Do you use "Time Outs"??? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you use time outs?
Yes, I put my dc in a chair in a corner 5 7.25%
Yes, I sit with him in a time out together 8 11.59%
Yes - other form of time out 28 40.58%
No, I don't use time outs 17 24.64%
Sometimes, or I used to, or other... 11 15.94%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never felt compelled to use a "time out" with 26mo ds. I have separated him or tried to calm him from a trying situation. But we just got back from visiting his cousins who are constantly "getting into trouble" and being punished with a time out: they have to sit alone in a special chair in a corner. I just don't understand what this accomplishes, other than punishment and maybe a chance to calm down. But isn't it humiliating? and what message does it convey? The kids keep repeating the "bad" behavior.

My son isn't as aggressive as his cousins, but he does have his "moments". I just don't see a need to punish, but I do want to help him with his behavior.

Is there a good way to use "time outs"??
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#2 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 04:22 PM
 
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When my 3yo dd gets out of control I ask her if she needs time alone to get in control. She usually goes to her room. I will go in her room a few minutes later to talk to her and ask her if she is back in control. Sometimes dd says no. :LOL

Hey,there even has been a time or two (or 30) when I feel like I am loosing control. I let dd know and I go to my room or downstairs. I like to think of it as behavior modeling. :LOL

I think that everyone needs to learn what it feels like loose control and also learn how to regain control over their mouth, body and feelings. Hopefully this will be a skill that she will carry with her throughout life.
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#3 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 07:41 PM
 
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I voted Yes, I sit with [her]. But, that's really not entirely accurate - I don't have, like, a set amount of time or anything like that. More like, when she's being obstinant, I will hold her on my lap, despite her protests, for a few seconds or a minute or two. I explain to her what it is that I am removing her from, and remind her that she needs to listen to Mommy. The nature of her protest usually changes from struggling to get back to whatever she was doing to general frustration, at which point I usually let her go. I'm not doing it to p*$$ her off or punish her so much as make her understand that there are some things that I *will* not let her do.
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#4 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 08:38 PM
 
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Sometimes I feel as though there is an epidemic of "Time Outs". I once felt so surrounded by them in my "crowd" that I did some research on them. The concept was "invented" for school age children not toddlers. The average age of useage seems to have lowered and lowered over the years. IMO an actual "Time Out" is useless on a toddler and I like the others who have posted here help my child get back into control.

I have seen them used in public where the child was humiliated. In one class that dd and I attend we've witnessed a mom who hisses, "do you need a time out?" repeatedly to her child. When he does get a time out she leaves in the corner of the class - he looks embarrassed and yes, humiliated.

I do know people who have found them to be useful so for me "Time Outs" fall into every other parenting tactic - every parent is different and every child is different so it's different strokes for different folks. I voted "no". I've never used one and never see myself using one in the future.
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#5 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 09:15 PM
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We use time outs primarily for calming everyone involved down and starting over.

I didn't use timeouts at twoish but I would take a 2yo out of a situation and sit with her until she could calm down (if that's a time out.)

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#6 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 09:38 PM
 
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I use them. They are mild punishment in that my dd has to stop the activity she was doing and sit quietly for a few minutes. I don't have a problem with the concept of punishment. They give her an opportunity to "reset" her behavior.

I will use them in public if she needs them. I actually do 1-2-3 Magic, so she's had a two prior opportunities to stop the misbehavior before the time out would occur in public. She very rarely ever needs a public time out, however, once she realized that she couldn't use being in public as carte blanche for misbehavior. I'm sure you could see them as public humiliation. I see them as consistency, since that's the same thing we do at home.
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#7 of 42 Old 06-06-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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Time outs are an option for everyone in the family- When DH is grumpy I ask if he needs a time out. When DD is flustered or angry I ask if she needs one. I take them. They aren't a consequence so much as a cooling down thing. She is allowed to take a toy and sit wherever she wants with or without me. She can get up whenever she is ready, but I do usually ask her to come to me to talk briefly. If she says she doesn't want one but persists in X behaviour (if it is harmful behaviour) I usually say "I think you do need a time out, let me sit with you" and carry her to the sofa to cuddle.

