time outs

Cathralynn - posted on 04/09/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Okay, this is for those moms who use time outs, or whatever you call them, for your form of discipline (I don't like the term punishment) and don't spank. I have been doing some form of time outs since my daughter was one. The first version was called counting and I held my daughter sitting and slowly counted to three mostly to distract her from what she was doing when she wouldn't listen. It really upset her and was effective for awhile. Then we moved on to formal time outs months later where I put her in her room, a safe place and shut the door. She would scream bloody murder, I would wait like thirty seconds and then go explain things, hug, etc. Again effective. I have slowly started timing them a min per age as someone recomended. So now at 22mo I do two min. It's still very effective but I have a question. Sometimes at the end of two min recently she has been playing with toys happy as can be. Now if I get my brain around this the point is not to make her upset but to get her to listen and stop doing what you would like her to stop doing as well as not give her any more attention until she behaves. That is still happening. I do very few time outs and all I have to do is count to two sometimes and she will stop a bad behaviour or simply ask her if she wants a time out and she says no and behaves. So goal achieved so far, but I feel weird that she comes out from time outs cheery and with no need for hugs, I stll explain :) My plan is to get a timer and stick with it. But do other moms have a time out place where playing is not allowed or a chair etc? When I try to get my girl to sit in one spot in a chair or a step for time outs, it ends up being a game for her and she gets a lot of mom's attention as well as a mom whose ready to slap which I won't do! I also don't like the idea of putting her in her crib or a bathroom etc. I think it will attach negative feelings to those places. What do you do?

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AnneMarie - posted on 04/13/2010

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Perhaps because what you are doing is working for you, you should think of your version of time out as less about a time away from toys punishment and more about putting your child into a safe place to let them 'reset'. I use time out and don't care if my daughter comes out happy or stays in there and continues playing once I've opened the door. To me time out is more about taking her away from the situation where she's being naughty/is causing her frustration/anger etc and more about giving her a quiet space where she can calm down and then I find she responds better.

Jenn - posted on 04/14/2010

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First off, I think you are her mom and know her and if you are comfortable with her going to her room for "time out" or what I like to call it "take a break" I think that's fine. I think saying go up to your room and take a break gets her out of what she was doing and if she's playing up there I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's a safe place where she feels comfortable to calm down and get out of whatever situation was getting her in trouble.
Another alternative if you don't really want her playing when she's supposed to be on time out is to get a timer (I do this with my son) and the time out doesn't start until they are not whining or crying or screaming and when they are sitting still. My son is 3 1/2 so he's a little older and really gets that the timer doesn't start until you are really calming down. And btw in our house it called the calm down chair.
I do find that sometime their room is the best place for them to go. It's their space and they are removed for the situation which is the main point. Always let her know when her time is up and if she wants to stay playing up there, just let her. And don't worry about her not needing a hug after, some kids are just more resilient and understand early on why they were removed.
Hope that makes sense.

Melanie - posted on 04/13/2010

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i do not put my 22 month ln a room by herself. I put her in a corner away from toys and i do not say anything to her. If she gets up I point to the corner and if i have to put her back I will. no words are spoken until 2 minutes are achieved. "i put you in timeout because of X. X is not ok. Say your sorry. What did you do for time out.? I love you. lets go play". I feel hitting and spanking is teaching them a double standard... spanking them for hitting does not seem to mesh.

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Karran - posted on 04/22/2010

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You really sound like you are on the right track. Well done to you! We have a corner that is part of our living and dining area which has been a great time out place for all three of our kids. Consistency is key. I still use sometime on my 6y.o. and she know the drill because it's always been the same. Good luck!

