Let's talk time outs and time ins please... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this has been done many times here, but I can't get the search function to be fruitful. Hey wonderful GD mommas, can you share how you think and feel about time outs and time ins, how you do or don't, the possible pros and cons, etc? TIA! And if anyone else has luck with the search tool finding other threads about time outs, please do post links to those as well.

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#2 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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Thank you thank you for starting this thread! I'll be watching closely!
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#3 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:02 PM
 
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This is a good thread about time outs!
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#4 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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Great thread!

There are a diversity of views on this topic.

I find that even what one person calls "time out/in" is very different than what another person means by the same term.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#5 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:08 PM
 
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Good posts on there! What I've been doing (I tried the "traditional" timeout, sitting him in one spot and walking away......didn't work at all and I hated it) is just taking him someplace, even if its the sofa, to regain our composure. I call it "reflection", lol. We sit and talk about what happened......or I just hold him. Thats basically it. He gets removed from the situation, we calm down together and then when everything is okay again we move on.
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#6 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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:

I've seen that basic meaning intended by many, many moms in GD when referring to "taking a time out".

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#7 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:12 PM
 
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We do time-out for my two-year-old, but in a non-punitive way. No anger, no shaming, none of that sort of thing. We just started this when he turned two.

It is to give him a chance to take a break and focus on the consequences of what he has done; so that I can talk to him about it and so that he can calm down if he was acting too wild. It is to help him begin to learn self-control, in an age-appropriate way. He is never shunned to a corner or anything, instead he sits on a chair or a stool in the middle of the room and I or his Dad stay in the same room with him. If he doesn't want to sit on the chair then Mommy or Daddy will sit with him or hold him nicely. Only once or twice has been really resistant to it.

We only do time-outs for about 2 minutes at a time since he is so young, and afterwards he has to say "sorry" and give a hug or a kiss. If he made a mess on purpose (one of the more common reasons for time-outs around here) then I will clean or pick most of it up while talking to him, and then when he gets off the chair he will help me with the last bit.

As far as the messes go, I don't believe in punishing him for them-- obviously he's just a curious toddler having fun, not trying to be naughty-- however I DO want him to learn that it's against our rules (to rub his peas into the carpet etc.) and that there will be consequences-- which consequences we talk about while he's sitting on the chair. If he makes a mess that he didn't know counted as "making a mess" than we just talk about it, no time-out-- for instance, the time he found a permanent marker and marked up some of our clothes. I don't think a time-out would have served any purpose as he really had no idea that what he was doing was wrong. I made sure he knew "we don't color on clothing" though.

In the case of the usual kind of mess I deal with, I might say things like, "Oh Gabriel, when you make a big mess it makes the floor all icky and then we have to clean it up. That makes mommy feel sad when you make a big mess. I don't like it when the floor is icky, do you?" Or something like that. I think the tone of voice you say things in matters too, I always talk to him about it very nicely, not trying to shame him or make him upset.

This has been working great for us and Gabriel has responded very well. We don't do time-outs very often, maybe once or twice a week usually.

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#8 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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I wanted to address a couple of other things:

When we do a time-out, it is important to us that there is no withdrawal of love. I definitely believe in making sure our son feels loved all the time, and that's why our time-outs are non-punitive. We speak gently and nicely to him and we do not abandon him or reject him in any way during the process.
We address also adress the original behavioral problem very directly by talking about it. This is one of the reasons we do time-outs, to better address the problem, not to avoid it. Otherwise I sometimes have a hard time getting my son to hold still long enough to listen to anything, he's already off to the next adventure.

I think having him sit on the chair is an important part of our time-outs, as it helps him to begin to learn self-control.

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#9 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
I think having him sit on the chair is important though, as it helps him to begin to learn self-control.
Can you please elaborate on how in your opinion sitting in the chair in the middle of the room teaches self-control? (not being snarky, I migh even utilize it for myself if I can grasp the concept! I can use some self-control )
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#10 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Caitlin320,

This thread might get a little confusing if members post issues that they have with the past thread in this new thread. I would like to suggest that anyone who takes issue with another member's post in the old thread, bump that thread up and post their issues there, that way anyone who reads it will be able to read it in context with the member's entire post.

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#11 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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As far as OP. We don't "use" anything on DD.

If she needs to calm down, one of us will comfort her or give her space (whatever is most applicable at the time)

So I guess it could be called "time-in", we just not label it as such.

As far as "time-out", however it's done - be it putting the kid in the corner, in the room or on the chair and telling them what to think about does not make any sense to me at this time (see the above post)

I can not think about assigned things on a cue when I feel distressed. I would assume kids can not either.
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#12 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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Can others share what types of behavior/activities need a time out? I also don't want to be snarky, but I guess I can't think of anything that would require a punishment like time outs. At least nothing that dd (3.5 years) has done yet. I guess I feel like I'm here to help her learn and keep her safe, not to judge her actions with my adult perspective.