Sometimes she puts herself in time out- it is so cute when she does. I have a 3 yr old who knows her limits pretty well
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#8 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 12:55 AM
 
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Yes I do use time outs. My kids are sent to their rooms for their time outs. I suppose it is more a break for me because I am so angry. For the most part it does work for us.
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#9 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eustacia
Sometimes I feel as though there is an epidemic of "Time Outs". I once felt so surrounded by them in my "crowd" that I did some research on them. The concept was "invented" for school age children not toddlers. The average age of useage seems to have lowered and lowered over the years. IMO an actual "Time Out" is useless on a toddler and I like the others who have posted here help my child get back into control.
I was thinking that they were useless on toddlers, too, but I would love to know what kind of info you dug up in your research of time outs. I don't remember time outs when I was a kid. I think they came about only 15 or 20 years ago at the most?
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#10 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 03:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow
Time outs are an option for everyone in the family- When DH is grumpy I ask if he needs a time out. When DD is flustered or angry I ask if she needs one. I take them. They aren't a consequence so much as a cooling down thing.
I like this idea. A time out in this sense is almost a moment to gather yourself, not a punishment. I think it takes the whole concept of time outs, which are sooo common, and elevates it to a higher plane.
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#11 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 04:04 AM
 
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Kind of. When she gets out of control we use them. We pull her aside and sit in a chair or on the couch together. We talk gently until she is called down and then talk to her about why she is upset.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#12 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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my first inclination is to say no, i don't use them...i don't believe in them. but i think its really the punitive time outs i don't believe in, and i know friends who use them in a nonpunitive way and seems to work for them...and they are very loving about it. and they stay with their child...its more of a break, not a punishment. and that i can't argue with. there are definitely times we all need that.

that said, when i'm really losing it with my daughter, i guess i am sorta using a modified timeout with her lately...although i never use the phrase "time out"...i just cringe at that phrase and i agree with the poster earlier who said that there's an epidemic of time outs (oh i hate seeing the time out chairs that are sold! makes me so mad!) its way overused lately in my opinion...punitive time outs.

what i do with my daughter when she's totally losing and i have no patience for it and i am concerned with what i might say or do if i don't remove her, is i scoop her up (often kicking and screaming) and plunk her down on her bed or ours (they are next to each other in the bedroom) and sometimes i say nothing and sometimes i say that she may come out when she's calm. i do NOT close the door. in fact, i used to not even put her in the room...used to just remove her from the room we were in, usually the living room...and just put her in the hall...basically just taking her out of the room i'm in because she's not in a place to listen to me since she's lost control and i'm not in a patient place, so i can't take her in the room shrieking at me anymore. i feel my blood boiling and i need her away from me before i snap.

i don't think this is necessarily the best approach...i'm not real proud of it...but i figure its better than hitting her or saying something nasty that could really injure her emotionally...and lately she has been so extreme in her behavior, screaming and sassy and i just don't have patience for it. (7wks ago our baby boy was stillborn and we are working through our mourning) so i use this as a way to not lose it on her and do something i'll seriously regret. i've never felt so out of control myself before, so i figure this is something that is way better than the alternative. (what that alternative is, i don't really know nor want to think about...i've never hit my child, and until recently never even thought i would be capable of it, nor had i ever yelled at her til recently...life is all upside down right now and we're fumbling to get back rightside up.)

so when i place her in bed, i don't shut the door, i don't tell her she has to stay in there for x amount of time...i simply say she needs to calm down (what it really means is i need to calm down, i guess) and she's welcome to come out whenever she is calm and able to talk to me in a respectful way. if she comes out and is still acting like a madwoman, i plunk her back down in bed again. it usually doesn't last more than like 2 min and she's calm and out trying to talk to me in a calm voice. she's never spent more than like 4min in the bed before calming herself. then we talk and sort through things. i've even been apologizing to her lately when i get angry with her and yell (it doesn't happen that much, but i'm so disappointed in myself when i do it) and we talk about how its scary to lose control and alternatives and specific things she can say instead of the rude yelling at me she does. i nearly always give her the specific words she could say...sometimes she uses them, sometimes not.

actually now that i'm writing this out...i'm thinking i'll start doing the opposite approach and put MYSELF in a "time out" (though i won't call it that.) and perhaps that will be better because its really me who needs it!


