Let's go over this again, what's wrong with time outs? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 122 Old 08-27-2013, 08:37 PM
 
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DCMama - I'm a big fan of the book the Secret of Parenting by Anthony Wolf. It's really all about how you actually have the power to get your kids to do what you need them to do with, really, just your will alone.

Example: Me: "OK, it's time to brush out teeth."
Kid: "NO!" runs away
Me: Deep breath/sigh. Walks after kid and stands there staring at them with the raised eyebrow look. And, I stare and stare and stare. I say nothing.
Kid: Ranting or sulking or whatever... "I don't want to... "
Me: "I know you don't want to brush your teeth. I know you want the day to be over. I know you want to .... " It's great if they'll get in your lap at this point for a hug, but sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. No big deal either way. "I wish we could just play and play and play all day. I wish I could just sit here all day with you in my lap."
Kid: Sob/sigh/whine/complain.
Me: "I know honey. Let's get our teeth brushed real fast so we have more time to read books."

I'm telling you it works.

That's a nice idea and I do believe you, I'm sure it works for your kids and who knows, maybe it would for my little girl,  too.  I just don't like to lie as a mom and I would be totally lying if I said I wished we could just sit there all day with her in my lap.  I like to hold her, don't get me wrong, but I all day?  Nope, I have other things I like to do in the day, too.  It really doesn't feel true to me to sympathize in that way, I don't really vibe with it.  Some things just need to get done, I am not really one to bemoan the fundamental things that are non-negotiable. 

 

I do remind her that the faster she gets it done then the more time we have for books, so we do agree on that :-)

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#32 of 122 Old 08-27-2013, 08:43 PM
 
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This thread is very interesting an I appreciate BOTH sides of the coin.  I have a generally very good natured 3yo boy and time outs have worked well for us this past year.  He is warned that he will get a time out for continuing to behave in a way that is hurtful or dangerous, and if he proceeds he gets a time out...2 minutes at the bottom of the stairs...I tell him what he did wrong, I ask him to say he is sorry, we hug...over...great.  Well not so much anymore, lately he is fighting the time outs and working on the "testing".  He won't stay put, and will run and hide...he also wont do what we ask, brushing teeth and getting ready for bed was the issue last night.  I would be very interested in OTHER strategies.  Some mention they treat their kids with kindness and compassion and expect a lot...what does that mean when you have a 3 year old screaming no in your face and running away?  I have been trying to take away "privileges", like books before bed, screen time, treats, but he doesn't seem to care in the moment.

 

Last night I gave up on the time out, and put him in bed lights out without even trying to brush his teeth.  He exploded into tears and said he was sorry right away, we went in and brushed his teeth read some books and all was fine, though 30 minutes later than bedtime should have been. I felt bad though.  Reasoning with a 3 year old is a real challenge sometimes.  I do try to keep my cool, but admit sometimes I raise my voice.

 

If anyone could provide specific examples of how you would handle a child who won't stay in time outs I would appreciate it.

 

Thanks to all!

I know you asked for other ideas and hopefully you will get some.  But I want to mention that I went through that with my little girl, three was the. hardest. age. period.  But I think the testing is all about seeing if those boundaries are going to remain.  "How about now?  But what if I do this?  Now?  How bout now?"  So sticking with it through the rough part, even when you can't see it working is really just setting the stage for better self control and understanding of the rules and what is expected in the future.  Does that make sense?

 

And also, to me, it sounds like you got through to him by putting him to bed with the lights out.  I def. believe that just as much we as parents need to consider our kiddos feelings, we also need to help them understand ours.  His behavior is frustrating to you and you conveyed that to him.  Of course he can't be expected to control his impulses very well at his age, but again, it's laying a foundation, it's all about balance. 

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#33 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 05:05 AM
 
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Daupinette- that's just my dialogue with my child. You would insert your dialogue on what you would want to do all day. "I wish we could go to Disneyland and run around all day". Or whatever.

The point is to recognize your child's feelings with no conditions. And then move on to what has to be done. It's like if you said "I'm so angry at my boss!" It's no help for me to say, "We'll too bad, you have to go to work! Something's need to get done and work is non negotiable!" That's not helpful. You already know that. You're just venting and looking for a sympathetic ear. It's more helpful for me to say, "you had a bad day at work, huh?"

We know this as adults talking to adults, but for some reason we don't apply it to our children. There's another great book called How to talk so children will listen and listen so children will talk.

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#34 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 06:39 AM
 
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I love hearing from both sides of this spectrum and Ill go so far as to say all of us mamas rock in our roles bc we are considering and HAVING this conversation! Go us!! smile.gif. I've read the Elaine Faber (sp?) book and am down w it, but, at the end of the day I feel like its ok to have certain expectations of my 2 yo...IN REASON! She's actually pretty good about doing what needs to be done (I.e. tooth brushing, butt wipes after poop, running to grab a towel if she spills something) but of course she's a kid and has an opportunity to bitch, if she chooses, when the occasional thing that needs to get done has to get done. I validate her to an extent, but I'm very much of the, sorry charlie, this is what needs to go down right now, I hear ya, but ... As humans, there are things that have to get done even if we occasionally don't want to do them..perhaps when she's older and able to reason ill embark on open dialogue concerning what she's feeling about having to get ...done and why she's choosing to be obstinate but, again, I don't really feel like I'm asking a ton to have expectations w my kiddo. Her life is totally full of awesomeness and joy and getting her needs fully met so I'm ok with my expecting her to do a few things that need to get done, even when she occasionally wants to do otherwise:)
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#35 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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anachka, I love the Faber and Maslich book (sure that's spelt wrong!) but I don't think that anything in that book precludes having expectations of your kids. I think Xerxella's post really sums it up well. You can totally have expectations of your kids-I do of mine, but at the same time you can listen to and validate their feelings. I listen to my kids, but it doesn't mean my boundaries move, unless my kids do manage to convince me I'm wrong. 

 

Actually the main issue I have with the book is something else. I think sometimes we have to stop complaining and get on with stuff. I think its possible to get into too much talking around a thing, and I think over thinking can paralyse us into inaction. I think its a fine, fine line between talking something out and getting it off our chests and talking round and round in circles, getting more and more worried. I also think its not good for anyone, kids included, to get into the habit of endless complaining and moaning and I think that that could be a possible outcome of using the book. We know our own kids though and we know what works and what they need. 

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#36 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Daupinette- that's just my dialogue with my child. You would insert your dialogue on what you would want to do all day. "I wish we could go to Disneyland and run around all day". Or whatever.

The point is to recognize your child's feelings with no conditions. And then move on to what has to be done. It's like if you said "I'm so angry at my boss!" It's no help for me to say, "We'll too bad, you have to go to work! Something's need to get done and work is non negotiable!" That's not helpful. You already know that. You're just venting and looking for a sympathetic ear. It's more helpful for me to say, "you had a bad day at work, huh?"

We know this as adults talking to adults, but for some reason we don't apply it to our children. There's another great book called How to talk so children will listen and listen so children will talk.
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Daupinette- that's just my dialogue with my child. You would insert your dialogue on what you would want to do all day. "I wish we could go to Disneyland and run around all day". Or whatever.

The point is to recognize your child's feelings with no conditions. And then move on to what has to be done. It's like if you said "I'm so angry at my boss!" It's no help for me to say, "We'll too bad, you have to go to work! Something's need to get done and work is non negotiable!" That's not helpful. You already know that. You're just venting and looking for a sympathetic ear. It's more helpful for me to say, "you had a bad day at work, huh?"

