Where do you put your toddler for "time out?" - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-20-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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We don't do "time outs" with DS2 (3.5) either.

IMO, time "out" is a fairly advanced concept.... even my 10yo has a hard time with it sometimes, although he's getting to the point now where I can encourage him to go read a book or something when he seems to be getting overly-stressed. It's still something that has only become helpful for him in the last year.

With toddlers, I think it really has to be a time "in" to be effective at all. They need that sense of support from you to guide them through whatever is bothering them, which time-outs don't provide. Telling them to go sit in a chair and "think about it" is just setting yourself up for more stress, ime.

Ryleee's description is pretty much what I do, which can be done anywhere. I know it's hard with a baby (well, honestly, I don't... never had 2 under 2, but I can imagine), but I think it would be best to abandon the idea of a time "out" and figure out a time "in" that works for you guys.

ime, the eye-to-eye contact is crucial. I don't know why, but it's like a hypnotic code to toddlers..... "look into my eyes..... ...... seriously, now, stop trying to ride the dog........ "
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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That's great! It sounds like a form of "time in" that works really well for you. You're interrupting the behavior, connecting with him, and teaching him strategies for calming HIMSELF when he starts getting upset.

"Time outs" don't really work like that. Ideally, they act like a cooling off period, but when they're imposed externally, in a punitive manner (and who isn't going to be inclined to speaking crossly to their kid who is hurting their baby or their dog?), without connection, that isn't what they do. The child, especially a toddler, is usually left alone and frustrated, without their underlying needs being met. Either they're going to get even more angry or upset, and learn only that their parent doesn't love them/want them (which will make them be inclined to act out even more - and not to say that using time-outs means you DON'T love your kids, just that that is a very common way kids interpret such an act), or they're just going to play in the new space, and learn nothing - which isn't all that bad! Redirection and removal are good strategies for dealing with unacceptable behavior in a two year old, who simply does not (cannot!) have good impulse control yet. But expecting them to seem "remorseful", to have "learned something from the punishment", or that removal will prevent the behavior in the future is just unrealistic.

It is crazy hard to be dealing with a child who is hitting, not listening, behaving unsocially, etc, but there are no magic bullets. Redirection, removal, distraction, positive phrasings - these things are not quick fixes. They're about getting through the day (stopping your child's hand before they can hit), and long term pay-off (having a deep, respectful connection with your child that lasts for years, so you have a prayer of them still talking to you as teenagers!). But just because you can't "fix" the behavior right now doesn't mean you're a failure. Far from it. All you can do is the best you can in the moment, keeping in your sights the higher goal of creating a respectful, gentle relationship with your child. We need to do what we can to survive the day, of course, but we also need to evaluate how much doing "what works" (or just "doing something", whether it helps or not, which is the category I would usually put "time outs" into) is worth potentially losing something more important.

THIS! Thanks Arwyn that's a beautiful post!
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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Pretty much everything I have done seems futile, really. I know it is sort of expected given his stage and new sibling, etc. I just feel like, omg, it is getting worse and worse and maybe it is because I am not doing something I should be. YKWIM? When I tell him "no hitting" and "be gentle" and things like that and he continues to hit me, it just feels like I am failing, you know?
I Know, but the time out will only worsen the situation. I had my third LO when my second was 16 months and it was HECTIC. Just give your LO ALOT of love and attention, he's going through a very difficult time.

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Old 03-20-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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From someone that used to do punitive time-outs....they don't work. They are a form of punishment and do nothing to teach. Timeouts had a major negative effect on my son and did absolutely nothing to stop the hitting.

Once we stopped doing timeouts (around 3) and found more gentle, respectful ways of dealing with misbehavior, things got so much better.
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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Further alienating a child who obviously needs attention is not going to fix the problem. The only time-outs we use around here are for me! lol
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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Why did the person suggest that you aren't supposed to use a crib? I ask because I'm curious what difference a child sees in a crib and a pack and play.
When I've read that in the past it has to do with not making the sleep space a punishment space.

-Angela
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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When I've read that in the past it has to do with not making the sleep space a punishment space.

-Angela
Ah. So the pack and play is the punishment space. Gotcha.

Homesteading, unschooling mama of three.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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If by time out, you mean "Go chill a while".. anywhere is good. The couch, his bedroom, your bed..

But, if you mean "Sit in that corner and think about what you have done" That kind of time out doesn't work very well.

