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BEHAVIOR & DEVELOPMENT

Better alternatives to time-out?

I hate to say it, but I think the terrible twos have started with my daughter. Time out means nothing to her. She just gets up over and over again. Parents, do any of you have tips for me on how to make time out work, or other ways to discipline her that she’ll listen to?

1 Like 5 Replies

RH

Rita posted October 14, 2019

My wife and I were having trouble with time-out with our son, but we learned two very important things that made the biggest difference for us: 1) Be persistent and keep putting your child back whenever he/she gets up, and don’t give up! 2) We were putting my son (he was two at the time) in time-out for way too long. We were trying to make him sit there for 5-10 minutes depending on what he did. We learned that he should only really be there for one minute for each year old he is, so he only should have been in time-out for two minutes! Telling him “You’re two, so you need to sit here for two minutes and then you’ll be done and you can go back to playing” made a big difference. We got a little 2 minute sand timer for him too. 0 Likes
OW

Olena posted October 14, 2019

She’s right about not putting them there for too long and then also not giving up on yourself and being persistent. I’d also say that it’s important to tell them what they did wrong at the beginning AND the end, and at the end to hug them, tell them you love them, and remind them that you know they can be better and not do whatever the naughty action was again. 0 Likes
JF

Joyce posted October 15, 2019

We've noticed the time-outs not being affective anymore as well, so we've been trying the opposite more like a time-in technique. So rather than pushing away you pull your child in closer to you, so that you are both able to calm down together. Children who are throwing tantrums are being reactive to their emotions, therefore trying to calm them down and talk to them one on one may be a better alternative. This way they are getting your full attention and creates a better habit of figuring out a problem in a more calm way. It definitely took a few attempts to even get to a point where it was starting to work, so persistence in any new routine is key! 0 Likes
MC

Mavis posted October 17, 2019

You can use- The Break instead of time-outs. A break and time-out are different in that in timeout the child must 'serve a sentence' for a'crime' they've committed. And the parent's role is to keep the child in the place of time-out until the time is up. In The Break responsibility for change is moved.The break focuses on heart change ,not only behavior change. After the child does wrong you send them on a mission to change their heart(repentance). The focus here is on the heart of the child,length of time is determined by the child. A break is not a consequence but part of a training process. Children learn to take a break for them to settle down, and think things through. For an example- what they did wrong and how they should have behaved. This is a good practice even for adults(parents). Its not wise to continue working with a child when their temper is rising and the parent's temper is rising. In the break, the child has the responsibility to make changes and come back to the parent. When the child comes back, the attitude of the parent is to show desire for the child to return.Let me give an example here: Your daughter gets up over and over again. Lets say her name is Carole. Carole, you're 2 years old. And you're becoming a big girl. Very soon you' will be going to kindergarten. You need to learn discipline. Go take a break, and come back when you are ready to listen and settle down. Little Shirley goes, and comes back. You ask her," Are you ready to listen?" Le's say she says "Yes". Ask her what she did wrong. Maybe she says,"I kept on standing up". You then say," And what were you supposed to do?". Maybe says," sit down" or" Sit down and let you know if I need something". You then show her affirmation and love and tell her," Alright, lets do this again. Shirley, settle down." Before you start the process of The Break for the very first time, you explain it to her and how it works. This process works as long as the parent is committed to it. 0 Likes
MC

Maureen posted October 25, 2019

Instead of time out, I have taken favorite items for a designated period of time and that has actually been more effective in my home. Time out is just a period of time missed, then they get to go back to playing with their favorite toy. When that toy is taken away, children seem to feel the consequences a little deeper with a direct understanding of how their actions influenced the outcome. 0 Likes
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