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Thread: Time Out - how to make it work???

  1. #1

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    Default Time Out - how to make it work???

    If anyone is successful with getting time outs to work pleeeeese help...

    I have been doing time outs with my DD since she turned 2. Up until recently she was just put in the spare room with the door closed. She now thinks this is a big joke and whenever she gets put in there, she either just laughs and plays or she delibratly wees on the floor or bed!!

    I tried putting her sitting against the wall. She just continually gets up. All the books I have read just say calmly walk her back to the wall and don't say anything. She just ends up thinking it is a really fun game and eventually just runs away from me so I have to go and get her to put her back. If I stand close to her she just thinks its an even better game to try to get around me. If I hold her there she just enjoys squirming around...

    Did anyone start with a child like this and get them to do time out? At the moment she is looking for boundries and I don't feel like I am providing her with any.

    Would love to hear how others do it


  2. #2

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    We use a chair in the middle of the room or at the end of the hallway. Nothing to get into that way - rooms always equal problems IMO. DD used to get up too and we did just keep putting her back, I guess it depends upon the strength of will of the child. If it looked she was about to get off, I would tell her that her time would start again. We didn't do the one minute per year thing, we left her there until it had an effect (Meany mummy). I just had to remind myself that I only needed to last one more time than she did.

    Sometimes time out doesn't work with some kids, particularly if you are normally really busy because going into timeout means they get your attention by you trying to keep them there. You have to find her collateral. I know one family that used the weather channel with great effect. The kid loved the tv, and if they turned it off for punishment, she just turned it back on, so instead of going through the fight they just put the weather channel on, and without the remote she couldn't change the channel. To her it was apparently akin to torture and would quickly get the desired response.
    Last edited by Yeddi; August 30th, 2010 at 06:38 AM.

  3. #3

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    Perhaps you could try asking in the main parenting section- time out doesn't fall under gentle parenting techniques.

    All the best- two year olds are a challenging breed

  4. #4

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    Depends on your definition. Many people try time out and would consider themselves to follow gentle parenting techniques.

    Time out & time in are included in the 'Science of Parenting', a book which i think is used by gentle parents.

    To the OP, you might find some tips in the 'Science of Parenting', maybe your little one is a bit young for Time Outs, and you could try something else for now. Sorry i don't have more advice.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Kate07. Yes we use time ins and time outs as suggested in the Science of Parenting book, but in that book it suggests putting them in a room and closing the door which is what we have been doing, but she now thinks its a big joke. She is 3 and quite developmentally advanced so has worked out its not much of a deterrant.

    I do consider myself to be a gentle parent. Even gentle parenting needs to be able to set limits on behaviour. There are just some behaviours that require a consequence rather then a discussion about ones feelings. Hence, why I posted in the gentle parenting section, but if you can't be a gentle parent and use discipline (which doesn't mean smacking, just correcting behaviour) then can my post be moved please.

    Yeddi: Yes I agree that with some kids it might not work. I am just finding it hard to find her currency. She doesn't really watch TV, if I take her beloved toys off her she just says "bye bye" and goes off to find something else to play with. Removing my attention does seem to be the only currency she has, but I need to find a way to remove it without a lot of attention being given to her.
    Last edited by Fig; August 30th, 2010 at 11:17 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6

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    Can I ask what you're using time out for? If it's not working as a deterrent, then maybe you need to think of other creative ways to get your point across. For eg, I have only used time out when DD went through a stage of hitting me last year. I told her that if she was going to hurt me then she needed to stay in the laundry and think about it for a minute, because that hurt Mummy. TBH I was not really that comfortable about using it even for this, but since physical aggression is so inappropriate I was desperate for something!

    Most other things where her behaviour is inappropriate, I try to think of alternatives. If she damages/throws something, it either gets removed, put away or thrown out. And we talk about why she's upset. If she shouts at me, I tell her that I will speak to her when she is using a nicer voice. Something that connects the idea of responsibility for her actions/words with what follows. It's not necessarily a punishment, it's more like a consequence. I always explain why the consequence is applied.

