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I have eliminated TOs for the most part, I'm realizing that DD will learn to do/not do things in other gentler ways. But today, I was quite angry and jsut had to use a TO. I gave her a bowl of plain pasta with some peas for lunch. Well, she didn't want the peas, I said okay you don't have to eat them, you can take them out. Well, I guess she got frustrated b/c each spoonful still had peas in them. Lately, she's been dumping her plate/bowl onto the table and eating it that way, which she did with the pasta and peas. I didn't make a big deal, but then she proceeded to swipe all of the food onto the floor. It was a huge mess of oily pasta and peas all over. Once again, I didn't make a big deal, but told her she needs to clean it up. I gave her time, I told her I would help her. I have a 10 month old that was going to begin to put everything in her mouth. She said no several times, I got down to her level, told her she was being disrespectful, when she makes a mess that she did on purpose and knows it's wrong that she has to clean it up. I told her that when I make a mess I clean it up. But, she was very defiant, said "nope" to me in such a way, when I was trying my best to be calm, that I raised my voice told her I was very angry and that if she doesn't start cleaning by the time I count to 3, she will have to go in a TO. Before I learned about GD someone told me to put her in her booster seat for a TO, since she can't get out (as opposed to the Supernanny type way to continuosly pick up the kid and put them back in the TO spot). Well, I did this today, because I didn't know what else to do. I *wanted* to punish her. She used to cry in a TO but she didn't even care today. I was going to wait until she was ready to help clean it up but since I have the baby, I couldn't leave it there until after her TO either. So, basically, she never ended cleaning it anyway. I can't *force* her to do what she doesn't want right? What can I do next time?
 

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I can definitely sympathize with your anger, and I don't blame you for using a time-out in this situation. I would have been tempted, too, and I don't use them often. You tried to explain, tried to reason, and still got that reaction. That's rough.<br>
I think, though, that you and she would have felt better if there had been a different way. Perhaps making a game out of picking up the pasta- you and her together?<br>
Or is there something else that was bothering her? If she was just frustrated, maybe you could have helped her pick the peas out before she got frustrated enough to throw the whole lot on the floor. Or help her know that its better to say (or even yell) that she is frustrated and ask for help than to throw food. Maybe even make a game of it- make frustrated faces/yells together. That might relieve your tension and hers!<br>
I know, hindsight is 20/20, especially coming form a stranger who wasn't there, so don't beat yourself up about the time-out. It really sounds like you were trying so hard to be patient, and just reached the end of your rope, but maybe these other ideas will help next time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I do use timeouts on occassion, but only for hurting someone else. And mostly this is for everyone's safety so that I don't totally lose it and hit the child instead. I'm not sure its the right answer, but it is better than the predictable alternative. But, that's me.<br><br>
In this case, I'm not sure she actually got any sort of "discipline" -- meaning that she didn't ever do anything to help and I doubt it will keep her from dumping food another time she is frustrated. But, if it kept the situation from escalating, then it was probably worth something to you! I think we all do things discpline-wise that hindsight indicates probably wasn't very helpful. Don't beat yourself up about it.<br><br>
But this might be a good time to figure out how you might have avoided the situation and/or handled it better int he moment. If we take the time to learn from the times we were less-than-perfect, then we are less likely to repeat them. And I think that's the whole point for both kids and parents, right?
 

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Honestly, and I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but I would have dropped it before it even got me upset & just cleaned it. I think it's better to just not have these confrontations in the 1st place. Not worth it. To answer your original Q - no, I never give TO's. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6494721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, and I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but I would have dropped it before it even got me upset & just cleaned it. I think it's better to just not have these confrontations in the 1st place. Not worth it. To answer your original Q - no, I never give TO's. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rmzbm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6494721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, and I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but I would have dropped it before it even got me upset & just cleaned it. I think it's better to just not have these confrontations in the 1st place. Not worth it. To answer your original Q - no, I never give TO's. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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I would have dropped it too. I have learned that when ds is in a "mood" that some things (many things) are just not worth it. If it's unusual behavior, (and I assume it was,) it doesn't require discipline, just understanding.<br><br>
However, as a pp pointed out, it sounds like it stopped the situation from escalating any further. Sometimes it can be very hard, in the moment, to let go. It sounds like you did okay. Just try to stop the situation a little sooner next time.<br><br>
No, I never give timeouts.
 

