Let's go over this again, what's wrong with time outs? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 122 Old 08-29-2013, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Xerxella View Post

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.

This is essentially what I do with my 9 month old (with far less words at this stage, however)...a typical diaper change will consist of me taking her to have her diaper change, her melting down and crying, me patting her and telling her I know she doesn't like diaper changes, but she'll feel better afterwards, and then a diaper change. 

 

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Originally Posted by dauphinette View Post
 

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

 

 

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Originally Posted by lilblueberry View Post

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!

 

I totally agree with these posts that being able to receive correction is SUCH a huge part of life...it's definitely a trait I not only want my dd to have but to embrace. 

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Originally Posted by Skelly2011 View Post

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?

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?

I'm wondering this same thing. I've read all of the posts on this thread...it doesn't sound like ANYONE does a time out like this. It's more of a cool off, let's take some space and breathe and calm down. My daughter is only 9 months old right now so I put *myself* in time out...I'll give her to her daddy and take a quick walk, or just go to another room for a few minutes and calm down...it seems totally healthy and seems like a good thing to teach my children. If there were ever a situation where my love is what would remedy the problem, then sure, I would give my child the love they are asking for. But if we just need some space, I don't consider that withholding my love. I think people are picturing some kind of very strict, super nanny, "Sit here for x minutes until you can tell me why what you did was wrong" sort of thing, and it doesn't sound like that's the method anyone here is utilizing. 

 

Also, I had timeouts as a child (I was also spanked...I much preferred time outs) and NEVER felt like love was being withheld from me. I'm an introvert, I need some space sometimes to calm down.

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#62 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 08:49 AM
 
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Reading through this thread, I'm wondering if a lot of the differences in opinions about time outs as practiced here are the differences between introverts and extroverts.  Introverts may love being with people at times, but they draw their energy from time alone.  Extroverts may love being alone at times, but they draw their energy from being with people. Maybe to an extrovert being sent away from the people from whom one draws energy seems like a withdrawal of love, while to an introvert, a few minutes alone to catch one's breath and get some energy from being away from a hectic situation seems like, "ahhh, that was just what I needed."  Right now I use time outs for myself, when I need a moment away from the situation, but as I've already said, I like to think that I'm modelling for my son a method of handling a stressful situation.  You can step away, collect yourself, and come back ready to engage more productively.  If he turns out to be an introvert like his parents, that will be a useful skill.  If he turns out to be the extrovert in the family, he'll grow up with saner, healthier parents because they knew when they needed a few minutes alone to recharge.  In neither case will my love for him ever be withdrawn, just my physical presence for a few minutes.

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#63 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 10:28 AM
 
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I think there's a big difference between really allowing a breather and enforcing isolation as a punishment. That's where most of the disagreement about whether this is too harsh is for most of us. My son, when he was small, could ask for time to collect himself--and did. It was awesome! I found myself inspired by his emotional intelligence. He was very good at learning how to calm down. I can see what some of us are calling "time out" as part of that. Once, when he was just four, he told me that he wanted to sit on the couch by himself and cry until he stopped being mad. Once he said "I want to sit in your lap, but don't hug me, and I'll calm down." 

 

I also asked for a time out for myself a few times in those tumultuous years. 

 

Where I think I really disagree with several people here is about the rolling with a little unfairness. 

 

Yes, life is unfair. People are unjust. They are biased. I understand that. I do not in any way want my kid to learn to deal with a little unfairness. Look at the society in which we live. It's not a little unfair. It's HUGELY unfair. We get through our lives pretending it's not that bad. Most of us are in the United States, the country with the highest GDP and the most people in prison of any country in the world (per capita and as an absolute number and as a percentage of prisoners in the world.) We have a decreasing life expectancy and a rising infant mortality rate. These aren't unfairnesses randomly distributed in society, luck of the draw, too bad so sad. They are based on racial bias, sexism, class bias, xenophobia, and a ton of socially tolerated violence. 

 

 

That's unfairness to others. What about unfairness to you, as an individual? Have you learned to assert yourself, to get what you need? Or do you suck it up, suck it up, suck it up, life is not fair, stop complaining? How's that working out? 

 

I don't want to say that punishment is never helpful. Sometimes punishment can help a child feel like he has a means to get atonement, to make up for doing wrong. But this "life is unfair, roll with it" thing is the incredibly destructive. We're on their side in this world. We're a team. They are going to inherit this planet. That has to be behind every decision we make. 