ALL kids need time out though. Even very little kids need some time to gather themselves, and just hang out alone. Especially when they are frustrated. Some kids just want to lay in their bed and listen to music. Whatever he needs to regroup. But, just don't make it a punishment.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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Further alienating a child who obviously needs attention is not going to fix the problem. The only time-outs we use around here are for me! lol
I agree with you. And I love *my* time-outs, btw

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Old 03-20-2008, 03:05 AM
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Someone else already mentioned that two years have no impulse control or empathy because their frontal lobes are still developing. How we treat our LOs influences their mental development. Pain, rage, and fear are lower brain functions. So when your toddlers hits his younger sibling he is probably afraid and hurt over having to share you. Then when you isolate him by using a timeout, he feels pain and fear again. So your only engaging his lower brain functions. When you empathize with him and help him deal with his jealous fear and pain you are helping him to develop emotionally so he'll be able to empathize eventually.
There's a book, Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland that's about brain development in babies and children. She tells about how we treat our children effects their brain development, including the ability to be an emotionally mature adult. The paperback version is called What Every Parent Needs to Know. Here's a link to more info on the book http://style.uk.msn.com/family/askth...mentid=5745727 .
We of course don't do timeouts. I do occasionally do a form of time in. I just pick up my two year old and hold her while I talk to her be about being gentle or whatever the situation calls for.
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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I will quote form my favorite parenting book: Time-Out For Parents: A Guide to Compassionate Parenting, by Cheri Huber and Melinda Guyol.

"When a parent sends a child to TIME_OUT, often it is because the parent feels stretched to the limit by the child's behavior, feels in fact as though she or he is about to "lose it," because it seems the child is "out of control."

....The parent feels out of control, needs a break, and sends the child away. When the child is gone, the adult feels more in control. It SEEMS to be working."

Basically, your DC is acting in a very age-appropriate way to the new situation of having a younger sibling, in effect--in DC's eyes--take his place. At two, lashing out physically is a very effective way to display his emotions. Why squelch that by making him sit and ignore his feelings??

It is soooo hard to see our children feeling so strongly. But, in the long run, allowing them to have and experience their emotions now, in the safety of our presence, no matter how scary or out-of-control it may feel, is the best way to show them how accepting we are of their feelings.

Another great book I'd recommend to you is Raising Cane. It makes a wonderful case for allowing boys to develop their emotions in a healthy way.

Good luck. Introducing a new sibling to a toddler is very hard. I have btdt, and we both survived, emotional health in tact--no time outs.

I defintely agree with PP who suggested redirecting and using words such as, "gentle," and, "loving and careful touches," while demonstrating what these feel like on your ds.

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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The problem with time outs for a two-year-old for normal two-year-old behavior is that you are punishing a toddler for being a toddler. What you described is normal toddler behavior - not something unusually bad. Is it fair to expect a toddler to not behave like a toddler? Toddlers grow out of that without punishment. Why punish when it doesn't change the outcome? My fear is that it would set the toddler up to be resentful of the new baby - mommy is making me sit here by myself, but meanwhile that baby is getting lots of love and affection.

Punishment, particularly at this age, seems to be more because the parent feels like he/she has to do SOMETHING than because of any expected impact on the child.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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When DS (2.5 yr) is having a hard time playing nicely with either us or DD (1 yr) and redirection isn't working, etc... we usually ask him if he needs to go take a "break". By this we mean go in his "room" (we live in a 20' by 24' cabin so his room is just a different part of the house, no doors) and be in his own space. I have found that he usually gets to this point when DD is in his space too much or he just needs to chill out a little bit.

It usually works for us, and I don't feel like we are using this as a "punishment" but I am curious how you more experienced w/ GD mama's would view this type of consequence.

thanks for any input.

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Old 03-20-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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When DS (2.5 yr) is having a hard time playing nicely with either us or DD (1 yr) and redirection isn't working, etc... we usually ask him if he needs to go take a "break". By this we mean go in his "room" (we live in a 20' by 24' cabin so his room is just a different part of the house, no doors) and be in his own space. I have found that he usually gets to this point when DD is in his space too much or he just needs to chill out a little bit.

It usually works for us, and I don't feel like we are using this as a "punishment" but I am curious how you more experienced w/ GD mama's would view this type of consequence.

thanks for any input.
IMO, if you ask him, and he chooses to go if he wants to but you don't make him go, then that wouldn't be a punishment - it would be suggesting a possible solution for him. But, also IMO, if you ask him if he wants to go, but he doesn't have a choice, then I'd say it's a punishment and it also really isn't fair to ask if he can't say no.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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I make ds sit in his/our bedroom on the bed for his time out, he has toys, tv etc.

you can bet your butt I use time outs, not only do they give us both a chance to calm down, sometimes with ds's needs, he needs quiet alone time to regroup himself! yes... you read it right...... he NEEEEEEEEEDS them.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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What I do is more of a time in. I take the child with me for some time with mommy.Since you are having trouble with hitting your brother you need to stay with mommmy. We then made dinner togther. Brother joined and all was happy once more.
Susan
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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First off I want to offer you some hugs! The hitting/pushing/kicking stage is one we are very familiar with unfortunately. My daughter is 2 1/2 and went through a terrible time with this behavior. She was even hitting her little brother who is now 8 months old which was so incredibly heartbreaking for me. I know EXACTLY how you feel. You feel as though this stage will never end!! But it will I PROMISE!!! I also know that you feel like if you don't do a time out or something like that you are not doing much of anything to correct the behavior. I've learned that that is not the case.