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I would have dropped it too. I would have started cleaning up and requested ds's help. If he refused to help, I'd really have to imagine that he has a good reason, and that something is out of whack.<br>
I very much understand wanting to punish, and the desire that dc ought to feel BAD (even if it doesn't fix anything). I've been there.<br>
But time-outs have never been an option to me, so I've never done it.
 

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I knwo some people tell me it's DS walking all over me, but I really do cater to his moods. Sometimes you have to pick your battles you know? It's tough for a 3 year old in a mood to just flip a switch and say "ok, I guess I was wrong and I need to do as I'm told." It is tough with a 3 year old, but I promise it is just as tough or tougher BEING 3
 

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I use time-outs only for "hurting behavior." This includes name calling, hitting, kicking, and pushing. And usually, a time out means -- spend a few minutes in your room, pull yourself together, and come out on your own when you are ready to interact without hurting other people.<br><br>
More than once I've asked, "Do you need a time-out?" And gotten, "Yes, I do!" for a response, followed by a small child stomping off for for some "alone time." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So I do think it can be helpful sometimes! And apparently, so do they.<br><br>
For the situation you described though -- I would classify it as not worth the power struggle! You are right -- you cannot force her. Actually, if she were in our house, the dog would have been all over that pasta and peas! It would have been finished off before you could blink. My kids don't let food hit the floor unless they are really done, because dropped food is puppy food!<br><br>
With non-food messes though, at age 2, I used to ask for their help -- and then proceed to clean it up merrily whether they helped or not. Making it look like great fun, of course! 8 out of 10 times, they wanted to get in on the action. Also -- sometimes I would just hand my son a dustpan. For some odd reason -- dustpans are really appealing to little kids. I guess it is fun to dig through a mess of nasty food with your hands, pile it onto a dustpan and carry it to the trash. (Or maybe I just have weird kids?)
 

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I usually use time outs as a cooling off period for tantrums. Like the PP said I often ask dd if she needs a time out, often she'll say yes and go to her room. If she's really out of control I'll sit down with her so she doesn't hurt herself by flinging herself all over the place or throwing things until she's calmed down.<br><br>
I would also use it for biting/hitting/kicking etc but fortunately dd never really does that. She's tried a couple times when she was younger, I put her down and told her if she wanted to sit in mommy's lap she couldn't bite or pull hair and she figured that out really quick.<br><br>
If my dd doesn't want to eat something then I take it away. No big deal, I don't force her or anything. I know parents who force their kids to clean their plates and it turns into a power struggle. I try not to engage in those unless it has to do with safety (i.e. getting in the car seat is not negotiable, running in the street).If she starts playing with her food (including dumping it on the table) I take it away. That usually tells me she's not hungry. Now sometimes she just gets distracted and I'll give her another chance to eat if she says she's still hungry but if she does it again it goes up for good. I don't give her any food until the next meal or snack. She won't starve and she'll figure out the natural consequence, refuse to eat or play with food and you'll go hungry until the next meal.<br><br>
I try to let my dd have a choice as much as possible to prevent problems. Within reason of course LOL she can't have candy. But I'll ask her if she wants green beans or corn, bread or a muffin etc. Then if she balks when we sit down I'll remind her that it was her choice. I do the same thing with clothing and a lot of other things btw. It's something I read in a gentle discipline book once. That toddlers have tantrums often because they feel out of control and giving them choices makes them feel like they're in control.<br><br>
Like others said I try to choose my battles. If she's refusing to do something like put on her coat before we go outside I won't fight her over it, she figures out on her own that she's cold and soon enough is asking me to help her put on her coat.<br><br>
My dd is about the same age as yours. The other day she was refusing to clean up her blocks and asking to play with the playdough. I said we couldn't play with the playdough until all the blocks were picked up. That did the trick. But if she flat out refused I would probably just pick the blocks up myself and not let her play with the playdough. I would just explain she'll have to play with something else in that case.<br><br>
Now don't get me wrong, I am not perfect. I have lost my temper, I have raised my voice, I have been really tempted to spank (eek!) but I know from being spanked as a child that's not the way to go. I have made mistakes and will certainly make many many more in the next 15+ years<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> don't beat yourself up over it, parenting is a constant learning process.
 

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I haven't read all the replies, and I'm sure there has been some great advice.<br><br>
I have soooo been in the kind of situation you are describing. My first response to your question about TOs was to say that we never do them, but we have sometimes told ds1 that he is acting in a way that is not okay, and needs to go into another room to calm down. In a perfect world I could always go with him, but when he's just pushed ds2, who is now screaming and wanting to nurse, I just can't. I don't see it so much as a punishment, but rather as stopping the behavior. If he's so angry that he can't walk through the living room without throwing toys, then he shouldn't be in the living room right now. Again, I would love to always be able to calmly talk about his feelings with him, but with more than one kid it's just not always possible. So sometimes yes, we resort to him having to go to another place for awhile to calm down.<br><br>
The very biggest piece of advice I can give in these kinds of situations is to take a moment before you say "You have to . . . ." to your child. Because I think it is when we get into laying down the law, and are then faced with a noncompliant child, that our brains go screwy because we feel like now we have to back up what we said, but we don't know how to do it. This is exactly the moment when my least favorite parenting moments happen. On a good day, I take a deep breath, and say something like "I'm really disappointed that I have to pick this up." And then pick it up, put it out of reach, and move on.
 

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I see a big difference between sending a kid to their room, and putting them in a chair time out. What kid in the modern world considers their room a punishment? If I send a kid to their room, it's for space.
 

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I do use a sort of time out, but it's not in a punitive way. We don't do the whole "You need to sit in time out for five minutes because you did this" thing.<br><br>
Instead, I'll tell DS that right now he's not acting very nice (or whatever is appropriate to the situation), and I'll ask him to go to his room or the play room (his choice) until he's ready to be nice or to talk about what's bothering him. If he wants me to go with him and sit and cuddle him or just be there, I'll do that too, but usually at that point he seems to need a little break from the situation (and so do I!), and he goes on his own most of the time. (I use the term nice in my example because lately our issue has just been a nasty tone of voice and so on, so we're focusing on using a nice voice and being nice to others--if it's another issue, I use a different word.)<br><br>
When DS comes out of his room after a situation like that, I'll say, "Hey, Honey, are you feeling better and you're ready to help clean up?" If he says no, then I'll just calmly ask him to go back until he's ready.<br><br>
In a situation like with your daughter, I might have (gently!) asked her if she wanted to help clean up right now or if she needed some time to relax first. DS is used to this approach, so he'd probably make a choice right away; if your kids aren't used to it, it might take a few times and talking about a new approach to get it to work. Then after she'd gone off to do something else for a while, I'd go talk to her (after I'd cooled off) or I'd talk to her when she came back out. In the meantime, I'd clean up a big part of the mess (makes it less overwhelming for her to come back to) and play with your younger DD to keep her out of it.<br><br>
When DD1 was finally ready to clean up, I'd say, "I started cleaning up while you were gone, but there's still some left. Can you use this rag and spray and wipe right here where the food was?" That way she still realizes that her mess has to be cleaned up, but it's not so overwhelming. I find it's really hard for the littles to know what to do to clean up sometimes. It's much easier if you can give them a specific job rather than just ask them to help you clean up.<br><br>
So, I do use timeouts of a sort, but I use them as a cooling off for both of us. They're not meant to be punitive, but I want him to learn a way to deal with his feelings other than being nasty to the people around him. As an adult, when I'm just feeling crabby and unpleasant, the best thing I can do is get out of the situation for a few minutes, and I want to help him learn that he can do this for himself too.
 