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#64 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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My only concern with "time-outs" is that the child is not getting a chance to express themselves. At least, that's what it felt like being sent to my room as a child-- seething with anger, not getting to tell my side of the story. But this is of course much different than taking a few  moments to cool off.

 

If the child is invited to express his/her feelings after regaining some composure, then it sounds good, especially for introverted children.

 

I agree there is definitely a semantics problem happening where "time-out" can suggest the whole isolation thing, when really it sounds like most here are doing more of a "cool-off."

 

So far I haven't had to use t-o on my dd but I certainly have for myself, in terms of cooling off. I've learned to stay with her when she's freaking out to help her get to the root, and offer alternatives. The times I've tried to leave her on her own she goes hysterical. And she is definitely an extrovert.

 

Different for every kid/family?

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#65 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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Oh and yes captain optimism, I agree we need to acknowledge unfairness and talk about it-- otherwise one just rests on one's privilege, or, takes it on the chin every time. Neither works. We all need to speak up when we see it or it won't change.

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#66 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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I found that time outs don't always fit the child.  It was the worst thing you could do to my highly relational and social daughter.  In fact, it was borderline abusive.  And more often than not I think I was the one in need of a time out so that I could recalibrate and let go my own reactions.  I guess over time I came to rarely use this strategy.  There was more to be gained by listening in to what the real issue(s) was and addressing that.  

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#67 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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I haven't had a chance to read over all the posts but when I saw this on FB the other day it got to me.  I'm a crunchy mama always have been but seem to stray from the bunch when it comes to discipline. Maybe my up bringing? Maybe my observation of kids that get no discipline or "gentle" discipline.  After my father died when I was 8 I had NO discipline (or even supervision for that matter).  I was a terror and life was hard for me because of it.  I never had rules.  I never got in trouble.  It was great when I was a kid and teen, but when I got older it hurt me.  I couldn't understand why my mother had let me run wild and make so many mistakes.  I concluded that she didn't care or love me.  I'm sure she did/does but then why? I think my mother failed me big time and I wish she would of set boundaries and rules for me.  

 

Everywhere I go I see kids acting up and their parents aren't even near them or don't even care.  It drives me crazy! I think it raises monsters who don't respect themselves or anyone else for that matter.  I've been seeing on the news teens KILLING people out of boredom.  Do you think these kids have a parent involved in their lives and disciplining them? NO! I had a friend that I had to end a friendship over because her kids were wild.  She believes in gentle discipline.  Never yells at her kids, never puts them in timeout, never punishes them in anyway.  She just talks- talks about their behavior- talks about their feelings and everyone else's feelings.  The kids don't listen or care!!!! They have no respect for their mother or anyone else.  Her 7 year old spits in her 5 year olds face and she does nothing about it.  

 

Which brings me to timeouts.  If you think timeouts are bad then how are you going to make a point to a small child that the way they are acting is unacceptable? Talk? Explain? Reason with? Is a 3 year old going to really understand/care/listen as your explaining to him why he can't bite his sister because she took his toy? Or is he going to get the point -OK Mommy is mad! I did something I should never do (bite my sister) and now I have to stop playing because I did something bad and sit here and think/process that what I did was not OK for me to do again- They are being told why they are sitting there and they told again, then apologizing for their actions.  And YES I believe even a 3 year old should be responsible for THEIR actions.  We should teach small children self control.  We should teach small children to be responsible for their actions and how they affect others. When would we start otherwise? At 16 when there beating a homeless man for fun? 


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#68 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 11:13 AM
 
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Fillyjonk, I didn't mean to suggest that YOU ever hit your kids!  What you said about whirling out-of-control behavior led me to think about how my parents handled it and how that relates to the discussion--but I wasn't thinking you handle it the way my parents did.

 

Speaking of childhood memories, when I was a preschooler my mom used to have me "sit in the corner until the timer rings" for some infractions, usually hitting my brother who is 2 1/2 years younger.  I know she intended me to "think about what you've done and why it was wrong" but I would do that only for about the first 30 seconds.  The rest of the time was just sort of peaceful.  I am NOT an introvert (though MamadeRumi's theory is interesting) but it's hard for me to be around a specific person who is bugging me.  I was 9 or 10 before my parents designated any of my space or stuff as off-limits to my brother, so we often had conflicts where he would bother me or mess with my stuff, I'd try to get him to stop using increasing forcefulness, and when I finally made him cry then a parent would intervene and I would get in trouble.  Being sent to the corner was kind of a relief, though, because I was finally in a place where they wouldn't let him bug me!!!  I don't recall ever asking to be sent to the corner, and we didn't use the term "time out", but one of my approaches to getting my brother to quit was to take myself or my stuff to another room--sometimes it worked.  It wasn't that I wanted to be alone--I didn't; I felt lonely much of the time--but that I didn't want to be with him when he was bugging me.

