To Time Out or Not to Time Out

I can’t remember if I was at the doctor’s office filling out my daughter’s two year checkup questionnaire or if I was reading something on the internet, but whatever it was, it indicated that time-outs were not appropriate for toddlers.

Say what?

Honestly, if I didn’t use a time out for my daughter, she would probably have hurt herself doing something she wasn’t supposed to do.  Simply telling her does not cut it, and I refuse to hit.  She is an envelope pusher (please, may that trait serve her well later in life) and if I don’t have SOMETHING to resort to as a punishment, my life would be more of a living hell than it already is.

Because even the time out doesn’t always work, and once I threaten one, I am extremely consistent about following up.  I give her warnings and don’t jump straight to the time out, but in cases like the one where she tries to climb up our entertainment center to touch the television, they are used immediately.   I only use time outs when she is going to hurt herself in some way or has hurt someone else in some way, such as the time when she was very into punching her brother in the private area.  Sorry, not going to be tolerated and I don’t see any other recourse.  I take her physically away from whatever is going on, sit her with me, and tell her why she has to sit with me.  I don’t keep her that long, but I think my message comes across.

I didn’t have to use time outs for the Munchkin until much later in his life, definitely after three.  He was a completely different type of child, so much that it makes my head spin to think about it.  But like all kids, he has his own special brand of misbehaving.

Oddly enough, I remember that the article didn’t really have any other options for discipline other than distraction.  Let me tell you, once they get to a certain age, distraction doesn’t work.

Unless of course, the distraction is a time out.

 

3 Responses to “To Time Out or Not to Time Out”

  1. Ida January 18, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    But that doesn’t sound like a bad time out to me. I think many parents use the time out/naughty corner method by putting the kid in a different room, or specific spot away from the rest, and go back to their chores, leaving a frustrated kid behind. Being ignored is the worst thing, no matter what your age. I can see that that can’t be good for children. Sitting WITH the kid, explaining to them why you’re doing it (thus showing them you care, plus, in a way, creating a distraction) sounds much more reasonable. Can’t see that that was what the doctor was referring to…

  2. dr nic January 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    We use time out with our daughter. We find a quiet place for her with nothing that interests her. When her time is up, we talk with her to make sure she understands what she did wrong and why she was being punished for it.

  3. dgm January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    We used Time Out, one minute for every year they’d been on the planet. It was as much for us as for them. My daughter hated being ostracized (even though she could see us) and she was an intense kid, so it was always a very emotional experience for her. My son, who is totally chill and an envelope-pusher extraordinaire, was pretty much unfazed by it. He’d sit there humming to himself or talking to the cat, so I’m not sure it ever really disincentivized him.