We know this as adults talking to adults, but for some reason we don't apply it to our children. There's another great book called How to talk so children will listen and listen so children will talk.
That's actually the thing, kids don't have the life experience to know that it needs to get done.
Anyway, I am actually very secure and happy with haw I see this issue, I feel like you need to change my mind and I feel fine saying agree to disagree. What works for you seems annoying and excessive to me. What works for me seems punitive to you. I don't think we have to do it the same to both be good moms.
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#37 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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Again, I think we all rock at our jobs for even entertaining this discussion! And I am a firm believer that we all do what's best for our families! I do agree that there are factors such as age, etc that come into play with all of this. And I 100% agree that there can be an over discussion w little ones when they are of appropriate age to reason, etc. I'm a relatively new mama but have worked with children for over 13 years in varying capacities and ive found that there really is a truth to over discussing something!! Kids will go on and I love their persistence but, again, when something needs to get done....lol. I love giving (esp older kids) the opportunity to express themselves in an open dialect and yet I also agree that, as an adult, I am secure in my position as guiding them within a set of parameters. I think we all basically agree on this, we just all have varying parameters. Some of us will discuss more w our kids and some less, and I think it's all good. I'm pretty confident that all of our littles FEEL heard by their parents which is really what matters. Whatever works for our families! smile.gif
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#38 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 11:58 AM
 
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Anyway, I am actually very secure and happy with haw I see this issue, I feel like you need to change my mind and I feel fine saying agree to disagree. What works for you seems annoying and excessive to me. What works for me seems punitive to you. I don't think we have to do it the same to both be good moms.




I don't doubt that you are very secure and happy with how you see the issue. This is a just a discussion on how different parents do things differently. I think it's always good to hear how others do things differently and maybe they'll work for you and maybe they won't. But, I was glad to hear how you do things and I'm glad to read books on how others do things and see if any of that would work better for me.

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#39 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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We don't do time-outs. My kids would be devesatated. I think we run our family a little differently though. No rules. No limits on screen-time, no food restrictions. Kids sleep in our room, so no fights at bedtime. If the kids fight with each other, I might suggest that they hug each other. We have lots of conversations about respect, I reflect back what I think they might be feeling (that frustrates you?, are you feeling tired?). High expectations for behavior in public and at home, but not unrealistic or expectations that are innappropriate for age. It works very well for us.
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#40 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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 But, I was glad to hear how you do things and I'm glad to read books on how others do things and see if any of that would work better for me.

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#41 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 01:14 PM
 
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We don't do time-outs. My kids would be devesatated. I think we run our family a little differently though. No rules. No limits on screen-time, no food restrictions. Kids sleep in our room, so no fights at bedtime. If the kids fight with each other, I might suggest that they hug each other. We have lots of conversations about respect, I reflect back what I think they might be feeling (that frustrates you?, are you feeling tired?). High expectations for behavior in public and at home, but not unrealistic or expectations that are innappropriate for age. It works very well for us.

I guess this leaves me with some questions.  If a time out would devastate your children how do you plan on helping them cope with school issues?  Or do you home school?  And how about in lessons outside the home or on playdates when someone might be less than nice, would they be able to handle that?  I guess I feel like setting up your home to be completely conflict free might set your kids up for some unrealistic expectations...?  Am I missing something?

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#42 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 01:52 PM
 
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Fillyjonk wrote:

 

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When they are whirling round, lost in the game, they are not actually listening to me and in ten years of parenting I haven't worked out how to get them to snap out of it except by sending them off to calm down.

My parents' solution to that type of problem was to grab the kid and give one hard spank.  It did snap me out of it, so that I would leave the room in tears, feel horribly ashamed for about an hour, and be much subdued for at least the rest of the day--so my parents think it worked; in fact they think it was "the only thing" to do in that type of situation.  I disagree.  I think a child can be sent away to calm down without being hit!!!  But I agree with you that there may be no way out of the whirling not-listening that does not involve removing the child from the situation; I certainly haven't found one for my kid when he gets like that.  I've often had to speak very firmly and physically hold him still and/or physically move him out of the room to get his attention, but it CAN be done without pain or shame.

 

DCGreenMomma wrote:

 

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Well not so much anymore, lately he is fighting the time outs and working on the "testing".  He won't stay put, and will run and hide...he also wont do what we ask, brushing teeth and getting ready for bed was the issue last night.  I would be very interested in OTHER strategies.

Yeah, I can relate!  Xerxella's suggestion is a good one.  A similar approach, which I once saw described around here as "waiting for the bus," is to state clearly what needs to happen and then act like you are waiting for something that is certainly not within your control but which you expect will happen soon, like waiting for a bus to come, being neutral toward the child rather than giving him much attention either negative or positive.  A good way to state your expectation is "when...then".  For example, "When your teeth are brushed, then we can read a story." 