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#13 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irinam
Can you please elaborate on how in your opinion sitting in the chair in the middle of the room teaches self-control?
Because they will learn to control themselves by sitting in the chair, and not being able to do whatever they feel like. If ds cannot supply the control (and I don't necessarily expect him to at two) then mom or dad help supply the control, and he learns by example. Of course, this only works in context with our other parenting techniques-- if we don't exemplify self-control in our own actions, he wouldn't learn a thing from his time-outs. But like I said, it's been working very nicely for us.

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#14 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I personally do not use *imposed* time outs or *imposed* time ins.

The way that I have used time ins is as a physical bringing close of a willing child, to help calm return. I am talking cuddling, loving, empathizing, and validating. I usually like to do this when I see that there is an underlying need such as hunger or tiredness and the child is displaying a temporary loss of self control. Then once calm returns, we are able to met the need for sleep, or more likely at their ages now, FOOD!

Occaisionally I will do a time in, cuddling, when the children are having a conflict between themselves and in their frustration or anger one of them begins to display a loss of self control by excessively loud screaming or hitting. Once we are all calm they or we then can proceed to find a solution to the original conflict.

For me, an imposed time out takes the focus away from teaching children how their behavior is negatively impacting others. It places the focus on a punishment that many small children will not even understand what it is for. I feel most toddler aged children would be more focused on being forced to hold still in one spot than on anything the caregiver was saying to them to help them learn in that moment. Most children would be more concerned about when they could get up and what they could do to get up. They may even learn that mimicing sorry or some such gets them up faster, with no real learning taking place beyond that.
The time spent in time out could be spent helping the child learn problem solving or whatever other thing is relevant to the situation. It could be spent helping the child understand what exactly their need was in the situation and help them be redirecting to an acceptable alternative. Bottom line, the time spent in time out could be spent in a constructive, positive manner. Such punishments are also notorious for teaching negative things, like eventually how to get to do what they want to do without being caught, and likely will negatively affect the parent/child attachment if it is a forced thing.

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#15 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
It is to give him a chance to take a break and focus on the consequences of what he has done; so that I can talk to him about it and so that he can calm down if he was acting too wild. It is to help him begin to learn self-control, in an age-appropriate way. He is never shunned to a corner or anything, instead he sits on a chair or a stool in the middle of the room and I or his Dad stay in the same room with him. If he doesn't want to sit on the chair then Mommy or Daddy will sit with him or hold him nicely. Only once or twice has been really resistant to it.

We only do time-outs for about 2 minutes at a time since he is so young, and afterwards he has to say "sorry" and give a hug or a kiss. If he made a mess on purpose (one of the more common reasons for time-outs around here) then I will clean or pick most of it up while talking to him, and then when he gets off the chair he will help me with the last bit.
So you say this, and then you say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
As far as the messes go, I don't believe in punishing him for them-- obviously he's just a curious toddler having fun, not trying to be naughty--
Do you not consider your version of time-out a punishment? I would say it is one, especially if he is "really resistant to it". Just a thought, but maybe it would be more effective to have him really help you clean up the whole mess, that'd be more realistic, IMO.

I'm glad you started this thread, MissRubyandKen because today a friend of mine who's watching my kids temporarily was telling me that she has been putting her 22 month old in T/O for telling her to shut-up. This is traditional T/O, with her putting her in her room and holding the door closed while her dd screams and cries, and then they talk about it and have an enforced apology. I'm trying to think of something to tell her, that would be inoffensive but enlightening.

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#16 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
Because they will learn to control themselves by sitting in the chair, and not being able to do whatever they feel like.
I am sorry, but I would respectfully disagree and still claim not understanding how exactly do they/we learn self-control when not being able to do what we like. I would literally explode if I were made to sit in one place at any age (FTR I was put in the corner, but what in reality KEPT me there was a threat of beating, not saying at all this is the situation in your case!)
So, if let's say at the age of 3 (just for example) he decides he does NOT want to comply and sit in the chair, what happens then?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
But like I said, it's been working very nicely for us.
Edited thinking how to word it better
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitlin320
Of course, this only works in context with our other parenting techniques-- if we don't exemplify self-control in our own actions, he wouldn't learn a thing from his time-outs.
In this case, could *just* the exemplifycation (I made up a word ) work?
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#17 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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I wanted to add an effective strategy that we've been using lately. Here's an example:

The other day dd, who is sick, skipped her nap. By 4:30 she was feeling very yucky and irritable, she's trying to get her brother to play with her but he's just not interested in her elaborate game, and so she starts following him around growling at him and "whipping" him with her blanket. It's not really hurting him, but clearly irritating him, so I propose to dd that she lay down and listen to music in her bed alone. We close the door to her room, and 20 minutes later she comes out recharged and cheerful.

This works VERY well for my dd, she's pretty introverted and really has to decompress occasionally. I think this will teach her self-control much better than if I had punished her, and it gives her some strategies for coping with her own overwhelming emotions. Way better than traditional T/O, plus it lasted 20 minutes, instead of three! That's a 17 minute longer break for all of us.

