Everybody advocates the use of time out over forms of punishments like spankings, but how exactly do you administer time out in a way that is effective? Could we be doing it all wrong? Is time out even something we should be doing at all? Join me as I explore this topic.
Resources on Time Out
- Listen to Jane Nelson (author of Positive Discipline) talk about her views on time out and spanking. This is an mp3 file from episode 28 of the Focusing on Solutions podcast.
- Here is the link to the Positive Discipline website, and here is the link to their podcast.
- What Every Parent Should Know About Timeouts
- Here is a link to the book Positive Time-Out: And Over 50 Ways to Avoid Power Struggles in the Home and the Classroom.
- Here’s the link to 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (123 Magic)
- Here’s the link to Smart Love
- If time out has not worked for you, consider this book: The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
Quotes of Interest
From Positive Time Out (Nelson):
- Where did we ever get the idea that we have to make children feel bad in order for them to act good?
From Smart Love (Pieper and Pieper):
- We believe that discipline makes children miserable without offering them any genuine benefit, because punishing children whose behavior is out of control actually interferes with their ability to learn self governance. We advocate the use of loving regulation, a way for parents to guide their children away from missteps without adding to their unhappiness or interfering with their development of inner happiness.
- The best way to respond to a child’s harmful or dangerous behavior is to stop it without imposing added unpleasantness.
- Parents are frequently advised to tell their child that her behavior makes them angry. But children cannot distinguish between their parent’s anger at the behavior and their parent’s feelings about them. When children repeatedly experience their parents as being angry at them, they copy their parents and develop needs to feel angry at themselves.
- Unfortunately, most people don’t recognize that many of the vulnerabilities and out of control behaviors that children engage in are both temporary and appropriate for their age (you can’t expect children to act like adults).
The Explosive Child:
These authors discuss children whom they refer to as “inflexible-explosive”: children who find it difficult to “go with the flow”. These children get “locked up” and don’t handle change easily. Also, typical disciplinary procedures such as time-out only lead to a deterioration of their condition and probably a “melt-down”. The authors encourage a more problem solving approach to working with such children. I encourage you to take a look at two web sites related to their work:
- Find out more about their approach at the Center for Collaborate Problem Solving.
- The authors have established a non-profit institute called “Think Kids” and I encourage you to visit this site.
Be sure to listen to the Interview with Stuart Ablon called “Timeout Revisited”: dealing with challenging kids: