My son likes time out!

Erin - posted on 03/09/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




My child seems to think time out is a game. When my two year old son misbehaves (mostly biting or hitting me) I have been giving him a time out in a chair. But lately he will slap me in the arm, smile and say "time out!" and run to the time out chair with glee. Because he seems to enjoy this whole process I feel that it is no longer an appropriate punishment. The good news is he doesn't hit other kids, just me and sometimes his dad. Any suggestions on what to do instead? Taking a toy away has no affect on him unless he is already playing with a particular toy.


Brandi - posted on 03/10/2010




be persistent with time out (my daughter at 2 thought it was fun, too, but at 4 she hates it). You also HAVE to pair the actual time-out with a clear explanation of what he did wrong. I use the supernanny format for time out which has worked really well. You first issue a warning "Mommy has asked you to not hit, if I have to tell you again, you will be put on time out." Then you have to follow thru. "Mommy told you no hitting, now you have to sit on time out since you chose not to listen to mommy" then you walk them to time out. Get to their level and state VERY clearly "Mommy is putting you on time out because you chose not to listen to mommy and you hit so and so" Give him 2 mins (one min/year of their age). Return to him after 2 mins and tell him "Mommy put you on time out because you chose not to listen and you hit so and so and that is unacceptable. tell mommy you are sorry for not listening and so and so you're sorry for hitting." GET THE APOLOGY!!!!! this is very important. If he refuses to say sorry and give a hug, he remains on time out until he apologizes. Then give hugs and punishment over. Like I said works like a charm for my kids. They seem to understand that by saying sorry and making the effort to apologize, they have done something wrong and or hurtful to someone else and the frequency of any particular behavior becomes less and less over time. Stick to your guns (like I said, my daughter esp. liked time out at 2 years old and now understands that it is a time for reflection and that it isn't any fun. My 2 year old (my son) does occasionally smile or laugh at the prospect of time out, but I intent to stick with it. he is learning that time out isn't really fun and that he gets TOTALLY ignored while on the naughty step. Oh also, if your son isn't able to say "sorry" try to get at least an apologetic hug (that is what I had to do with my son until just a few months ago as he couldn't say sorry. He would grunt something similar and give a hug and that was acceptable for sorry based on his abilities at that time). Good luck.

Kesa - posted on 03/11/2010




That's a toughy. I think in that situation it's more psychological, he's looking for attention. Maybe he just wants to play a game with you, so tell him that isn't a game and play a real game like hide n seek or something. Sometimes being a parent you forget to be the friend, which is what they really need. "All you need is love, loooooove"


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Hush - posted on 03/12/2010




yes i agree with megan dobbs . my one is out to see cause and consequence and learn facial expressions. i also remember that is someone else does this to her she will expect they get the same punishment which isn't the way life always works with a multicultural society.

Kimberly - posted on 03/12/2010




This made me laugh--all the fun things I have to look forward to!! :)

Megan - posted on 03/12/2010




Lol this sounds 100% like my daughter, and they are about the same age haha, i think they just like repetitiveness at this age so they like to know what'll happen next when he acts a certain way. I know thats how my daughter is anyways

Qihm - posted on 03/11/2010




I spank, its part of my system, but when my son decided to hit me for play i decided that spanking wasnt appropriate reaction. (i usually spank when he does something that could seriously hurt him or others) Time outs worked for me, but I made sure he was in a corner away from where I'd be and he stayed for 2 minutes ( he's 2 years old) If your son is enjoying his time put him in time out again and when he decides to get up make him stay. Make him stay until it isnt enjoyable and then start the timer.

Tiffany - posted on 03/10/2010




Mine also puts himself into time out, so it is not an effective means of discipline for us. We just threaten to remove one of his favorite toys or books and that works well for us. I agree with Becki - ignoring can also work.

My son went through a phase where he was hitting my husband and I. We would grab hold of his arm and ask if he wanted to be hit and that it hurt when hit. Usually that was enough to get a "no" response from him. Sometimes, you can reason with a 3 year old!

Good luck and hope it stops soon. Be patient.

Becki - posted on 03/09/2010




look him in the eyes and tell him it is not ok to hit mommy. then walk away and ignore him. my 2 yo hates it when i isolate her. the fact that i am ignoring her and not playing with her or giving her any of my attention really gets to her. there is also spanking but that is a matter of personal opinion. some would say showing him that it hurts could get him to stop.

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