 

If you search "toddler toothbrushing" on my blog, you'll find a very detailed story about how my son and I managed to drag out toothbrushing over 45 minutes, in which I tried a number of strategies that might well have worked on a different child, or even on my child on a different night--this could give you some ideas to try--but ultimately it seemed that he really needed me to demonstrate that I was in charge and serious about getting those teeth brushed.  Here's the gist of the conclusion:

 

Maybe it’s not true of all kids, but with Nicholas, a power struggle will be prolonged as long as we parents allow it to be.  Once he’s shown that he’s not going to accept the inevitable without a fight, instead of engaging in the fight, we need to impose the inevitable.  Anything else is just delay.  If anything, further delay increases his negative reaction to the imposition of the inevitable.

 

I don’t like overpowering anybody–it doesn’t make me feel like I’ve won; it makes me feel like we’ve all lost–and it was disturbing to see that tactic achieve the goal when nothing else would.  But as the days went on, I found that having been forced into it just once had left him a little more resigned to the fact that his teeth were going to get brushed every night between putting on pajamas and hearing stories.

 

I’d love not to have power struggles like this.  I wish we could get along all the time and be reasonable.  When Nicholas starts defying instructions and raising distractions and yelling at me, I feel just sick inside, and I want to set an example of being very sweet and gentle.  I want to be like those parents in the gentle discipline books who pull creative solutions out of thin air and get everyone to agree!  Sometimes, I am.

 

But it’s possible to offer too many choices about things for which there really is no choice.  You have to brush your teeth.  There might be some options about exactly how and exactly when, but it’s got to get done.  I’ve seen many situations over the years in which we try to make these inevitable things easy for Nicholas, yet he resists and resists and resists endlessly.  We are giving him too much control of the situation.  When we take charge and make it happen, he may be very upset and angry, but at least it got done.  And occasionally–this toothbrushing struggle was the first time I saw it clearly–he responds to having been forced into it by demanding a second chance to demonstrate how he can cooperate.  (The sooner we take charge, the more likely that is.  After a longer struggle, he tends to hold a grudge for a while.)

 

If you find that a simple task of routine hygiene has become a lengthy struggle requiring your full creative resources, yet it’s still not getting anywhere…count to three, maybe, and then just make it happen.  It won’t be fun.  You will feel like a horrible ogre.  But if you go through a long, drawn-out negotiation every single time you try to do anything, because you’ve been showing your child that you’re willing to do that, and he enjoys the game of seeing how long he can delay, you know what?  You will turn into a horrible ogre anyway, and it will happen very suddenly, when your frustration and resentment finally explode at a level that isn’t really fair to a little kid who’s living in the moment and has been unaware of the cumulative stress he’s been causing you with the negotiations you have been accepting.

 

Things Not To Do:

  • Don’t spend more than ten minutes trying to get a toddler to agree to do something that really must be done.  Make it happen.  (You might extend the time for an older child, but still, there’s got to be a limit.)
  • Don’t keep on waiting to act as you’re starting to get really angry.  When you are yelling, “JUST HOLD STILL!!!” over and over again and feel like strangling the kid, you’ve already lost control of the situation, and the longer you go on letting the kid wriggle and filibuster, the more parental authority you’ll lose.  Also, it’s much easier to be firm without hurting anyone when you are relatively calm.
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking control in a way that is firm and might be uncomfortable if the kid struggles but does not injure him and does not involve yelling, shaming, overburdened sighing, or abandonment.  You could do worse.  I know I have.  It usually comes about because I did not take control but only resented him for not giving it to me!

 

I hope this helps!


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#43 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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I guess this leaves me with some questions.  If a time out would devastate your children how do you plan on helping them cope with school issues?  Or do you home school?  And how about in lessons outside the home or on playdates when someone might be less than nice, would they be able to handle that?  I guess I feel like setting up your home to be completely conflict free might set your kids up for some unrealistic expectations...?  Am I missing something?

