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so we practice gentle disciple with our 4 year old daughter. and she goes to a school that also practices gentle discipline.<br><br>
she hears other school kids or kids on the playground talking about "time outs" and i have been with her when other parents threaten "do you want a time out?"<br><br>
she has, of course, never been given a "time out" at home or at school.<br><br>
i do sometimes overhear her with toys and dolls talking about "time outs" but i've never been able to understand what she thinks a time out might be. I've tried explaining, but she mostly ignores me, preferring to make up her own version of what a time out might be.<br><br>
Anyway, she was sitting with her friend and they were trying to open a container of play dough. i had just finished nursing my newborn, and he was in my arms sleeping. the girls asked me to open the play dough and i said "sure, just give me a minute to put milo down so i can have both hands." and i got up to walk into my bedroom to put the baby in bed.<br><br>
being 4 year olds, they kept asking: can you open this? mamma? please? can you? i can't do it! can you open this please? on and on and on incessantly. in the meantime i was saying "in a minute, i'll be right there, hold on a second" also incessantly. finally their voices were escalating and i said (trying to think of as many ways to say "wait" as i could think of) "hold on, one minute, hold your horses, wait a second, hang on, time out..."<br><br>
maya went suddenly silent, then she giggled and stage-whispered to her friend with GREAT excitement in her voice "WE GOT A TIME OUT!!!"<br><br>
you'd think i just gave her the greatest gift ever. her eyes were bulging and sparkling with joy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
and now she goes around saying "hey mamma? remember that time you gave me and ruby a time out?"
 

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And so the peer pressure begins..... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Cute story.
 

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LOL!<br>
We use the word "time out" in our house to mean a cooling off "alone time" period when we are upset. When I get mad at her and I'm about to yell I say "I'm so sorry, mommy needs a time out. Go talk to daddy for a minute." and I go in the bedroom and close the door. When she gets upset and mad at me she will say "I need a time out!" and run to her playroom.<br>
Her preschool does use time outs, but only for physical aggression. One time when she was three, she hit another girl in her class. She told me later, kinda bewildered, "I got to have a time out. But I didn't really need one. I wasn't THAT mad."<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Angie
 
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