Aubrey - posted on 04/17/2010

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You're gonna have to pick and choose from these great answers whatever works best for
--bedrooms with toys are often not a good place for timeouts, because like you said, they begin playing, and that isn't what time out's purpose was
--Be CONSISTENT! That is the biggest key! For now, use the same words, put her in the same place, and be firm every time. That's not to say you have to be mean, just firm in voice, firm in your desires/expectations, and firm in your love afterward
--I have a an extra dining room chair sitting in a corner, that's what I use because its away from everything (toys, TV, people, etc) and because I don't feel a child should face the corner.
--You're explaining why she is there is very good too.
Good luck! The two's are coming for most of us, and my current almost 2 is VERY different from my other daughter, much more of a challenge, but I look forward to it! :)

Lindsey - posted on 04/16/2010

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I give a warning, thena time out ( one minute oer age) after the time is up I make my daughter say sorry. She sits in time out but is very sad. She doesnt have to go there often. Now when at the playground and another child isnt listening my daughter will take them by hand and try to put them in TIME out as she says time out to them...The time outs seem to work and i dont have one spot either. I also dont put her in time out for every little thing then it loses its purpose..

Melanie - posted on 04/15/2010

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I agree - consistency is key. We put our daughter by the stairs with a gate so she cant go up.

Kelly - posted on 04/15/2010

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I agree using their room is not a good thing it should be a happy place. I use our quest bedroom all that's in there is a bed, no toys or anything fun. The stairs don't work anymore. I think being consistent is the key. Kelly

Cathralynn - posted on 04/14/2010

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I like everyone's ideas, except the spanking one, so thanks again. I think I'm gonna keep going the way I am cause it seems to be working. I can always update as she gets older if I sense she is copping out and playing =) My husband and I always planned on starting a time out rug, Where we can have ones to take with us for vacations etc, or possibly use in the car as well. Maybe it will be bag sized and I can pop it out in the grocery store too! We'll see. I also don't do too many time outs and don't have too much trouble with fit throwing, I chalk it up to a good schedule and starting time outs early. We also believe in logical consequences, so if she does something that results in hurting herself, within reason, or causes her to not be able to do something she enjoys, like taking too long cleaning up results in less time for bath play, we just let it happen that way. It helps with the learning too.



Lisa-I didn't ask for only people who agree with me and your opinion is valid. I just wanted help with administering time outs without starting a spanking war. I was spanked and I'm a good person so whatever that means. But I almost still fear my dad, that's not healthy I think. My husband was spanked too, and we thought long and hard bout our plans with our daughter. I just don't agree with you. I think spanking is an adult temper tantrum, you simply lose control. It's way harder to come up with a calm patient solution to a problem and do it consistently. My daughter is learning to behave the way I'd like her too so we haven't ever considered spanking. And I think these lessons will stay with her and shape who she is when she's older so she keeps on listening and behaving. Do you spank older children anyeways? Isn't that humiliating? Also we have had no trouble with anger issues such as hitting and biting. She doesn't go to daycare and has seen no examples of anyone hitting anyone else =)

Melanie - posted on 04/13/2010

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exactly Tiffany. If i see it coming I distract her quickly before she has a chance to throw a toy or tantrum. Then I dont have to worry about the timeouts as often. I dont mind her wiggling in the timeout spot as long as she doesnt get up and walk off (which has happened). i pick out a spot in every store upon walking in so i have a fairly low key section to not disturb others... though not always possible.

Tiffany - posted on 04/13/2010

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I agree with Melanie. Why spank them when they are hitting? It seems hypocritical to me and ineffective. I spank mine for severe things like running into the street. I use timeouts. I make her sit on the floor facing our backdoor until her 2 minutes are up. Her next task will be to stand with her nose to it but I don't think she is ready for that yet. When she is really angry or frustrated and starts to throw a fit over something I make her go to her room to do that and she always comes out when she is done. She has realized quickly that fits are not going to get her the attention she wants and those have cut back tremendously.

Amanda - posted on 04/13/2010

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We do time out as well. Landon has a chair designated just for time outs. It faces the corner and is away from all toys. It faces the wall so he can not see anyone or anything going on around him. It has been really effective and he never tries to get up from his time out before I tell him to. I think this is because he is facing the wall and is not tempted to go for a toy or something.