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On occassion we will "take a break" which is what we do when either one of us is just too cranky/tired/hungry/etc to act nicely. I don't make her sit in a particular spot or stay there for any specific period of time, I just say, "Gosh you seem a little cranky. Let's take a break for a minute." I'll sit with her if she wants, or leave her alone if she wants. When she feels ready to move on, we move on. In the situation you described, I would have done a "do over" which is what I say when I realize I've turned a situation into a power struggle. I say, "Okay, do-over! What I meant to say was 'Oh, you must be done with lunch. Just tell me, please, don't throw your food' and you meant to say 'Sorry, mommy. Let me help you clean up'" and then we giggle and go on about our day. I know that won't work forever, but it has so far so I'm sticking with it.
 

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We in our own home use 3 methods of "time outs"<br>
1) her room this is when hyper has hit a full 10 she cannot be around people without acting like a rabid monkey on speed, this is when alone time playing with all her toys in the totally safe childproofed room is best.<br><br>
2) The comfort corner which really is any quiet place in the same area "we are" complete with one or more uet comforting items (including a mommy if wanted) this is used when stimulation is getting high or shes frustrated and need to calm so we can find a solution.<br><br>
3) the "timeout" this is a quick lets sit down in a quiet spot and stop ylling overly figgiting ect cause mommy needs to address your behavior. (its not sit here feel bad and let me yell at you) this occurs when a rule is broken and I need to quickly address it.<br><br>
None of these even the first invlove mommy being out of the picture or getting her to do it on her own. None are made to have her feel bad or gulity.. or punitive.
 

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I think you're describing a typical p*ssing contest with a 3 year old, and I know EXACTLY how frustrating they can be at this age! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I rarely try to get DS to do anything when he's heating up/heading for a tantrum. I will usually say, "It's OK to be angry, but it's not OK to throw things on the ground. When you feel calmer we're going to need to clean that up." (this part will probably get easier when the baby gets older and you don't have to clean up ASAP) When my DS is in a mood or having a tantrum, it usually needs to run its course before I can get him to help with clean-up, etc. I don't make it punitive, just matter of fact. "I see you're feeling better/calmer. It's time to get this mess cleaned up. Would you like mama to help you, or do you want to do it by yourself?"<br><br>
As for "time outs", I use a form of them when the action needs to be broken ASAP - ie DS haul off and shoves his DS or smacks her with a toy. Then I tell him he "needs a break" or "some thinking time." Sometimes we can avoid any lashing out all together if I can see the situation deteriorating and just ask him, "Hey, it looks like you're getting frustrated. How can mama help?"<br><br>
Mpenny, I love that "do over" idea - I'm so stealing that!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I use a lot of humor with DS and that sounds great!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I have eliminated TOs for the most part, I'm realizing that DD will learn to do/not do things in other gentler ways. But today, I was quite angry and jsut had to use a TO. I gave her a bowl of plain pasta with some peas for lunch. Well, she didn't want the peas, I said okay you don't have to eat them, you can take them out. Well, I guess she got frustrated b/c each spoonful still had peas in them.</td>
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It helps me to think of the long-term goals of discipline. It's normal for a child your dd's age to get frustrated in a situation like this, and normal for her to not know how to appropriatly deal with that frustration. The threat of time-out might get her to comply with your request (or it might not), but it doesn't teach her how to deal with frustration.<br><br>
In a situation like the one you describe I would probably say something like--"Oh no! There's pasta everywhere! Next time you're frustrated with picking out your peas, just ask me for help. Now we need to clean this up." and then we'd clean it up together.<br><br>
I know some people think that if a child makes a mess, he/she should be made to clean it up. But I don't agree. I would like to teach my children that families help each other and work together.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysideup</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6502549"><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 know some people think that if a child makes a mess, he/she should be made to clean it up. But I don't agree. I would like to teach my children that families help each other and work together.</div>
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ITA. When I make a mess, ds is usually quite willing to help me clean it up. He'll go get a towel, or whatever. I want to teach teamwork, not "your job" and "my job."
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BlueStateMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6502412"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Mpenny, I love that "do over" idea - I'm so stealing that!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I use a lot of humor with DS and that sounds great!</div>
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It was DH's idea. I was venting to him that I wished I could have just started over with DD in a certain situation and he said, "Why not? Just call a do over!" Lo and behold, it worked, LOL!
 
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