Punishment-Sent to your room

[deleted account] ( 17 moms have responded )

My son & I just returned from getting him new sneakers, and his behavior & tantrums were down right awful in public. He is 5 now. So, I told him he was punished, sent to his room. I told him he could do whatever he wants in his room: read books, play with his globe or solar system talking thingy, or write on his white board. But he cannot leave his room, and cannot go to his toyroom. I just spoke to my husband and he insisted that my son does nothing-sit on the bed and do nothing. Apparently we're at a disagreement about what "punished go to your room" means. Being that I'm the one at home and he's at work now, I'll call the shots. So....for t hose of you with older kids and have used the "Go to your room" as punishment, is being sent to your room punishment enough? Or do you also remove certain items in the room, or do not allow certain items to be played with while being punished? Actually, now that he stopped crying, I am hopeful he is laying on his bed and taking a nap. I think the tantrums were a result of 1) not getting his way in the store AND 2) being tired from not sleeping well the night before.

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Krista - posted on 07/23/2010

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Actually, a better idea is to send them to YOUR room.

I had a very wise babysitter when I was a kid. I was acting up one day, and instead of sending me to my room, she sent me to my parents' room. There was no TV, no books, no toys...nothing. Just furniture and clothing. I was bored out of my TREE! Being in there for 15 minutes felt like an eternity.

I plan on using that with my kid. :)

Jodi - posted on 07/10/2010

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Sharon, I usually send my kids to their room and don't care what they do, as long as they go to their room. That gives them time out from the situation, and also gives ME the time and space to be able to deal with it calmly. It is more a "get out of my sight before I flip out" than a punishment. After this, I go to their rooms and because everyone is calm, we are able to discuss the situation and then agree to a suitable punishment or course of action (well, ok, the kids don't always agree).

More often than not, they don't play with anything when sent to their room, they sit on the bed and sulk, LOL.

Gertie - posted on 07/10/2010

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If my kids get sent to their rooms, they have to sit or lay in their bed with their hands in their lap. No toys, books, or other entertainment of any kind. If they can go up there and read to pass the time...how is that a punishment? The purpose of time out is to make them think about their behavior and think of ways they SHOULD have behaved. If they have distractions such as books, etc, it kind of defeats the purpose of the punishment.

Marabeth - posted on 07/10/2010

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i don't have older children yet but i have experience being one! :) when i was little and my parents sent me to my room it was generally to have time to reflect on what i had done wrong. for all of us. it gave them the time to think of the proper way of dealing with me rather than acting out of impulse. i was allowed to do whatever but it was generally of such rare occurence that mostly i was so upset i'd sit, scared and remorseful of whatever i had done. if you feel that your kid should be allowed to play within his room then that's probably what is right. obviously he understood something was wrong since he was still upset, it's not like he was joyful to be placed in his room (from what it sounds like).

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Danielle - posted on 07/23/2010

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Being sent to my room worked for me growing up. Yes I had all kinds of toys and things to do to preoccupy my time but as a kid I remember wanting what I couldn't have. I wanted to play with everything that was downstairs. I wanted to watch TV. I wanted to go outside and run around. All of those things became a lot more appealing to me when I wasn't allowed out of my bedroom. Do I think it works for every child? No. But that's like any form of punishment. Every parent has to find their own way of doing things for each individual child. Some parents spank, some parents have a time out spot/naughty corner, some parents take things away, some parents send their children to their room. My brother didn't get sent to his room very often because he just started climbing furniture out of boredom haha.

Sarah - posted on 07/11/2010

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I send my eldest to her room sometimes.
I've never said "you can't play with anything" but she never DOES play with anything!

I think sending her to her room is a punishment for her because she being removed from whatever activity was going on, and she's being made to sit in a room on her own. No matter what toys she could be playing with, she'd much rather be partaking in whatever is going on downstairs!! (even if it's nothing exciting, it's the segregation she doesn't like)

So she shouts and screams and cries for a bit, calms down and then can rejoin the family downstairs.

As someone else mentioned, it's kind of like a time out I guess.
Works quite well I find! :)

C. - posted on 07/10/2010

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Eh, I have to agree with your husband. Your son may only be 5, but I think sending a child to their rooms when they ARE allowed to play will have an adverse affect b/c they won't take the time to THINK about what they've done that was wrong enough to be punished. Even at 5, they know. Heck, my niece who just turned 4 a couple months ago was sent to time-out today at the party and she wasn't allowed to play for several minutes. She listened, too, so I don't see how a 5 year old wouldn't be able to do what a 4 year old is capable of as far as punishments go. My son is 2, and even though he doesn't quite grasp the fact that he needs to think about what he's done while in time-out, he knows time-outs= no toys, which equals no fun for Liam, so he straightens up real quick when I threaten a time-out. But yeah, I think your husband nailed it.