Lisa - posted on 04/13/2010

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Spare the rod, spoil the child. Timeouts may work for now but what will you do when she is older and really rebellious? When you spank a child it associates pain with a negative action and it stays in thier brains the rest of thier lives. Time outs are of no real value in training your child in the way they should go. I know you only wanted to hear from people who agreed with you but I wanted to say my piece as well. And FYI spanking is not slapping. Loving discipline is commanded by God.

Adrian - posted on 04/13/2010

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I have used a childs beanbag several times... and when she gets too disruptive for me to move/find the beanbag I just set her on the couch by herself and put my hand in front of her and tell her to stay. I know, it sounds like I am talking to a dog, and at first I was a bit aggrivated with myself, but it worked. If she gets up I tell her she needs to go back and sit down that I did not tell her to get up, and she does it! Of course with tears, but afterwards she always mumbles something that sounds like a french version of "I'm sorry"! so cute

Rachel - posted on 04/12/2010

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I do the same as most of the parents above do. My daughter will be 2 next month and she has been sitting in time-out since she was 13-14 months. We use the same chair in the same corner away from everything. She isn't allowed to talk to anyone or play while she is in time-out. She usually stops what she is doing w/ in seconds. When i go to let her up I ask her why she was in trouble and she will tell me. She hit pinched threw something ect...I tell her that she isn't suppose to and she gives hugs and kisses and back to playing she goes. I do have some problems with her staying in time-out when she is really mad but we do the same as Dawn we put her back in the chair and the timer starts over. Good luck it is frustrating but w/ practice it does work.

Dawn - posted on 04/11/2010

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We just use a little stool in the kitchen and set the timer on the microwave for 2 minutes and tell her when it goes beep, beep, beep she can get up and not until. Everytime she tries to get up we reset the timer. She learned pretty quick to sit still for the 2 minutes to get on with her playtime and she is also not the kind of kid who wants hugs after (sometimes she is mad at us, but so be it!). We explain that Mommy and Daddy love Abby and want her to be a good girl. That we don't like to give her time outs, but we have to if she doesn't listen to us.

Lena - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son is almost 2 and we have been doing time outs for a long while now. He is well behaved and when he isn't I place him in his crib until he stops crying. When he's done I go in and ask him if he's ready to behave and he then hugs me as if to say he's sorry and is out happy. I don't put any toys in his crib since he shouldn't be having fun in time out. When we are out and he starts to act up I have him either sit or stand in one stop until he calms down or stops crying. There are times that he wants to move out from the spot but I give him a stern NO, and a scary look and he stays put, when he calms down everything is back to normal. To some people and my family it may seem harsh but when I get people comeing up to me and saying what a good boy he is and very sweet I know that I am doing a good job. My girlfriends son who is just 3 weeks younger made me feel better about how I discipline my son, poor thing can't take him anywhere without him throwing himself on the floor and making a scene. We can't even have a decent conversation without him causing some kind of camotion. Keep up the good work, it pays off big time.

User - posted on 04/10/2010

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We have been using "time outs" since my son was a year old as well. We use a play pen for his time out areas. This way I know he is confined to one space, safe, and can't get toys to play with while in time out. Some times he is done with his fit within the 2 min time out, other times he will literally turn his back on me and refuse to come out, so I just leave him in there until he is ready to come out on his own. He has gotten to the point that when I ask him if he needs a time out he will actually say "yeah" and walk to the time out pen. Other times he will stop his bad behavior when I ask him if he needs a time out.

Amanda - posted on 04/10/2010

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i actually have a chair that you can strap the kids in almost like a high chair and thats where i put my son for time outs. i agree that putting them in a crib or a bathroom does make that a negative place for them and is not a good idea. also i use the 1 minute for every year method too. when i put my son in his time out chair i also leave the room so he doesnt try to get my attention.

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