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Discussion Starter #1
My 22 month old has reached the point that I really need to take advantage of this board. I have a question.....when he does something that he isn't supposed to (for example, putthing his toy cars in his mouth) is it a threat when I say "Collin, if you put that in your mouth I will have to take it away. Or "Collin keep that out of your mouth or I will take it away." Or am I just stating a consequence......????? I do take it away from him if he continues to do it.<br><br>
I've read parts of How To Talk, Playful Parenting, Unconditional Parenting, but it was quite a while ago...before I really needed to implement most of the suggestions and now I'm afraid I've forgotten everything I read!<br><br>
Also tell me about time-outs? I remember Alfie Kohn was against them, but can't remember why. My hubby thinks that this would be a good discipline technique, but I'm not sure if I'm on board.<br><br>
I just want some consistent discipline techniques.....I don't want him to have me say/do one thing one times and react a different way the next so I'm looking to stock up on my GD techniques.<br><br>
Thank you in advance for any advice!
 

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I am by no means an expert on gentle discipline because I haven't needed it (yet). I'll be reading up on it soon, I'm sure.<br><br>
But how about stating it like, "You may not play with your car if you put it in your mouth, Colin." That way you aren't threatening him, but you're telling him what the logical consequence is to putting the car in his mouth again.<br><br>
As far as time-outs...my complaint about them is that it seems (from my unscientific research derived from watching Supernanny...those poor kids) that the kids are acting out because they need positive attention...they aren't getting it, so they seek any attention, even negative attention. So, you force them to sit in isolation which teaches them what? That they need to get over the fact that they want and need attention and accept that nobody wants them around? Not to mention that until you break the kid's spirit, you are fighting with your kid to keep him there. Way too much work. I think the only time the isolation-style time out is a good idea is when the parent is about to snap and resort to some type of emotionally abusive or physical punishment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What if I sat with him for his time-out, but he just needed to sit for the minute? Hmmm, I definitely see what you mean though....
 

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This article was really helpful for me, hopefully you'll think so too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><a href="http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/peter_haiman.html" target="_blank">The Case Against Time Out</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Collin'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7139433"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a question.....when he does something that he isn't supposed to (for example, putthing his toy cars in his mouth) is it a threat when I say "Collin, if you put that in your mouth I will have to take it away. Or "Collin keep that out of your mouth or I will take it away." Or am I just stating a consequence......????? I do take it away from him if he continues to do it.</div>
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Sounds kinda like a threat to me. Not that taking a toy away is awful, but ime statements like that just invite conflict.<br>
Telling kids what they CAN do is more effective than telling them what they can't do. You can drive your cars, or you can put this toy in your mouth. Also, explanations seem to help a lot with my ds.<br>
Sometimes I mention to ds that x seems really tempting, and ask if he'd like me to remove the temptation. Every time I've asked him, he's said yes and been quite happy with me taking x away.<br><br>
My opinion on time outs, is that they can only make kids act in certain ways, for self centered reasons.<br>
"I won't hit the dog because I don't want a time out"- focused on how his action will affect *himself*<br>
"I won't hit the dog because it hurts her to be hit. I want her to move, so I'll just say 'MOVE' " - focused on how his action affects others, and is aware of better ways to express his impulses.
 

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I think the sort of warning you are talking about should be a last resort. My preferred tactics would range in this order:<br><br>
First - Ask myself why he can't put his cars his mouth. Ask myself if I can let this one go. To be very honest, everything I had around for them to play with at this age was okay to mouth. Until they passed the age that choking was a scarier risk.<br><br>
Then - State the expectation in neutral terms, offer an alternative.<br>
"<i>Cars are not for mouth. You can put this teether in your mouth."</i> Hand him the alernative.<br><br>
Second time - Give a warning, <i>"Keep the cars out of your mouth, or we need to put them away for awhile."</i> I personally avoid the "If, then" wording.<br><br>
Third time - Remove the cars, replace with a safer activity, make sure to empathize with his anger/frustration -- but try to move him on to something more benign. I would NOT emphasize the consequence or the misbehavior AT ALL. This would just not be nice. The reason for removing the toy was *safety.* Not to dominate the situation, not to assert authority, not to teach logical consequences. So I would be empathetic and redirect, <i>"I know its sad because you love your cars. Mommy wants you safe though. What can we now instead?"</i><br><br>
Plan for next time -- try to evaluate whether this is a toy he is ready to play with safetly or not. It may not be something you should have out.<br><br>
Time outs -- I use them <i>only</i> for hitting/hurting behavior. <i>"You hit, you sit."</i> I do not give a time limit -- <i>"Come back when you are ready to play nicely."</i> I offer company if they are not hitting ME.<br><br>
Sometimes its appropriate to offer "alone time." Sometimes I can see that one of my kids needs to time to cool off. I think the suggestion to go take that time is fine -- and not a punishment. At this point my kids, who are 6 and 10, will take time out at their own initiative to cool off when they are angry. This is not a punishment -- its a constructive coping technique.
 