 

FLmomof1, I'm confused about why you think talking doesn't work, when your explanation of why time-out works hinges on "being told why they are sitting there."  I feel that time-out is sometimes necessary for the child to be ready to listen and/or for the parent to be ready to explain without ranting and raving, but if both parties are ready to talk about it without a time out, talking still can be effective.  I work in crime research, and the strongest correlation between disciplinary methods and criminal activity is that people who are spanked frequently are MORE likely to engage in violent crime; there's no clear indication that strict discipline of any kind (like verbal scoldings, having lots of rules, imposing strong consequences) has any effect on criminal activity.  General neglect of a child is correlated with that child becoming a criminal, but there's a lot more to neglect than just not bothering to discipline, and I'd bet the effect on the child's reasoning has a lot more to do with what his parents allowed to happen TO him than with what they allowed him to do.


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#69 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 11:59 AM
 
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#70 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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i think time outs are useful for the parent. When I can't think and act in a calm, positive fashion to what is happening with my kids, I need a time out to recharge.

 

What doesn't work with time outs is that they don't work. They might contain a situation in a moment, but they don't foster long term solutions. They don't help kids change behavior. I have seen children stop crying or tantrumming because their desire to connect with mom and dad is so great that they hold in the feelings, and in my experience those just come out sideways later.  The sister gets pushed, the meal refused, the willingness to clean up gone.  The child holds in the emotional discomfort they feel instead of releasing it.

 

I'd suggest that a fresh way of looking at children's off-track behavior is in order. Children want to get along, to cooperate, to share, to connect with friends and family. This is inborn. Hard behaviors cover up the basic nature of children (and adults) concealing this inherent goodness. I'm not talking pollyanna here, think about babies. Their nature is to connect, play, share. We don't lose this, instead it becomes covered up by hard experiences and feelings left unshed. 

 

So children when they lose control of their emotions as cries, tantrums, and even hitting, they are showing us where it is hard for them. If we change our approach to their behavior, by listening to them, we foster connection. Listening doesn't mean passive acceptance of behavior that is hurtful to others, a child who is hitting needs to be kept from hitting others, but instead of isolating them in a time-out, one could listen as they cry about how mad and afraid they are. A child who is showing homework frustration through tears can be listened to and allowed to release the frustration and once complete will resume the same activity with a positive attitude. The gift of the loving attention of an adult to a child that is expressing emotion actually allows the child to work through the hurt and come out the other side with changed behavior.  Behavior returns to show the child's innate goodness.

 

This is one mamma's opinion.

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#71 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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i think time outs are useful for the parent. When I can't think and act in a calm, positive fashion to what is happening with my kids, I need a time out to recharge.

 

What doesn't work with time outs is that they don't work. They might contain a situation in a moment, but they don't foster long term solutions. They don't help kids change behavior. I have seen children stop crying or tantrumming because their desire to connect with mom and dad is so great that they hold in the feelings, and in my experience those just come out sideways later.  The sister gets pushed, the meal refused, the willingness to clean up gone.  The child holds in the emotional discomfort they feel instead of releasing it.

 

I'd suggest that a fresh way of looking at children's off-track behavior is in order. Children want to get along, to cooperate, to share, to connect with friends and family. This is inborn. Hard behaviors cover up the basic nature of children (and adults) concealing this inherent goodness. I'm not talking pollyanna here, think about babies. Their nature is to connect, play, share. We don't lose this, instead it becomes covered up by hard experiences and feelings left unshed. 

 

So children when they lose control of their emotions as cries, tantrums, and even hitting, they are showing us where it is hard for them. If we change our approach to their behavior, by listening to them, we foster connection. Listening doesn't mean passive acceptance of behavior that is hurtful to others, a child who is hitting needs to be kept from hitting others, but instead of isolating them in a time-out, one could listen as they cry about how mad and afraid they are. A child who is showing homework frustration through tears can be listened to and allowed to release the frustration and once complete will resume the same activity with a positive attitude. The gift of the loving attention of an adult to a child that is expressing emotion actually allows the child to work through the hurt and come out the other side with changed behavior.  Behavior returns to show the child's innate goodness.

 

This is one mamma's opinion.

