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This past week at Guideposts, I wrote about how I am changing the way I use “time outs” with my children…
Is ‘Time Out’ Time Well Spent?
Some surprising new ideas about this old discipline stand-by
“Time out!” my two year old declares, wagging her tiny finger at her big brother, “You go on time out!”
It is hard not to giggle when a 26-month old demands a “time out” for whomever happens to be bothering her. She has tried to put everyone from me to Elmo on time out.
But the sobering fact is that my two-year old has obviously watched me send her seven-year old brother, Jackson, on far too many time outs.
As an often frustrated mother of an energetic, strong-willed son, I have relied on time outs—often ineffectively—since Jackson was two-years old.
My time out method means sending Jackson to a location, such as chair or his room, and setting a timer for one minute per year of his age.
But as I work on my parenting strategies, trying to move from punitive to positive discipline with my children, I have noticed problems with how I have been using and administering time out. Instead of being a positive tool that empowers my son to calm down and learn from the situation, time outs have become negative punishments that don’t fix the problems.
In fact, often when my son is in a fit of rage, he refuses to go on time out. Then, I am in an even bigger mess. I can’t pick up a 4’8”, 80 pound boy and carry him to his room!
In her incredible book, Kids Are Worth It!, Barbara Coloroso gave me the solution to my problem…
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