Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Time-outs . . . Are They Necessary?

Back in the days when parents struggled with how to discipline their children without physical force, time-outs was an option to give some space between the parent(s) and the misbehaved child. However, overtime child development specialists are expressing how “time-outs” might be overused or lose its usefulness.

Think before you act. It’s difficult to think when your child is throwing a tantrum and screaming. And parents can get upset in the chaotic moment. Remember to take a minute, breath, and try to think before you act. If you child sees you get mad or angry, this only elevates the tension in the moment. If your child sees how you are staying calm and not reacting to the tantrum, this sets the example of how you handle your own temper. Sometimes it helps to get down to his/her level and look eye to eye while you acknowledge his/her feelings. Take a minute to think about what might be causing the behavior you are witnessing. Is it boredom?  Is it due to no nap? Is it due to hunger (might be close to dinnertime). Is it due to over-stimulation or a long day? Is there a pattern (like usually at the same time of the day or during a transition during drop off or pickup at child care). Sometimes it helps to think about the behavior when your child is calm in order to think out these questions at a time when you aren’t under a lot of stress.

Find a quiet place. Just like adults sometimes children need a quiet place to be alone. Sometimes it helps to redirect your child to a place where you can hear him/her out and talk about what just happened. Acknowledge his feelings. Let him/her know that you understand how frustrating the situation can be. This is a good time to introduce a better approach if the same incident occurred and talk about why his/her choice of behavior wasn’t the best way to handle a disagreement. If the child wants to be left alone, allow him/her that choice. Let it go at that. Again, this sets a good example of how to handle disagreements and to move on. It’s not a good idea to hold a grudge towards the child for being naughty or continue to dwell on what just happened. Your child is learning and growing everyday while he/she is looking to you to set an example.

Time-outs can be helpful for some children. With my child care experience I have noticed that some children want to be left alone for a while. Or they just need a space to express emotions and get their feelings out. I allow them that choice (finding a space away from others in the event that the kicking and screaming might harm others) and come back to check on them to talk about what happened a few minutes after he/she calms down. Personally, I don’t think directing a child to a corner or a “time-out chair” is necessary. This only creates more tension between you and your child as well as power struggles when the child doesn’t want to stay in the corner or chair. Talking it out, acknowledging the child’s feelings, and giving the child a choice if he/she wants to have some space alone for a while seems to work out for the better.

You are welcome to read below an article I found in a blog @ http://mycrazyblessedlife.com/
The author of this blog has a crafty idea in how to help children calm themselves down with simple supplies found around the house.
-------------------------------------beginning of article
Relax Bottle/Time Out Timer
Posted on October 3rd , 2011 by

Johanna Spaulding author of http://mycrazyblessedlife.com

“Sooooo… I have a three-year-old little girl who is full of drama.  Probably not the only one in history, but one of my current dilemmas.  When time out time comes for bad behaviour I find myself with a little girl on the bottom step screaming, kicking walls and not able to even calm down enough to learn her lesson.  This was getting worse and worse until I told my husband, “there has to be a better way, I’m going to research this.”  So I went online and read other mom’s advice, dr’s advice, psychologist’s advice, etc.  Nothing was really working.  Finally I saw something called a mind jar.  This was a mason jar filled with water, clear gel glue and ultra fine glitter.  You shake it and the glitter settles slowly as you watch you relax.   The original ones I saw were to teach children to meditate (not my goal).  I loved the idea of getting Bella to focus on something else and relax.  Then I saw on Pinterest that some moms were using it as a timer for time out also.  Genius!  So I didn’t have to watch the clock or set a timer, and it would calm my Bella.  Well, I did not like that it was a glass jar (she is three, and who gives a three-year-old glass?).

So I found a water bottle (Smart water was the brand) that was totally smooth and not too big around for little hands to hold.

I removed the label with goo gone (it was very sticky under that label)

Next I filled each bottle with about 3/4 (* edit 5-3-12, I used hot water so that the glue “melted” better… room temp or cold will cause it to stay separate) water, an entire bottle of glitter glue and a small tube of ultra fine glitter.  I kept playing with the mixture until the glitter settled at about 5 min.  I added more clear gel glue to make it go slower or more water to make it settle faster.  Then I had my sweet husband (who knows when I handle glue I tend to glue body parts together accidentally) to super glue the lids on.  Another thing I didn’t like about the mind jars I saw, the mason jars were not glued shut and knowing my kids they would just open them and spill or drink them (glue and glitter… not something I want my kids drinking).  Here are the finished jars.

Here is one settled and one in the beginning stages of settling…

Here is one of the bottles half settled at 2 1/2 minutes and the other totally settled.  Sorry they are purple and pink, those are my girl’s favorite colors (right now) but you can make them with any color glitter.  I’m sure blue, purple or green ones would be really cute too.

Here are some of the products I used to make them.

Now time out in my house looks more like this….. and I love it
While making these Eric and I were amazed at how relaxing they are even to us!  I think I want one, can I go to time out please?”
----end of quoted article-----

I hope you found this helpful. Feel free to comment below, if you have suggestion on this topic.

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