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#72 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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I have found that the balance between respecting a child's expression of their anger/frustration and another child's right not to be the punching bag for that frustration is tricky. I notice that many parenting books that focus on connecting and empathy and respect don't seem to have examples of what to do when a boy hits his little brother because I didn't let him have what he wanted. I have 4 boys, and lately with the older one who has quick to get angry I have been removing him from his brothers as he is behaving in a way that causes them upset and harm, and making him come along with whatever I am doing, he can sit and be sullen but he has to sit with me. It is more of a time in.
I find it hard to get appropriate words for small people, but my fundamental thoughts on this are that to be a member of a family is a very special thing, everyone has the right to feel safe, valued and loved but also the responsiblity to behave in a way that facilitates these values, not in a way that undermines the cohesion of the family. I also remind my older boys that my role as mother/homemaker is to run the household in a way that meets everyones needs (not always their wants) and there are times when they just have to do as I have said in order for this to happen. I can't run a household if I meet rebellion at every turn, if I have delegated appropriate tasks only to find they are not done, and if I spend a lot of time picking up instead of getting things done. For example I explained the other day that one of my tasks is to do the washing, dry and return it to its owners, it does not extend to searching under beds for dirty inside out clothes, if they didn't put their washing in the basket it probably won't get washed. Of course I help the little kids to put their washing in the right place, but my older kids run out of clean undies, which of course are all under the bed! Another example is that I consider one of my tasks to vaccuum and keep the floor clean, but that doesn't extend to picking up all the lego in order to get to the floor.
Anyway, I do remove a child who is hitting/bitting from a group, and keep them with me, which I suppose is a time out, I will keep them with me and offer no stimulation at all, for example if I am folding washing I sit them next to me and say quietly "you may not bite" and then continue with my work quietly (actually I keep some washing there for these situations, I have found folding washing keeps me calm and seems to calm a child as well" I don't talk to them/play/etc for a couple of minutes, during which time they are removed from the group. This only works on one child at a time of course, and it will never be a cure all, but it is useful to difuse situations.
In short, I think it would come under the category of time out, but I would call it more of a time in.
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#73 of 122 Old 08-30-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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Such an interesting conversation.  My DD is just shy of 2, so we really haven't had to confront this yet.  However, we're giving some forethought to how we will handle misbehavior/non-cooperation. 

 

Am reading Beth Grosshans' "Beyond Time Out", and I think a lot of her ideas and techniques will make sense for us.  She talks about the dynamic of an Imbalance of Family Power and for parents to own up to behaviors that either intimidate kids into "behaving" or don't step up to the responsibility of making decisions and following through.  Time out is not a punishment in this view - it's a technique for learning self control and respect and co-operation.  There's no expectation that it's supposed to "make them think about what they did" or get them to apologize.  (Those things may or may not come up later, depending on the situation and the people.)  But she emphasizes parental firmness, quick follow-through, and a dispassionate approach.  I think this will work in our family because DD is pretty easygoing (so far...), we don't get triggered by her behavior (again, so far...), our list of what's unacceptable is pretty short, we're willing to cop to what might be our problem rather than hers, and we all have a very strong attachment relationship.

 

I like hearing about how everyone makes decisions around this and what experiences you've had - thanks for an enlightening discussion!

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#74 of 122 Old 08-31-2013, 05:30 AM
 
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I never used time out until recently with my almost 5 yr old. I am a big fan of Alfie Kohn but did not find his parenting book very helpful. Most things can be worked out without time out- talking, distraction, waiting it out.

My big question is what to do when it is violence. That is when I am now using timeout. For example DD kicks her sister in the face. I need to comfort the injured child but can not do that if DD is continuing the assault. She needs to be removed thus a time out. So I can soothe her sister. I understand the the one doing the hurting needs comfort too but later when we are both calm. It is scary to be out of control. I feel like a time out is better than me saying hurtful things.

What do others do besides timeout when it involves hurting?
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#75 of 122 Old 08-31-2013, 03:33 PM
 
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I am surprised this even came up. I use time outs and I feel like they are a fantastic way of teaching kids that when things become to overwhelming that we have to resort to a tantrum or other toddler behaviour than it is natural to remove yourself from the situation and reflect on the  action. 1 minute per year of age. I can't believe that it would ever even resort to holding a child down. In our house, my husband and i are the parents and since we are parenting we are in charge. My children are well adjusted and good kids at 2 and 3. My concern with this stream is that as an educator, I have seen those parents that do not have control over their kids, and those parents that don't learn to say no to kids, it does more harm in my opinion than good. Parents who let the children learn without a whole lot of boundaries and consequences. Just my two cents worth. Sometimes, I wonder if we overanaylyze absolutely simple elements of parenting and that over analyzing is leading to the current lost generation that the media speak so often of. 