 

A 'time out' would be a betrayal of our relationship and produce feelings of abandonment. DD1 had to sit out for part of recess during Kindergarten for a minor infraction (she's now in 2nd), and is still upset by it. I do not homeschool. My kids don't have any issues at school, dance, gymnastics, or any other activity they do. They generally listen and behave appropriately, so reprimands from adults in authority positions are pretty rare. If it became common, I would pull my kids from that activity. I'm not sure how enforcing time-outs would make a kid better able to handle a less than nice kid on a playdate... Kids don't have to be punished to behave well. It really isn't neccessary. Just FYI... I really didn't think it was possible to parent this way until I saw it successfully modeled for me.


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#44 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 02:20 PM
 
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If you find that a simple task of routine hygiene has become a lengthy struggle requiring your full creative resources, yet it’s still not getting anywhere…count to three, maybe, and then just make it happen.  I do this pretty frequently. When the kids don't want to get up for school in the morning, they get dressed, by me still in bed. If younger DD doesn't want to brush her teeth, I do it for her. I don't force hygeine issues on older DD. She's pretty good about it anyway, but if she decides to skip a shower or something...her decision.
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#45 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 02:34 PM
 
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DD1 had to sit out for part of recess during Kindergarten for a minor infraction (she's now in 2nd), and is still upset by it.

This what confuses me.  This seems not ideal to me.  I still wonder if I am missing something.

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#46 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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If you find that a simple task of routine hygiene has become a lengthy struggle requiring your full creative resources, yet it’s still not getting anywhere…count to three, maybe, and then just make it happen.  I do this pretty frequently. When the kids don't want to get up for school in the morning, they get dressed, by me still in bed. If younger DD doesn't want to brush her teeth, I do it for her. I don't force hygeine issues on older DD. She's pretty good about it anyway, but if she decides to skip a shower or something...her decision.

You brush their teeth because they don't want to?  That is just the opposite of what I want to be doing.  I don't have time to do this, I would never get out the door if, at 5/almost six, I had to dress her and brush her teeth and put her shoes on and feed her breakfast and get her lunch together and shower myself and dress myself and make my own lunch and check my email.......It's just not practical for me.  And I don't think it's age appropriate, either.

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#47 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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Why would it be inappropriate to brush a 4 YO's teeth? I rarely dress them because they don't like it. Incentive for them to do things for themselves... Disclaimer though...I leave the house at 4:30 most days and DH gets the kids ready for school. I only do this on occasional days off. :) My kids are very sensitive. Reprimands from teachers are not well received nor would I expect them to be. If I were treated like that on the job, I would quit, so I would I expect them to be subjected to harsh (IMO) punishments. I'm not sure of any kids that like punishments or time-outs, why would they? Its so much easier to have a conversation about what is expected with expected results. They respond very well to this. Like I said, DD generally doesn't have any issues and is very well adjusted. It works really well for us.


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#48 of 122 Old 08-28-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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Why would it be inappropriate to brush a 4 YO's teeth? I rarely dress them because they don't like it. Incentive for them to do things for themselves... Disclaimer though...I leave the house at 4:30 most days and DH gets the kids ready for school. I only do this on occasional days off. :) My kids are very sensitive. Reprimands from teachers are not well received nor would I expect them to be. If I were treated like that on the job, I would quit, so I would I expect them to be subjected to harsh (IMO) punishments. I'm not sure of any kids that like punishments or time-outs, why would they? Its so much easier to have a conversation about what is expected with expected results. They respond very well to this. Like I said, DD generally doesn't have any issues and is very well adjusted. It works really well for us.

Yeah, this is pretty much what my friend said made her job really hard, as a teacher in pre-k, is parents who don't give their kids any idea about rules/consequences/"punishments" and then she gets the fruits of that labor in the form of children who just don't know how to handle getting in trouble, which, according to her will happen to every child at some point.  Getting corrected in school should not be a drama or devastating or crushing, it's just a fact of life.  We all make mistakes and in school it's the teachers job to you correct you when you do.  And no, I don't think kids like being corrected, but I don't think that makes it wrong.  I don't think you can expect every adult to handle your child the way you do, and I don't think it a favor to your child to want there life sterilized in that fashion anyway, at least I don't want that for my child.  People handle things differently and I think it's great for kids to see that and experience it for themselves, see that things can be different but they are going to be ok.