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#18 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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I use time-outs occasionally with ds. We use them for hitting/biting/hurting. I tried other things before time out, like problem-solving, explaining that biting hurts, asking him to bite a pillow, etc. but he kept biting. However, for some reason having him sit in a chair for 2 minutes while I do some work in the same room seems to make him at least try some of the other problem solving strategies the next time around. I don't tell him to think about anything in particular, and I don't make him do anything except sit in the chair. I ignore any boisterous antics on the chair, as long as he stays in it. I found calmly putting him in a chair to be better than yelling at him. (Yes, this is my problem, and something I need to figure out how to control, but somehow having something to "do" helps prevent me from yelling on some days. I'm working on it.) When two minutes is up, I ask him why he is in time out. He will tell me (he always knows), say he's sorry, and get a hug. We'll also discuss other things he can do the next time he feels upset/angry/frustrated enough to bite/hit/kick.

I'm reading "Unconditional Parenting" right now and trying to keep an open mind. Maybe I'll figure out a better way to approach things. But I have a hard time equating time-out handled in a calm, empathetic manner with "withdrawing love." I'd say it's less of a withdrawal of love than screaming at the kid in anger. Again, ideally I would know just how to "reason" with him in a sweet voice and get him to understand, but I am not perfect. So, for now I will take the lesser of two evils in my response, while continuing to try and learn other ways of dealing.

I see him internalizing the lesson he's learning through play. Today he told his horses "We don't hit. That hurts." And that was it. He didn't say "Bad horse! Time out!" So, I don't think he's too traumatized.

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#19 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 08:29 PM
 
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Irina and Sarah, I wanted to respond to your ideas but I'll have I'll have to do that tomorrow. Till then . . .

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#20 of 23 Old 09-05-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyncyn
Can others share what types of behavior/activities need a time out? I also don't want to be snarky, but I guess I can't think of anything that would require a punishment like time outs. At least nothing that dd (3.5 years) has done yet. I guess I feel like I'm here to help her learn and keep her safe, not to judge her actions with my adult perspective.
I guess for us, when Rowan is just on a rampage, or won't listen, or is destructive, or is doing something he shouldn't do over and over.......we'll just go take a moment to reflect. I know I get sensory overload and I need to have time to reflect and get away from whatever's bugging me....so, I'm sure he does too. He gets too stimulated and becomes Mr.Destructo or Mr. CrankyPants.....so we take him away from the offensive situation and talk about it.......Or, I'll just let him cry if he needs to. But, I'm there with him.
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#21 of 23 Old 09-06-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah
Do you not consider your version of time-out a punishment? I would say it is one, especially if he is "really resistant to it". Just a thought, but maybe it would be more effective to have him really help you clean up the whole mess, that'd be more realistic, IMO.
No, I don't consider it a punishment at all! It is just that-- a "time out". A time to take a break from his wildness and make a peaceful transition into a more gentle groove. It is not intended to be unpleasant for him and usually it isn't. Sometimes he really enjoys it a lot. He has only been "really resistant to it" a couple of times, like I said before-- meaning about two times, ever. He has also occasionally been really resistant to taking a nap, should I just let him not take a nap? I don't think so. I think there are times when mom knows best and he doesn't get his way, but I still try to make things as pleasant as possible for him. Same with time-outs. We use them rarely. They are for those times when he is just too wound up and not listening or not tuned-in as he usually is. I hope that explains my position a little better.

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#22 of 23 Old 09-06-2006, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irinam
I am sorry, but I would respectfully disagree and still claim not understanding how exactly do they/we learn self-control when not being able to do what we like. I would literally explode if I were made to sit in one place at any age (FTR I was put in the corner, but what in reality KEPT me there was a threat of beating, not saying at all this is the situation in your case!)
So, if let's say at the age of 3 (just for example) he decides he does NOT want to comply and sit in the chair, what happens then?

Edited thinking how to word it better

In this case, could *just* the exemplifycation (I made up a word ) work?
I'm not sure, I'm still thinking about this one . . . I think most people in our society do not have enough self-control though, so it's very important to me that he learns it. It is also an important aspect of our religion-- self-control that is. Having an example of self-control might be enough. I will have to give it more thought. I would still use the time-outs to help him wind down though. I am considering switching to always holding him/cuddling with him when he is in time-out, then we could clean up together.

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#23 of 23 Old 09-06-2006, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyncyn
Can others share what types of behavior/activities need a time out? I also don't want to be snarky, but I guess I can't think of anything that would require a punishment like time outs.
We use time-outs when Gabriel (2) gets very wound up, making big messes, acting oppositional, that sort of thing. It doesn't happen often. In terms of energy, there are times when his energy is just not peaceful. Rather, destructive and wild. I don't think it's his fault, that's why I don't punish it. (We don;t ever use punishments.) But the time-out helps us transition to a healthier, calmer, more connected energy. I think slinging him would have the same effect but he hasn't liked the sling in a long time, so we needed a new tool, and this has worked well for us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyncyn
I guess I feel like I'm here to help her learn and keep her safe, not to judge her actions with my adult perspective.
I am not judging him as a person, but I can certainly judge his actions. He can do something bad (and require redirection) and not be a bad boy.

Okay, on second thought, I guess I do judge him as a person-- but this mama-judge always rules that he is "perfect, sweet, innocent and wonderful!"

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