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#76 of 122 Old 08-31-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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I am surprised this even came up. I use time outs and I feel like they are a fantastic way of teaching kids that when things become to overwhelming that we have to resort to a tantrum or other toddler behaviour than it is natural to remove yourself from the situation and reflect on the  action. 1 minute per year of age. I can't believe that it would ever even resort to holding a child down. In our house, my husband and i are the parents and since we are parenting we are in charge. My children are well adjusted and good kids at 2 and 3. My concern with this stream is that as an educator, I have seen those parents that do not have control over their kids, and those parents that don't learn to say no to kids, it does more harm in my opinion than good. Parents who let the children learn without a whole lot of boundaries and consequences. Just my two cents worth. Sometimes, I wonder if we overanaylyze absolutely simple elements of parenting and that over analyzing is leading to the current lost generation that the media speak so often of. 
I feel like that's the same message I have gotten from the educators in my life, as well. My daughter is an only, we use time outs, she is very well behaved, "on the purple" at school almost daily which is better than the best behavior on the red light/ green light behavior chart, purple is above green. She is friendly, out going and secure, she literally gets complimented on her confidence and I have had people mention her obvious security. I do find it hard to relate to the negative side to how we handle things.
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#77 of 122 Old 09-01-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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I have bigger kids now, and many of you are talking about very little kids. Around here, time-outs weren't useful in fact they seemed to distract away from the message we wanted to convey. First, I like to watch the kids and see what is going on, sometimes a hit occurs because someone has taken a toy, I can prevent a hit by watching and preventing the toy from being taken, I can make sure sharing is happening. (I was very near and involved during toddlerhood) If hitting, it worked best to say firmly, "NO, that hurts," or "NO, ouch!" as I held the hitting hand. There are usually reasons why kids are acting the way they are, and experimenting with hurting someone else is actually one reason, I've even seen my 15 month son bite himself a few times each time a bit harder, as he looked at his arm. I will also move a kid to a different area of the playing area, if the "no" is unheeded.

I question my own reasons for what I am demanding of them, sometimes I am being unrealistic, and really it isn't hurting any one or anything, it's just some arbitrary I don't want you doing that right now. So if this is the case, I either reset my threshold, or I leave.

At 3, if we visited friends, we asked permission from the child to be able to play with their toys, and some toys were off limits and others the child would be delighted they were asked permission. This really helped several situations. With our kids some toys are communal and others are personal, those special toys are respected and I show their respect by having kids ask for permission.

The teeth brushing, by the time I was facing this, my kids had realized it was time for bed and they weren't ready for the day to be over. It wasn't the teeth brushing, so I addressed things differently, whether we brushed teeth and played a little more, and then got ready for bed, or if I read a story first. I've learned that having kids is about being flexible, because they are changing so incredibly fast. I've also realized childhood is so short, I guess I'm allowing myself to enjoy it more, rather than trying to force my adultness. I used to have bed times and I'd do bedtime ritual, kiss, and leave, and now I've let go and decided I will lay down with them as they drift off, and it's nice for all of us. I don't every single night, but most of the time.

When kids are heated, there are reasons. I will ask if they need some time alone, if they are hungry, bathroom etc. To address the physical, so so so many times my kids would be acting nuts when they had to pee and wouldn't go because they were playing.

My husband is nuts and with our older kids when they are fighting, he'll walk in with two wooden swords and ask if they want a duel. This usually resets the situation and the girls say no, that they love each other and then they explain what is going on. This has backfired when he tried this with our 3 year old niece, she was ready to hack someone, which gives an idea on how different a 3 year old feels about inflicting pain vs a 5 and 7 year old.

I ask thoughtful questions, and some not so thoughtful, for instance when one kid is purposefully bothering the other, I ask the annoying one "if she begins to hit you, are you going to like it? Because I think that's how much you are annoying her." I mean come on a person can only take so much, either stop or suffer the consequences. I can't make her stop, but I can ask her to think about her actions. And when we are stuck in the car, what else do I have in my parenting toolkit? I have distractions, I have tablets, I have music, and I have oral games, I certainly do not have a time-out, or removal.

I also talk to my kids like they are capable, respectable people.