 

And you would quit your job if what exactly happened?  I didn't understand that.  You consider a reprimand a harsh punishment?

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#49 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 03:42 AM
 
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I totally agree. I know this thread is abt time outs, but this has gotten interesting. Being able to receive discipline or correction without holding a grudge is a characteristic I WANT my dd to have. It's a part of life!
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#50 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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Lilblueberry, that pic of your little one is stinkin' adorable!

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#51 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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"If the kids fight with each other, I might suggest that they hug each other."

 

 

Seriously? For real? That works in your house? Because when my kids are fighting, the last thing they want to do is hug each other. In fact, I think it would be a little insulting to them to suggest that they did. But maybe that's just my kids.

 

I'm glad it works for you, but honestly, plenty of us have tried the whole gentle explaining thing and our kids still push the boundaries. And a quiet, calm word, doesn't work. So I wouldn't assume the rest of us are doing anything wrong. You've got a good hand there-enjoy it smile.gif

 

EnviroBecca, just to make one thing clear. I don't hit my kids. I have THREE kids. The issues in my house are mainly between them, any parent of 2+ kids will tell you so. I'm not trying to underestimate life with one, but I think parents of several kids tend to find them incredibly easy when they only have one, and that's becuase, IME, its the interaction between them and the need to balance needs that makes it so hard.

 

I do want to be very clear that I do not hit and have never hit my kids, and I'm not sure how obvious that is from your reply. I really do want to be clear on this, because its important to me. I did  have parents who hit, including a very unpleasant period in my teens which resulted in me leaving home at 15. So this is important to me. However, because there are younger kids around, the stakes in my house can be higher. When I have a kid whirling around like a dervish, or two of them goofing off and not listening, there can be a real risk to another child, my own or someone else's, in getting hurt. Now I'm all for parenting as kindly and gently as possible but in the final analysis, to protect the other kids, I will certainly use firm words, I guess, I'd physically move them. Its rare for me to do that though. I also don't actually agree that sending a kid to their room is shaming them, but that might depend on your child. I'm not really clear what this "shaming" is anyway-I'm British, its not a term we use. What's wrong with a kid feeling some shame? 

 

"Being able to receive discipline or correction without holding a grudge is a characteristic I WANT my dd to have. It's a part of life!". <= hell yeah. Sometimes my kids are on the receiving end of unfairness also, from teachers, other parents etc. Now while I do want my kids to have reasonable assertiveness, and I will stick up for them while justified, I really don't want them them to be the kind of kids who can't roll with any bit of unfairness without it ruining their day. You know why? Its their day that gets ruined.  We are home/unschoolers but that actually makes it all the more important for me that my kids can roll with stuff, to allow them to access the classes they want and so on, and certainly without being the unsocialised homeschool kids (people do, IMO, tend to assume that of homeschooled kids-I don't want to play into that perception. We get less rope than others, and that's the reality of it)

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#52 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

 I also don't actually agree that sending a kid to their room is shaming them, but that might depend on your child. I'm not really clear what this "shaming" is anyway-I'm British, its not a term we use. What's wrong with a kid feeling some shame? 

 

"Being able to receive discipline or correction without holding a grudge is a characteristic I WANT my dd to have. It's a part of life!". <= hell yeah. Sometimes my kids are on the receiving end of unfairness also, from teachers, other parents etc. Now while I do want my kids to have reasonable assertiveness, and I will stick up for them while justified, I really don't want them them to be the kind of kids who can't roll with any bit of unfairness without it ruining their day. You know why? Its their day that gets ruined.  We are home/unschoolers but that actually makes it all the more important for me that my kids can roll with stuff, to allow them to access the classes they want and so on, and certainly without being the unsocialised homeschool kids (people do, IMO, tend to assume that of homeschooled kids-I don't want to play into that perception. We get less rope than others, and that's the reality of it)

yes, yes and yes.  Ok, so I'm glad it's not just me, I thought I was missing something.

