Any Suggestions? My daughter puts herself & toys in "time out"

Meaghan - posted on 10/20/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )




Its not like she gets into a lot of trouble. Maybe 3 or 4 times a weeks tops. But she knows when she's doing something that would get her a "time out" and she'll go ahead and do that thing and then promptly put herself in "time out". At first we were just glad that she at least grasped the concept but now it just doesn't seem like an effective tool. Baby dolls and balls are put in the time out spot daily~" they're not listening" she tells me! Any suggestions of alternatives we could try to get the point across that there are consequences to undesired behavior?


Tiffany - posted on 12/31/2010




Well my thought is that she's just placing a concept (or rather, cause and effect) into action - its how toddlers learn, by repetition and physical action... so really, in that sense, this is a good thing. she understands the concept well.
whether its being effective or not? I'd say yes and no. if she understands it, then she gets it. but if she puts herself there... is she having 'fun' while she sits? or is she sitting seriously for a length of time?
I'd suggest, if she isnt grasping that timeouts are only for when she is bad and you say so - that maybe you change her time outs. put her in a different spot. make them longer. have her face a wall. try taking something she really likes away for a bit. (i'm suggesting you do one to two, not all of these)
hope that helps?!
PS but dont discourage her from putting her dollies and things in time out. it really is a good way for her to learn the concept.

[deleted account]

Sorry but time out's, punishment, discipline never works. Kid's will be naughty as parents respond to that more than good behaviour, so because you pay more attention to them when they are naughty they will keep being naughty. Taking their favourite things from them or even using threats like 'no dinner tonight' or 'I will smack you if you do it again' or 'you will go to time out' doesn't help you or your child.
Sorry I'm not suggesting you do all or any of that. But however taking a different approach can be really effective. Start rewarding her for her good behaviour. Have a rewards chart, put stickers on it for example, when she brushes her teeth, when she say's please, anything really and at the end of the week reward her with something she likes such as going to the library, shops, park, nana's and pop's, watching her favourite movie or having a delicious treat, let her choose. As you pay more attention to her good behaviour and rewarding her you will find she and you will have alot more positive effects.
Also kid's understand alot. So if you want to be effective when she has done something naughty for example all you need to do get down to her eye level and say 'please don't hit mum' face it isn't for hitting and it hurts' keep it simple and easy for her to understand why she shouldn't do it and then keep up with the rewards chart and you will notice a great change. Be patient and stick to it.
Good luck and all the best.
Cheers Leah

Molly - posted on 11/07/2010




we use time out also and my daughter also does that. at first i thought it was weird but now it doesnt bother me. i just say "well if you think you need a time out you can sit there but i dont think you do"- then when she puts her babies in time out I ask her what they did. It is good that they understand it is for discipline. It sure doesnt make it any less effective. I say keep going with it. She will outgrow this phase.

Tracy - posted on 10/23/2010




The timeout is not effective because she doesn't mind it and the reward of the bad behavior outweighs the consequenses. You have to think of a better punishment. Take away a favorite toy and you put it in timeout. My nephew had kept riding his trike on the sidewalk but kept going past the allowed riding area. I warned him several times, I asked him if we needed to clean out his ears so he would listen and he told me he was listening so I told him that it must be his trike that wasn't listneing then and I took it and told him it was in timeout. He was more upset because of losing his trike than if he had done a timeout. You could send her to her room, make her help clean up the mess, take away the TV,make her take a nap, don't take her outside for the day. If she really loves any of these things and you take it away it might be more effective so the reward is no longer worth the consequences

September - posted on 10/21/2010




What works best for our two year old when he's not behaving is to explain to him why it is that he should not do whatever it is that he's doing, getting down to his level. Sometimes it takes a couple of times of explaining but he usually "get's it" pretty quickly. I also after explaining to him why he can’t do what he's doing offer another option or two that are ok. We don’t use timeout with our son so I'm sorry I can’t suggest anything there. There is also a wonderful book I'd like to recommend that my husband and I just finished. It called Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. It was a wonderful read and super helpful. The focus is on natural consequences and positive reinforcement. Good luck!


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Molly - posted on 11/07/2010




I don't agree with Tracy, 2 year old don't understand metaphors of "cleaning out ears to hear" and putting a toy in time out would be confusing to them. Taking it away is one thing... but putting the toy in time out?

Kat - posted on 10/20/2010




My daughter has done this a few times as well. So glad it's not just my daughter. I have backed off time out a little & now use it when she has been particularly naughty. I have also changed the spot where time out is. It has made a little difference but not a lot. Emily hates getting her nappy changed & rather than go through the fighting with me over it she just goes straight into time out thinking she'll get out of nappy change. I just bring things back onto my terms & not hers. So I'm like 'OK your in time out, give me your dolly & dummy, now sit down & be shush'. I guess taking back the control of the situation & turning her game back into the discipline it is designed to be. Maybe she might have a change of heart. I'm working through this one myself so not really sure what is going to be a good solution. Good Luck, I'll be looking in to see if you get some good advice.

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