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Your ds and my dd are pretty close in age and frankly I don't find that a time-out works at this age. I worked with toddlers through most of my daycare career and time out in a traditional sense just seems to lead to total meltdowns or they don't "get it". Redirection works best here.<br>
In the case of putting cars in his mouth, I don't think that telling him the car will go away if he continues is wrong. But I would probably sit with him and show him how to use the cars in other ways and subsitute a more appropriate mouthing toy if that was what his need was.<br><br>
We do use a variation on time out with our 7 yo son. He can be very emotional and there are times, especially when he is tired, when he is having difficulty dealing with a situation. So we will tell him to sit or lay on his bed and that he can return when he is calm. Sometimes he has a total meltdown, sometimes he falls asleep, but usually he calms in a few minutes and we are able to work things out. He just needs a break from the situation, and sometimes so do we! We call it "taking a break" and it can usually help us all refocus. We used to use a more traditional time out with him, he would sit on a stool in the kitchen, but 7 times out of 10 it would turn into a big power struggle and escalate into a tantrum.<br><br>
But at 22 mos your ds is not really going to understand the concept of time out, which is why redirection is best. He may need a break from the situation if it is escalating, my dd sometimes needs that and we will sit and snuggle until she's ready to move on. Again, that typically only happens when she is tired.<br><br>
Hope that helps!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Collin'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7139514"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What if I sat with him for his time-out, but he just needed to sit for the minute? Hmmm, I definitely see what you mean though....</div>
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How about sitting with him while he "takes a break" but without the designated time element? I find that sometimes DS needs a break to calm down and if we sit together on the couch or read a book or something that helps. Plus, if you're explaining it that way to DS, you're modeling for him how to identify when he's getting hyper/wild/tantrumming (whatever the issue is) and to start to learn how calm himself down-- valuable skills for the future!
 

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About "time out".....I use time outs with my son, and they are effective. When he is out of control and just can't get him to settle down, I put him in time out to calm him down. It's not a punishment as much as it's a cool down time. I put him on his bed in his room, and show him on the clock what time he can come out. It's usually a 5 minute period (he's almost 4). By the time the 5 minutes is up, he is calm and easier to talk to and reason with.<br>
This method doesn't work for every parent or every child, but I fully believe it can be very effective.
 

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I never gave my son anything to play with at that age that I did not expect him to possibly put in his mouth. I think it is age appropriate behavior, so I would not ask him to stop. If the cars are not safe for him to mouth I would put them up until he is a little older. Even in just another six months he may be past the toy-mouthing stage.<br><br>
I don't do time outs, for many reasons. This is not one of my reasons, but from what I have seen they do not seem to be effective with kids at your son's age. I mean that they are not effective in the sense that kid's that age seem to just keep repeating the behavior as often as they would if you didn't do the time out (which can put you in a vicious cycle of just placing the kid into time out over and over, which is what I have observed with some of my friends who try to use time-out to change what really may just be age appropriate behavior.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for such helpful replies!! Sometimes I just need a GD brush up! Allright, no time-outs---not usually a good choice and way too young anyway. Thanks for all the advice about redirecting and better ways to let him know that putting the car in his mouth is something we don't do. I just used the toy car as an example, but it has happened before. If all else fails, in the car situation, I'll put them up for a while, but I really don't want to do that...although he IS a little young for them, he LOVES them. I guess I shouldn't be expecting things from him that are out of his age-range either. In the car case, that seems to be part of the problem. I like the idea of offering a teethie...I hadn't thought of that. Mamaduck, love everything you said! Thank you all!
 
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