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#53 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 11:18 AM
 
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The reason I'm not down with time-outs as they are usually deployed is that I don't believe in withholding love on purpose to condition a child to behave the way I want him to in this moment. Also, for the very small children, it's hard for them to understand the relationship between time-out and what they did wrong.

 

 

The expression "time out," when I first hear it, sounded so nice. It took me awhile to realize that it actually means "go sit in the corner," or "go to your room." Yes, better than hitting or yelling or a big guilt trip, I suppose. Certainly better than siblings picking on each other! But not a great default. 

 

 

I think there's a really big difference between a child feeling shame because he realizes he's done something wrong and regrets it, and me intentionally shaming the child. Learning and growth sometimes come with negative feelings. I don't manipulate those feelings on purpose to get my own way! That's not fair. I have too much power in the relationship.

 

I do not think any child is going to respond with equanimity to being punished, whether at home or at school. This idea that they should be able to "roll with a bit of unfairness"--it's unrealistic. It's also not the greatest idea, writ large, for the child's future personality. Should we really teach them to roll with unfairness? Really? 

 

I'm going to slip up and get angry at my son sometimes. I can't be a perfect mom. I worry a lot about what I do wrong. I'm not a behaviorist, though. I'm not trying to use rewards and punishments to condition the child. He's a thinking human and I can engage him in the process of learning what I believe will help him in the world and in relationships. I guess I think a real time-out, a rest period, can work well for a lot of kids--help them recharge--but I don't like it as a punishment. 

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#54 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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"It's also not the greatest idea, writ large, for the child's future personality. Should we really teach them to roll with unfairness? Really? "

 

Well yes, I do think they should be able to roll with a little unfairness. Its just about having a bit of perspective. Life isn't fair, you pick your battles. You work out what really needs dealing with and you deal with that. The whole point about rolling with a little unfairness is that its not writ large. Its a little unfairness-I said already I believe in intervening for real injustice. Its not sweating the small stuff, not bearing grudges over stuff that doesn't matter. Its not being oversensitive to stuff that really, really in the long run does not matter. I do think that's important, actually. I think its likely to be hard to be happy when you worry at every slight. Better I think to learn that sometimes people act unfair or irrational, its not usually personal, its usually just a teacher being stressed at dealing with 30 kids, a friend having a hard day. The best way I know to learn that is by experiencing it, and by talking it through together where they need more guidance, which is what we do.

 

We all know people who take every little thing to heart. I don't really want that for my kids. I do want them to have a certain amount of resilience.

 

OTOH we do all want different things for our children and have different concerns. We come from different places. And we're behind a computer screen. If you saw the way I actually parent, as opposed to how I conceptualise parenting, you might well take a different view. Or not. ROTFLMAO.gif


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#55 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 12:53 PM
 
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to a child, especially a very young one, the most important thing in life is their relationship with their parents. Their parent,s love is number 1 thing in their lives!

everything else comes second.

 

so when my child has a behavior that I don't like, and every time I decide to punish him by putting him in time out and withdrawing the most important thing in his life: my love.

 

How is that fair?

 

Most of what will happen at school/park/classes is not comparable to parental love withdrawal.

for the very young child, his relationship with his teacher, peers doesn't come close to his relationship with his parents.

 

so giving the worse punishment repeatedly to prepare for lighter punishments later in life doesn't make sense to me.

 

and as some pp said, punishment or rewards only work as external motivators. Do I really want my kids to behave ''well'' just because they don't want to get caught?

 

my most important parenting tool and the most (effective) is my relationship with each of my child. If anything affects negatively our relationship, then it is harder to connect with them and teach them.  Tim outs would definitely affect negatively our relationship, and therefore their behavior and my ability to teach them and communicate my expectations.

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#56 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

This idea that they should be able to "roll with a bit of unfairness"--it's unrealistic. It's also not the greatest idea, writ large, for the child's future personality. Should we really teach them to roll with unfairness? Really? 

 

For me it's an adamant "really" I don't want my daughter growing up to be captain-of-the-fairness-police.  I want her to be able to move through things in life with getting caught up on every little snag.  You something wrong, you take a little time out, you move on.  You make a mis-step at school, teacher corrects you, you move on.  No harm no foul.  Yes, there are things I want her to stand up for in life, but life is unfair every. single. day.  I don't want her grieving that every step of the way.

