Originally Posted by wombatclay
For hitting and hurting behavior we wound up creating a "queit chair". Sort of a gentle time out where someone can sit for a while. Dh and I sit in the chair too and explain to DD how sometimes people need a little quiet time when they get upset or frustrated. It's not totally GD, but we've found that the chair removes dd from the hitting/hurting situation and gives everyone a breather. And sometimes that little break is all I need to re-group myself to better handle the challenges of toddler and babe. Anyway...good luck and congrats on the new babe!
We use Time Out in a similar way -- though it's for me and DH, not our 19 month old yet.
So if for instance, I'm getting frustrated or angry, I'll say, "Mama needs a Time Out to calm down" and I'll go sit somewhere where she can see me, until I'm calm. DH does the same thing. So for us, we don't do rewards or punishment (we do encouragement and redirection), but we do want our toddler to learn by example that when we get frustrated or angry, we take a moment to calm down.
And so for us, Time Out is about learning to calm and taking a moment to breathe and refocus. It's not about punishing. Nor does it take the place of expressing frustration -- it's just something that can be used in conjunction with acceptable expression (like stomping rug, etc.), if that makes sense.
I think it's very possible to use GD and the Time Out (or Quiet Chair or whatever you want to call it) in a manner that is teaching your child, and providing discipline and structure, without resorting to punishment necessarily.
To the OP, we have had great success with the Signing Time DVDs, and with this website: http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
The ST DVDs are just wonderful (the regular, not the Baby ones) and we all love them. We were very anti-TV initially, but these are truly educational and fun, and we watch them with her, so we're all interacting and it's not replacing human interaction.
But between that and the website, I'm convinced it's saved us all a lot of frustration.
Good luck, Mama!