Time-outs may work for one kid and not another, but I certainly wouldn't advise a time-out for every battle you face. I don't always need time away from people, sometimes I need food.
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#78 of 122 Old 09-01-2013, 09:03 AM
 
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Bettyjones one day my eldest sprayed her sister with perfume in the face. We were at my mother's. I don't own spray perfume and I don't think my eldest meant to spray her in the face. But, my mother reacted by telling my eldest," I don't want you around me right now, I don't like being around mean people." And for a long time that day she wouldn't be around her, and repeated the phrase. This was a bit much for me, because I really didn't think it was on purpose, so I threw the scenario past some other mothers, and I was shocked with the "your mom was right, why would she want to be around someone being mean." Over time, this message, from someone with happy grown children, who love their mother, and she is someone I respect, has settled in. No one wants to be around mean actions, or mean people. My daughter is not mean, but her actions can be. (though I still believe that incident was an accident and she knows I think it was)

When I have faced them being really mean, and I don't know what happened, I do ask the perp to go away for a minute. I also need to find out what happened, console the hurt. And now, I see nothing wrong with telling someone that I don't want them around right now while they are being mean, in fact I will say, "go eat if you need to eat, go pee if you need to pee, go be in your room if you need to be alone, but I don't want to be around you while you are being mean, come back when you are feeling better and we can solve this problem." And at 5 I feel like they can talk to me after and give me an alternative solution to kicking, sometimes they can't so I offer solutions. I do not tolerate mean behavior. (I also changed the wording from my mother's I don't like being around a mean person, to being around you while you are being mean, because I don't want them to think they are actually mean people).

If this is becoming an increased issue in the house, how much time is the perp getting one on one with you? My eldest was less tolerant, less sharing, annoying, and mean to her sister for a while, and all it really ended up being was jealousy because she felt her sister was getting more momma-time, so she took it out on her. I don't know if she was conscience of how/why she was treating her sister, but when it finally dawned on me and I asked if she was needing "momma-time," she told me she wasn't ever getting any. Now I work on getting alone time with her every day, and things are running more smooth.
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#79 of 122 Old 09-01-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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Babelsgp, I agree with quite a lot of your points. I use time outs and they work for us. However I have to admit I have no idea how my feelings will change as the kids grow. Im a rookie, kids are only 3.5 y/o and 4.5 m/o. I also agree that not every situation can be bettered by giving the child some space. As with all matters of discipline or conflict resolution it depends on every individual parent child dynamic.

In my case, my three year old is a firecracker who needs a lot of decompression time. Sammy met the world screaming and her energy level hasn't dipped since. Even so, I recognize it would be wrong for me to just jump immediately to time out. She gets one opportunity to stop whatever it is and talk it out, then another, then she gets asked if she needs a time out. About half the time she'll say yes, the other half it ends up being a more tangible issue that we then correct. If she were a child that needed a lot of sleep I might say "do you need a nap?" instead, but she's not, she's a child that's easily overstimulated and responds really well to a little quiet time so I ask her if that's what she needs.

Time outs aren't (or shouldn't be) a catch-all 'you've been bad so now you have to leave' situation. I am the type of person who requires cool off time to get my head in check, and so is my daughter. If that's your child's personality I think time outs are a valuable asset.

I just don't think being respectful towards your children and working to resolve the issue with them is necessarily incompatible with time outs.
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#80 of 122 Old 09-01-2013, 12:05 PM
 
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I've listed a couple of interesting articles about child discipline in Japan. My kids are part Japanese and we use these types of parenting techniques. We use more of a 'sharing-discipline' rather than an authoritarian one. A lot of home life is geared towards keeping harmony within the family. I'm not sure if the articles really articulate what is going on though. Just because there seem to be no rules or punishment, does not mean theat there is no discipline or guidance from parents. I think it is almost the opposite...parents (usually mothers) anticipated their children's needs to the point where there aren't any issues. In return, the children learn to accept guidance from their parents and contribute to family harmony at an early age.

A side note... we took the kids to Japan this last summer to see relatives, and noted that most Japanese kids were very well behaved. I never witnessed a parent yelling at a child, let alone spankings or time-outs (this included trips to the zoo and disneyland). This is in stark contrast to discipline styles I have seen here in the states.

http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2006/jun/discipline062006.html

http://www.childresearch.net/papers/parenting/2012_03.html


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#81 of 122 Old 09-01-2013, 10:56 PM
 
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  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. 