When my daughter started hitting we started doing a "if you hit you will sit" rule. I got the idea from Dr. Sears' Discipline Book (I love his work by the way). What I learned was that by doing that I wasn't TEACHING her anything. And guess what else? By making her sit it actually made her MORE mad, MORE frustrated, and MORE aggressive. So one day I said that we will not do the "sitting" thing again. Instead I will TEACH her, TALK to her, and SHOW her that we do not hit. And guess what? It worked. Believe me it took a LOOOOOOOONG time and she still has her moments. But the thing is that now she understands WHY she shouldn't hit and can do other things to relieve her frustration like taking deep breaths, taking a break, getting a hug, using her words, yelling, or going off to play alone. She knows that in our house hurting in any way is NOT TOLERATED because it makes everyone really sad around her. But the best part is that she understands why.

Another thing that helped us were the children's books Hands Are Not For Hitting, Feet Are Not For Kicking, and Teeth Are Not For Biting. There's a whole series of these books from Free Spirit Publishing and they are AWESOME. You can read them over and over (and over and over and over in our case!) and then have wonderful discussions about them with your little ones!

Good luck!! This stage will pass I promise!

Nichole

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Old 03-20-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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I agree with Angela. I think at 2, the parent should we working with the child to prevent the behaviour in the future, figure out what the problem is, how to solve it, etc.

I think if the 2 year old is hitting because the baby is in her way, help her thinks of strategies to cope with the situation.

I don't think time outs are abusive but they do not equip the child with the tools or strategies they need to navigate sticky situations.
I agree with this. I would look at the triggers for the behaviour rather than just trying to stop it.

A new sibling in the mix is pretty big. I loved Naomi Aldort's article and approach on helping kids deal with emotional upsets - it gets to the root of the problem.

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Old 03-21-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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you can bet your butt I use time outs, not only do they give us both a chance to calm down, sometimes with ds's needs, he needs quiet alone time to regroup himself! yes... you read it right...... he NEEEEEEEEEDS them.
Certainly a child with sensory issues is going to need different things than a more run-of-the-mill toddler. What she's describing is very normal toddler behavior. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference between what she's describing and the difficulties you have with your particular ds.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:26 AM
 
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Certainly a child with sensory issues is going to need different things than a more run-of-the-mill toddler. What she's describing is very normal toddler behavior. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference between what she's describing and the difficulties you have with your particular ds.
no, because alot of the things my son does is age appropriate 2yr old behaviour as well, and he gets a time out.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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What's the best way to give yourself a "timeout" when things are getting too stressful, you are by yourself and you can't just lock yourself in a room with the child screaming on the other side?

I rarely have removed my almost 2yo dd from doing something and I have placed her in her crib for a few minutes while I regain my composure. At the point that I have to do that, that is the safest place for my child at that moment in time. I always get myself together and go in and snuggle, rock, nurse with her and explain what happened and that I was sorry for getting so upset. I find I "feel" this way easier when it's that time of the month. But I would love to find other ways to get myself under control and be able to have the right train of thought/patience to diffuse the situation before it gets to explosive.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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when I am by myself, i just put ds somewhere he cant get hurt, if its a crib or on my bed etc, and walk away to calm down
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:19 AM
 
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What's the best way to give yourself a "timeout" when things are getting too stressful, you are by yourself and you can't just lock yourself in a room with the child screaming on the other side?

I rarely have removed my almost 2yo dd from doing something and I have placed her in her crib for a few minutes while I regain my composure. At the point that I have to do that, that is the safest place for my child at that moment in time. I always get myself together and go in and snuggle, rock, nurse with her and explain what happened and that I was sorry for getting so upset. I find I "feel" this way easier when it's that time of the month. But I would love to find other ways to get myself under control and be able to have the right train of thought/patience to diffuse the situation before it gets to explosive.
I've walked away or put my DD in her crib for a few minutes when she was younger (now she's almost 3)--I think there's a difference between knowing when you/your child needs a minute to collect yourself and using punitive time out, where isolation is punishment. Also, where the time out becomes a threat whenever the child is out of step with the behavior the adult is seeking. Like many have posted--lots of behaviors are annoying but normal for two. I try to work with my child to explain and model how to act than train her with a negative consequence. Because with a two year old you will be constantly saying "Don't touch or you'll get a time out! Don't climb up there or you'll get a time out. Don't do this or time out..." it seems more like a set up for conflict than resolution when they are so young.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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We use the kitchen stool, near the microwave so they can see the countdown timer.
Between all 3 kids we use a time out maybe once a week. Works very well for us.

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