparenting.com/Default.aspx?PageID=1280679&A=SearchResult&SearchID=5324351&ObjectID=1280679&ObjectType=1
 

yeash, that's kind of how I feel too PJ. I never used them or considered using them till the other day when ds was being quite obnoxious and my sister suggested it- so I wanted to explore on here to reaffirm why exactly I felt wrong about using them- I think this link you gave explains it well

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#22 of 50 Old 10-14-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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We talk about "rules" in my house for our 25 MO DD. When she wants to do something and she can't it's because "that's the rule, honey. You can't X, Y, Z. Sorry." It helps -me- be firm but clear about expectations and it almost gives me an out not to give in because... well, a rule is a rule! Another thing we have in our house is this line: "Please make a GOOD decision to not X, Y, Z." Works 90% of the time and avoids DD getting into trouble that is just going to spiral out of control (especially near dinnertime, that's her worst time!).

 

We did TOs for awhile but realized they were just a fun counting game for her and she had no idea what was what so we just sort of naturally stopped them. We do say to her, in the event of a really bad tantrum, that if she doesn't stop she'll have to go to her room. She doesn't like that so she stops pretty darn quickly.

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#23 of 50 Old 10-15-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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yeash, that's kind of how I feel too PJ. I never used them or considered using them till the other day when ds was being quite obnoxious and my sister suggested it- so I wanted to explore on here to reaffirm why exactly I felt wrong about using them- I think this link you gave explains it well

 

Use your intuition. Usually if it doesn't feel right ~if it's one of those discipline techniques that, as you do it it just feels terrible and then after you feel guilty and/or your child just gets even more upset....well then there is probably a better solution. Discipline during really intense emotional moments (both for mama and child!) is really hard, not matter which way you do it. But there is "hard" where you know you have to do it and you can stay centered and calm and not get all upset, and afterwards it felt like the right thing and you still feel connected to your child. And then there's "hard" where it is going against your intuition and comes from a place of being mad and annoyed with your child, and afterwards you feel less connected. I find it takes quite a bit of trial-and-error but I know the times I get it "right" we all feel ok about it after and my son accepts it, even if in the moment he got upset.

 

BTW Dr. Laura's site is chock FULL of ideas for disciplining a toddler and preventing these sorts of situations in the first place. Aren't toddlers intense??!! Best of luck!!!

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#24 of 50 Old 10-15-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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duh.gifOfficially rethinking time outs...

 

It always works better to hold him anyway. Time outs always do feel unnecessarily cruel.
 


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#25 of 50 Old 10-15-2012, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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andee- yay! Glad to get you thinking!

I feel weird that I started this thread because I am actually not into time outs- as I said I was just exploring the concept to reaffirm my initial feeling. :) but then again my kid is only 2 and a 1/2 and I am just learning as I go(as we all are). I think being connected and kind is better than disconnecting and being hard hearted though.

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#26 of 50 Old 10-16-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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I don't and won't use time outs. Dr.Laura can explain better than I can: http://www.ahaparenting.com/Default.aspx?PageID=1280679&A=SearchResult&SearchID=5324351&ObjectID=1280679&ObjectType=1
 

 

I don't give much thought to those that see time out as a punishment.  If they do, then they are using it all wrong.  It does, as I think I explained above, have to be accompanied by loving words and hugs.  Time out is simply a method to calm or to show a child without physical punishment that their behavior is wrong.  This does not make the kid think they are a bad person any more than any type of discipline would.  And a child must be disciplined... not punished, disciplined.  Time out is a safe way to do that as long as it is handled properly, calmly, and with lots of love after the brief time.

Lots of children have benefited from time out if it's handled properly.  And without any negative self-esteem.

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#27 of 50 Old 10-17-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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Age is important when considering timeouts. They have to understand the purpose.

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#28 of 50 Old 10-17-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by orthodoxmom View Post

 

I don't give much thought to those that see time out as a punishment.  If they do, then they are using it all wrong.  It does, as I think I explained above, have to be accompanied by loving words and hugs.  Time out is simply a method to calm or to show a child without physical punishment that their behavior is wrong.  This does not make the kid think they are a bad person any more than any type of discipline would.  And a child must be disciplined... not punished, disciplined.  Time out is a safe way to do that as long as it is handled properly, calmly, and with lots of love after the brief time.

Lots of children have benefited from time out if it's handled properly.  And without any negative self-esteem.


Agreed.

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#29 of 50 Old 10-17-2012, 02:21 PM
 
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I often hear that "time out isn't a punishment". Maybe not to the adult - but they are to a child. He does something wrong, love and affection are withdrawn and he is isolated. It may be a temporary punishment, but it is a punishment all the same. It also teaches the child that your love is conditional upon him doing things that please him. Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting explains this idea pretty well.

 

Here are some other links on the topic:

 

http://suite101.com/article/time-in-versus-time-out-a57271
http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/22_alternatives.html
http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/alternatives-time-out/
http://abundantlifechildren.com/2012/07/30/how-to-raise-decent-children-without-spankings-or-time-outs/
http://rootparenting.org/child-timeouts-can-be-harmful/
http://joanneaz_2.tripod.com/positivedisciplineresourcecenter/id26.html

 

You will see that many of them advocate time in instead of time out, where the child isn't isolated but the parent stays with them to help them manage their emotions. Other posters have said it already, but I find empathising and saying "I can see you feel really mad about x" (verbalising for him, if he's not able to himself) means most tantrums dissipate pretty quickly.
 

We practise a mix of RIE and AP here, and I've found Janet Lansbury's blog pretty awesome in general.

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/04/no-bad-kids-toddler-discipline-without-shame-9-guidelines/


New Zealander in the Maldives. Mother to my lovely Mila Arden and due March 2014 with baby number two!
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#30 of 50 Old 10-18-2012, 04:20 AM
 
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To me, if TO is something that sounds like dog training is punishment. (Like counting to 3 etc.) If it's something I would do with another adult ("Let's take a moment to calm down, ok?") I think it's reasonable.
 


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