Brentwood StrongStart News

Time Out

Picture of Adelina Gotera
Time Out
by Adelina Gotera - Monday, 3 September 2012, 7:30 PM

From parent educator, Allison Rees of Life Seminars, let me share her thoughts to our parents, grandparents and caregivers.

"Time out was meant to replace spanking but it wasn't meant to replace understanding, tolerance and flexibility. If you are overusing TIME OUT, you really need to CUT IT OUT!

*Time out will never teach your child to be kind, pleasant or cheerful but what it can do is protect people from aggressive behavior, yours and theirs. Save time out for the really difficult, aggressive behavior. Or time yourself out when you, as the parent, need to cool off. The idea is that the time out averages one minute per year of age and begins when the child has calmed down.

*Save time out for aggressive behaviors or times when you need to cool down.

*Time yourself out if your child is old enough to be safe in another room. Your own time out will need to be short if your child is young.

*Practice time out at a neutral time and help your child understand that it is to cool down. Ask them how they can feel comfortable and show them how long two or three minute is by setting a timer.

*Use a warning for demanding behavior. Slowly count to three while removing your attention in between counting. Do this without yelling, lecturing or nagging. On three, if the behavior hasn't stopped, they take a time out.

*Bedrooms are an okay time out spot if you explain it is a chance to cool down.

*Screaming at them turns time outs into a punishment and makes time outs ineffective.

*Have a "time in" together if your child is fearful or needs comfort. Sit with your child in a quiet place, offer comfort and few words.

*Time out is only effective when you have lots of good quality TIME IN."

Looking back as a mother to two young girls, I did TIME IN each time they were misbehaving. Now that my daughters are mothers with young children of their own, they do the same old "Time In" technique. In words and gestures, my daughters showed that they cherished our "Time In" and growing up in love and gentle guidance.