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#13 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 01:52 PM
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with removing a child from a situation, but I would not do it in a punitive way, but rather in a "this is what works for me" sort of way. I would sit with my child unless she said she wished to be alone. I would never treat it as a punishment.

I think the term has been really twisted around. Alot of what I read here as "time out" is not what most people think of it as. Usually it's a punishment, as in "you've been bad, your feelings are bad, so you have to sit here all by yourself. Nyah!".

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#14 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 02:37 PM
 
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AdrienneWe - I will try to dig up the research (we've moved since I looked into it). I am famous with my friends for quoting things out of baby advice books and then never ever being able to find it again .
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#15 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 05:05 PM
 
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I do, not with a toddler, but starting about three, the one minute a year rule. I tend to reserve them for aggressive behaviour. I don't have any problems with the idea of punishment.
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#16 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorprincess
I don't have any problems with the idea of punishment.
I've heard this a couple times now.

I don't have a problem with punishment either. I just don't think it's a very effective tool, and it isn't one I choose to use. That's why I would not use "time outs" in a punitive way. Since they are usually defined that way, I wanted to clarify that such a thing would not be punitive in my home (I think terms get mixed up really easily!).

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#17 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What got me thinking about time outs is that while spending a week with relatives in florida, I saw my nephews get time outs several times a day for minor aggravations. They were always being punished in what I think is a humilating way: the parent would first yell at them to stop whatever they were doing that was "wrong" or "bad" and then if they didn't stop, the parent would yank them away and announce in front of everyone that they would sit in the corner in the time out chair - in full view of everyone. They had to sit there until the timer went off.

My son was confused about what was going on, so I told him that the cousin was taking a break and then directed him to another area and activity. But it was just so depressing to see these kids constantly punished. It wasn't about cooling down as much as it was a punishment, although they were supposed to cool down, too.

Sometimes if the kids were bad enough, they were banished to their room, and might even get a spanking, and then left alone in the room with the door closed where they would proceed to have a private fit of banging and throwing.
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#18 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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I don't use them, they have been totally ineffective for us. I agree with Piglet that I wouldn't use them if they were done in a punitive fashion, I would only use them for logical or natural consequences.
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#19 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 06:24 PM
 
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when my girls get to the point where they need some quiet time, we call it just that- "I think we all need a break, or quiet time." I will direct my youngest to some books or her room to play, and my oldest can direct herself to her own room. I don't consider it punishment per say, just time out from whatever is going on. They are allowed to rejoin whatever is going on when they feel like it though- no time limit on their quiet time. I have never seen the timing of sitting in a corner do much. I think I may have tried it a few times with my oldest (8 1/2) when she was littler, but it seemed kinda forced and unproductive.
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#20 of 42 Old 06-07-2004, 06:49 PM
 
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We read 1-2-3 Magic. We use "counting" as warnings. We use timeouts in the bedroom or car as "calm down" time when things get out of control. Hubby and I also take "timeouts". For immediate punishment of "really bads" (like hitting) we do timeout on kitchen rug (instead of chair) or park bench etc. I also use the timer like a crazy woman. If the kids cant work out sharing on their own I set the timer for "turns". And we have a timer for getting up in the morning as well as going to bed at night.
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#21 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 08:22 AM
 
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I got so angry at my DD once that I gave her a timeout. I carried her to her room, put her in and slammed the door. She started screaming for me and I immediately went back in.

The next time I got angry at her I said "Do you want a time out?" And she said YES and marched to her room and slammed the door.

It broke my heart. I learned a lesson.

Now when I am feeling that angry I say MOMMY needs a time out, which is really the truth - she was fine with whatever it was that got me upset. It was my anger and reaction that needed some time out.
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#22 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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I guess I do use a formof time out, mostly it is for me. If I can get away (sit in the bathroom or go to my room or something like that) then I do. But if I have to keep an eye on my 2 year old then I send the older ones to their rooms. They don't have to just sit there or anything. Mostly it is for me to get myself under control. So I can think about what we should do about whatever the problem is.
I did, when my dd was little use the whole sit in the corner time-out thing and it just never worked. So we just dropped that.
Now we just use time outs for calming down. Sometimes I just hold the kids and let them cry or yell or what ever but I keep them from hurting themselves or others in their anger.
I am not perfect at this, but I feel it is working well.

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#23 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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I dont use time outs.My guys are 3.5 yrs and 21 mo. I think the idea of using time outs as a means of regaining self control and regrouping is great but my guys are not quite ready for this. I'm trying to teach my older ds ways of regaining self control like deep breaths but its really a bit over his head. If an activity is becoming too disruptive we stop it, if a tantrum ensues I let it take its course-sometimes with reassurance if its helpful or without if its increasing the intensity. Time out as a punative measure seems like emotional manipulation to me.
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#24 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Time out as a punative measure seems like emotional manipulation to me.
This is EXACTLY how it felt to me. You aren't doing what I say so I am going to emotionally abandon you now...
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#25 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Time out as a punative measure seems like emotional manipulation to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady
This is EXACTLY how it felt to me. You aren't doing what I say so I am going to emotionally abandon you now...

I certainly don't think that I am emotionally abandoning my children if I make them go to their rooms for 5-10 mins so that they will know that I am serious when I tell them no. And I know my children don't view it this way either.
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#26 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 06:28 PM
 
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...but if the child is so upset as to misbehave enough to warrant a "timeout"...isn't that when they need you the most (unless they have expressed themselves a desire to be left alone)...?

:

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#27 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 06:47 PM
 
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I rarely see my son misbehave because he is upset. It happens more out of boredom or impulsivity. If I have made suggestions to him for positive things to do, and he chooses to continue hitting the baby, yes, he will have a time out.

I have him sit with me, away from the baby, and we make a plan. Lately, and this is very new, he will hit me in time out, then he can sit on his own. It is not for long, and he lets me know when he is ready to make a plan for doing something positive when he is done.

None of this happens often, but I want him to have a consistent message about aggressive behavior not being okay.

I think there is such a wide range of things that can fit under the term "time out" that it is really impossible to say, "I am for them, or I am against them". I have seen people who do not use the term "time out" who do much worse things to their children, like talk to other adults about their "bad" behavior within earshot of the child. In fact, I know two moms who think I am evil for giving time outs who go on and on about how "bad" their kids are.

I don't humiliate my son or send him to be alone in his room if he is upset. But I do something I call a time out. Occasionally. When serious things are involved. I think most things we do as parents is as good or bad as our intent and the amount of thought we have put into it.

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#28 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 08:28 PM
 
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I certainly don't think that I am emotionally abandoning my children if I make them go to their rooms for 5-10 mins so that they will know that I am serious when I tell them no. And I know my children don't view it this way either.
It depends on your child. Maybe your children don't feel this way, but I know that my child is very sensitive to the energy of people around her and overly apologetic - even at 2. I don't want her to feel like SHE is responsible for MY reactions and MY moods. I want her to know that I love her and accept her no matter what - Piglet hit the nail on the head - this is when she very well may need me the most. I was speaking for MY feelings about my experiences with timeout with her - and how I felt as a child when my own mother would not allow me to feel how I felt without it becoming about her.
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#29 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
...but if the child is so upset as to misbehave enough to warrant a "timeout"...isn't that when they need you the most (unless they have expressed themselves a desire to be left alone)...?

:
Well my kids are older (5 and 9) so sometimes they have done something wrong not because they are upset but because they are CHOOSING to do something wrong. They are both old enough to know when they are doing something wrong and if they choose to do it anyway then they need to know that I mean business. Not all kids do things wrong only when they are upset or want attention....sometimes they do them because they WANT to.

Or at least me kids do that....
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#30 of 42 Old 06-08-2004, 08:38 PM
 
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Oh gosh - that's a HUGE age difference - 5 & 9 VS my DD at 2. Your kids are certainly old enough to understand.

And I am sure yours aren't the only ones...
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