 

 

I agree. I think that kids need to learn to handle negative feedback. It just is what it is, and we all get it from time to time. We all need to have a sense of self that goes beyond feeling like we have to be perfect all the time or having a desperate need to have everyone's approval all the time. (neither of which show a healthy sense of self).

 

I also hope for my children to develop resilience. Sometimes stuff happens that you don't want to have happen, and you go on. It's best to just let it go when you go on. :wink

 

When my kids were little, we seldom used time outs. I opted for natural and logical consequences as much as possible, but sometimes timeouts were the logical consequence. I ended up using them most often for when my kids were fighting with each other. It's not withhold love to let a child know when their behavior is unacceptable. Unconditional love is the basis of all true discipline. But discipline is still necessary, and as a parent it is my job to draw the boundary and let the kids know when they've crossed it. They still know that I love them, even though I didn't let them pommel each other with toys or force them to hug each other. 


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#82 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 12:04 AM
 
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I finally figured out why this stream is bugging me. Most of the conversation about time out vs. not using time outs are absolutes. We use time out or we don't. I agree with one mom here who spoke to using what works for each child. What triggered my response originally was the implication that "time outs can be very authoritarian". I have seen very competent adults with great kids deal with discipline issues all differently. I have learned most of it is in the delivery. For us a time out is a time to reflect on the behaviour and usually to stop a melt down from 1 or both kids from happening. Than we re group and discuss and always end in hugs and kisses along with the kids hugging and kissing. For us, instead of always finding absolutes in books, we look to our mentors in our lives with good adult or teen children and discuss from them in an authentic real world setting what they did to raise kids with behaviours that we would love to have our kids emulate.

 

The question "what is wrong with time outs? " worries me in a way, because it makes me think...no one I didn't know, and kids I have never met could change my mind on how I parent and discipline my kids. I guess I just see so many lost children with too many behaviour problems in all socio economic levels, probably leads my resistance to advice from the internet.

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#83 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 06:02 AM
 
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Working as a nanny I've sometimes found -- especially with older children (6+) -- that the time-out works best when it is for me! So what I say to the child is, "I really don't like how you're behaving right now and it's making me upset so I need to take some time by myself to cool-down." and then I go away and sit quietly in another room for a bit. So without "punishing" the child I'm able to show that there are consequences for their actions and also that sometimes it's good to remove yourself from a situation in order to recenter.

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#84 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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My only concern with "time-outs" is that the child is not getting a chance to express themselves. At least, that's what it felt like being sent to my room as a child-- seething with anger, not getting to tell my side of the story. But this is of course much different than taking a few  moments to cool off.

 

 

 

I will say that in my family and with older kids, this is not how it has worked.

 

Ex:  Several of us are in the living room - perhaps watching tv.  One person is in a very difficult mood - making snarky comments, picky fights, etc.  The child will be given numnerous chances to talk about what is bugging him or her, and to change the behaviour - but at some point, if the behaviour does not change, yeah, I am kicking them out of the room.  Your bad attitude does not give you the right to poison the atmosphere in a room, or continually interupt what others are doing.  It is never a timed thing  (I can't remebger when I stopped doing timed "time outs" perhaps when the kids are around 7 or 8?) , it is always a "you can rejoin us when you feel you can do so without disruptive/difficult behaviour."  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#85 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 07:57 AM
 
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I think the reason that 'time-outs' bother me is that they do foster a sense of authoritarianism. Children who experience this paradigm of discipline will learn to base their actions of fear of consequences, rather than an intrinsic desire to do the right thing. I think kids in school who are judging their actions based on a fear response of some subjective punishment (sitting out of recess is what my kid's school uses...a form of 'time-outs) aren't focusing on school work. It is definately appropriate and necessary to correct children, and when it is done kindly, it usually works very well. I don't believe 'time-outs' are necessary.

And yes...when I suggest my children hug when they aren't getting along, it does work. Every time. smile.gif
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#86 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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Working as a nanny I've sometimes found -- especially with older children (6+) -- that the time-out works best when it is for me! So what I say to the child is, "I really don't like how you're behaving right now and it's making me upset so I need to take some time by myself to cool-down." and then I go away and sit quietly in another room for a bit. So without "punishing" the child I'm able to show that there are consequences for their actions and also that sometimes it's good to remove yourself from a situation in order to recenter.