Jenny - posted on 07/10/2010

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My oldest pulled a tantrum in a store once. I threw her over my shoulder, embarrased the hell out of her and hauled her out then and there leaving a full cart of groceries behind. I do not tolerate bad behaviour in public. She's never tried it again.

As far as time outs go, I do them in the hallway. One minute per year of age. I set the clock timer on the stove and if they argue or fool around I add time. I rarely need to use them. If the behaviour is coming from being tired I will also do the send them to their room thing and I don't care what they are doing so long as they are chilling out.

Sharon - posted on 07/10/2010

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Our kids, when they were 5 yrs old, were sent to their rooms to calm down, so quiet toys, reading are fine.

At 11, they're sent to their room to think & reflect on whatever pissed me off that bad. this means no games, no reading.

Rosie - posted on 07/10/2010

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depends on the situation for me. if i am trying to punish him by sending him to his room, he is just going to sit there on the bed.

if i want him to take a break and calm down, then he can play with stuff quietly if he chooses.

it all really depends on my mood, and what the child did.

[deleted account]

I know you got your answers Sharon but I just wanted to comment...



"Go to your room" is in essence the same as a "time-out" and I don't consider either to be "punishment". I believe they should be used on rare occasions when you and/or your child needs to take a deep breath and compose yourself. Sending your child to his/her room shouldn't be the punishment but instead the cooling period before you "deal" with the bad behavior. I guess I'm kinda saying the same thing as a lot of you? I just don't agree with using time-outs as the actual punishment. Whether the child sits in his/her room doing nothing or playing/reading etc. it shouldn't matter because it should only be for a brief time while both the parent and child calm down.

[deleted account]

If I were to send them to their room as a punishment I would want them sitting on the bed doing nothing. Too hard to monitor that though which is why I prefer them in time out standing w/ their noses against the wall. ;)



If I DO send them to their room it's not so much for punishment as it is to just contain the noise and craziness AWAY from me. In which case I don't care what they do as long as it isn't pouring out into the rest of the house.

[deleted account]

Oh....Caitlyn was right as well because a few minutes after I posted the original post, I went into his room so I could talk to my son about why he was being punished in his room. That was when I found him all-cried-out and asleep.

[deleted account]

Thanks for your feedback ladies. I originally posted this 2 1/2 hours ago and 2:00 pm. It is slightly after 4:30 and Matthew is STILL napping! So yes, he was very tired and needed to sleep. But I appreciate everyone's comments about being allowed to play with something versus sit there and do nothing. As a kid, I remember being sent to my room all the time, but always had the big things out of my room removed like the TV, phone, and even the hamster cages! And Jodi nailed it (as usual)...I wanted him out of my sight so I could calm down and at the same time HE needed a change of location in order to calm down. I'm sure I'll have a hell of a time getting him to sleep this evening!

Jessica - posted on 07/10/2010

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I also don't have older children so I can't speak from experience. But I would say I agree with Caitlin, in that the main purpose would be for a kid to calm down when upset/throwing a tantrum. And in that case its fine if they do whatever they want- read a book, play with a stuffed animal, whatever. Because that does give them a chance to calm down. Plus they know you're upset with them and that they've done something wrong, and that's why they're being sent there- its not like they went to their room by choice because they wanted to play with something, kwim? Once they're calm (and you too) then it would be easier to talk with them about their behavior and explain why it was wrong, and try to get to the bottom of why they acted that way in the first place. I think you have a good point about one of the main reasons being that he was over-tired- and in that case taking a nap was probably the best thing he could do! My son is only one lol but his worst tantrums are when he's over tired.

Caitlin - posted on 07/10/2010

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For me, I think the go to your room thing is used to calm a kid down, so I don't see the problem with a book, or a quiet toy. I wouldn't allow anything video gamed or interactive or anything (kids can do that on their own anyways with their stuffed toys). I think the big part is to calm the kid down, so you can talk to them afterwards and explain why it was wrong.. I don't think it should really be a punishment to be sent to your room, it should be a safe place where you can sit and think about what you did. I was sent to my room a lot as a kid as punishment, I was a brat. It never worked for me, and when it happened often, my mom would come up and give me a good spanking/beating to shut me up, so my room became a scary place, and I want to avoid doing that to my kids.

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