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#57 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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so when my child has a behavior that I don't like, and every time I decide to punish him by putting him in time out and withdrawing the most important thing in his life: my love.

 

How is that fair?

 

I never with draw my love from my little girl, that's crazy talk.  Telling her she needs a few minutes away from a situation to cool down does not equal taking my love away from her.  I can love her and guide her and punish her and praise her.  I am multifaceted and she has the emotional fortitude to understand that a time out certainly does not mean we don't love her.  I think it is the consistency of our boundaries, rules and behavior that allows her to trust that, besides me telling her like a million times and day!

 

Most of what will happen at school/park/classes is not comparable to parental love withdrawal.

for the very young child, his relationship with his teacher, peers doesn't come close to his relationship with his parents.

 

My bf is a pre-k teacher and she says that parents who don't use the same consistent sort of consequences she does at school make her job SO much harder.  And I know from my own experience that kids do need to know what their parameters are.  If the parameters are vastly different for them at home and at school then yes, that has to be disconcerting.

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#58 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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Jumping back into this discussion. Im seeing the words "shame" and "withholding love" popping up an awful lot here, and I'm extremely curious where any of you are getting this from? Has anyone even read the responses from those of us who use time outs?

Last night my husband was overtired and getting frustrated with the kids. My daughter said she thought daddy needed a time out, he agreed, and he went and read in the backyard for a few minutes and came back happy. At no point would he have questioned our love for him or felt shamed, and neither does our daughter. She's still allowed to talk to us when in time out if she needs to, she's allowed to leave when she needs to, no one yells or cries.

I feel like there may be a picture in some commenters heads of a child, over or under stimulated and acting out, bawling as his mother drags him by the arm into a corner and shouting at him to stay put for fifteen minutes. I haven't seen a single one of us discuss that as an option. Everyone on earth gets to the point where we need a moment to breathe. Where we're grumpy and can't be reasoned with. In my house, when we get like that (every single one of us, with the exception of the resident newborn of course) we go off somewhere quiet and gather our thoughts for a moment so we can come back and be more receptive to talking it out. Our daughter suggests time outs more than her father and I combined.

Could someone PLEASE explain to me where the shame and withholding love lies in there?
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#59 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Could someone PLEASE explain to me where the shame and withholding love lies in there?

I'm going to agree with the thoughts behind this post. While some adults may perceive that kids think that time out means mom (or dad) doesn't love me, I don't believe that's what's going on, nor do I think most children would think this way.

People are amazingly varied. Their are many ways to parent successfully. If I raise well-adjusted children who want to come home for holidays and spend time with me, I think in the end, I'll judge myself a success. In the mean time, I want pleasant family life. For us, that means that if you are being hurtful, openly angry, or just really tired, I'm going to suggest that you spend some time by yourself for awhile. And I'll rub your back if you ask, and you can still come into my bed in the mornings, even when you're 8.  And I'll cook the breakfast you ask for, and when I'm sick, you'll take it upon yourself to take care of me, even though you're only 8.

 

That's what it looks like here. I'm not withholding love by offering a time out. 

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#60 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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I think if the child feels parents are withholding love the parents are not handling the discipline correctly. Setting limits and boundaries for children is so important. Without it they don't feel secure. When they don't follow the limits, there should be a consequence or else the child thinks rules can be broken. My sister in law said when she was little nobody told her what was right and wrong and she remembers growing up wishing someone would show her and tell her.
I also think there is a diff between discipline and punishment. Punishment doesn't lead to self correction. Discipline does. Punishment would be withholding love which makes a child believe parents love is based on their behavior. YUCK!
And shame is not always negative as someone posted earlier. Shame lets us know we did something wrong and leads us to want to change. Shaming a child is different. Shaming modifies behavior so the child learns to act diff in front of parents/teachers, etc. but nothing is learned.
If my dd was shamed by a teacher I would be PISSED but if my dd felt ashamed because her behavior got her in trouble, I would ask her what her part is in it and how she will make a more appropriate choice next time.
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