 



Who are these 6/7/8 year old children who don't behave well when you ask them to?? At that age, I would expect children who are asked to be quiet/settle down to do so without a punitive intervention. I run a whole troop of girl scouts in that age range and they have no problems with behavior. We use the girl scout sign to signify when it is time to be quiet and listen to someone in the group. The girls occasionally need reminders, but nothing more than that.
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#87 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 10:19 AM
 
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I can see both sides of the argument, but personally I don't think there is anything wrong with time outs. As a grown woman I always give myself a time-out when I am angry or upset, and then go back to the problem and deal with it when I am calm enough to do so.  I would think as long as you deal with the problem (have a little discussion when they/you have cooled off) it's very healthy. I do like the idea of giving them something to work on while in time out. Like a puzzle or something. 

 

I also don't think there is anything wrong with having a healthy fear of negative consequences. Our society is having more and more problems with people who won't take responsibility for their actions and face negative consequences. Our choices have an affect on our own lives as well as those around us, and I don't think it's bad for kids to learn that. On the positive side of that, they can also learn the good behavior breeds positive consequences. People who do good are happier people. Children are smart and with the right guidance they will learn that through discovering consequences. 

 

Also I think different things work for different people. So maybe time out is right for some families and not for others? 

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#88 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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I don't believe that this:

Our choices have an affect on our own lives as well as those around us, and I don't think it's bad for kids to learn that

 



is dependent on this:

I also don't think there is anything wrong with having a healthy fear of negative consequences. ;





This is leftover from our Authoritarian/Puritan ancestors, and I believe most Americans don't know any other way...
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#89 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 11:42 AM
 
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The question "what is wrong with time outs? " worries me in a way, because it makes me think...no one I didn't know, and kids I have never met could change my mind on how I parent and discipline my kids. I guess I just see so many lost children with too many behaviour problems in all socio economic levels, probably leads my resistance to advice from the internet.

 

I think that discussing things like this on the internet has helped me really think through what I do and why I do it. At times, when I really examine myself, I've changed. At other times, I've become more convinced that I was always right! :D  But either way, slowing down and becoming more conscience of my choices and views has made me a more mindful parent. I think that all of our kids are best off when we are parenting mindfully, even if the details of what that looks like is different.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

Children who experience this paradigm of discipline will learn to base their actions of fear of consequences, rather than an intrinsic desire to do the right thing. I think kids in school who are judging their actions based on a fear response of some subjective punishment (sitting out of recess is what my kid's school uses...a form of 'time-outs) aren't focusing on school work. It is definately appropriate and necessary to correct children, and when it is done kindly, it usually works very well. I don't believe 'time-outs' are necessary.

 

 

I think that to view a person's motivations in strict terms of being either intrinsically motivated OR being fear based is an over simplification. All of us have a mix. I'm a nice person who tries hard to be kind, but the only reason I follow the speed limit is because I find speeding tickets expensive. It is a fear based motivation, not an intrinsic one. If I hadn't been punished (several times) for going at speeds I think are perfectly safe, I wouldn't bother to follow the speed limit. None the less, most of my life is about kind to others (I work with special needs kids).

 

You are doing what works for your kids, which is great. No one here is arguing that you *should* have time outs just for the sake of it. The thing is, you are generalizing from that what you do with your own kids at home is what *should* work for all kids in all situations. That's a pretty big leap, and one that just isn't true.

 

I have the power to take kids recess away or have other consequences happen. I don't like to do it, and I ALWAYS warn a child. My process, which is pretty standard in my school:

 

1. Let them know that their current behavior isn't allowed, explaining why if they seem confused. Give them a chance to correct their behavior.

2. If the behavior continues, warn them that if the behavior continues, X consequence will happen. Give them a change to correct their behavior.

3. If the behavior continues, make the consequence happen.

 

So, after all that, I don't see it so much as I took their recess away, but that they really just couldn't be bothered to behave for the right reasons, hopefully they will be more motivated to the next time.

 

The primary reasons I've taken recess away was for being physically aggressive with another student or refusing to clean up after themselves in the cafeteria (if you throw trash or food on the floor and refuse to clean it up, you miss your recess and have to help clean the cafeteria instead). These aren't about "not focusing on school work", rather they are about behaviors and character. All the kids deserve to be in a school where they are safe and things aren't a trashy pit.

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#90 of 122 Old 09-02-2013, 12:35 PM
 
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http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2006/jun/discipline062006.html

http://www.childresearch.net/papers/parenting/2012_03.html

Parenting discipline techniques in Japan center around practicing correct behaviors, empathy, and ensuring group harmony. There is little or no punishment involved. It works very well. I think its just hard for a lot of Americans to envision because they have no framework for it and have never seen it modeled. I wish I could do a better job or articulating this technique..
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