  7. #7

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    I am not sure if this will be classed as gentle so apologies if it is inappropriate. We have tried to get DD1 to stand in a set spot she has to then tell us when she is ready. Then she explains why she is there (checks she actually understands what the unacceptable issue is) and why and then we talk about other ways to deal with the feelings etc that has caused the action/behaviour. The idea is to clarify the unacceptable behaviour and try to formulate a plan for how to otherwise deal with it. I was sceptical but it has really helped her in not spiralling out of control into a massive meltdown and she seems to take some of the alternatives in. She is not removed from the area as we too found time out not helpful - also she can stand up anywhere so very portable. Interestingly we have not had to do it that frequently after the initial few months. We started this at about 3-3.5yo.
    xxx

  8. #8

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    Maybe it would be good to consider some other options for dealing with specific behaviours you find unacceptable if the time outs aren't working.

    I've never used timeouts, but I must admit that DS doesn't often do things that are really all that bad, so possibly talking out of my arse here - we describe actions and talk about why they are not good. DS sometimes spits his food on the floor for eg.
    You spit your food out. (describing action)
    I don't like that - now I have to clean it up. (describing impact on me and why I don't like it)
    I guess you've finished your dinner now [take food away] (describing consequence of his action)

    Sometimes DS gets into a whirl of emotions and will scream and carry on, maybe throw things or hit. I can't really talk to him when he's like that, but I let him know I'm nearby if he needs me and remove anything or move away if he's hitting/throwing. Once he calms down he'll come and have a hug.

  9. #9

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    Marcellus, just to pick up on your point, we do similar. Spilled drink, for eg, which may or may not have been deliberate. I've always insisted that DD help me clean it up. She knows where to find a cloth (or I hand her one if it's too high) and she mops it up. I might help, but I expect her to take the primary responsibility for her action. And I've done this since she was young, around 18 mths. If it was deliberate, she needs to ask nicely if she wants me to get her another drink, and I'll probably ask her to fetch a clean cup, etc. Now she can also get herself another drink, rather than expect me to do so. If it was accidental, I'll probably comfort her and then help her get another, but usually she's happy to do it mostly herself.

  10. #10

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    Yeah, we try to get him to clean up.... it's strange. he loves to sweep and clean if not asked, but doesn't want to do it if we ask him to clean up after himself. He loves to help mummy tidy around the house, but refuses to tidy up his toys.

    Oh sorry Fig, way off topic

  11. #11

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    I use a lot of other techniques for differing behaviours. Mostly the time-outs are for completley unacceptable behvaiour, like hitting. They don't get used very often, but as a point to give her an understanding when something is really not ok. I don't want her to go through life thinking it is ok to hurt somebody else just because you are in a bad mood or not getting your own way.

    She is going through a real testing of her boundries stage at the moment. For example last night at dinner she was carrying on at the table, grabbing at her brothers food, pushing his drink bottle into his mouth, getting up and down from the table, throwing food, screeching in my face etc. when I told her I would anwser her when she used a nice voice and strarted ignoring her behaviour she got her fork and stabbed me in the arm with it! So what would you do???

  12. #12

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    Ok, I see. Well, yes, she needs to see it's not acceptable.
    She's really trying to get a reaction, isn't she? Have you talked to her about it, has she given you any indication of why she's doing this? Any particular triggers?
    I'm just thinking aloud here as I don't really know.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig View Post
    I use a lot of other techniques for differing behaviours. Mostly the time-outs are for completley unacceptable behvaiour, like hitting. They don't get used very often, but as a point to give her an understanding when something is really not ok. I don't want her to go through life thinking it is ok to hurt somebody else just because you are in a bad mood or not getting your own way.

    She is going through a real testing of her boundries stage at the moment. For example last night at dinner she was carrying on at the table, grabbing at her brothers food, pushing his drink bottle into his mouth, getting up and down from the table, throwing food, screeching in my face etc. when I told her I would anwser her when she used a nice voice and strarted ignoring her behaviour she got her fork and stabbed me in the arm with it! So what would you do???
    Personally, since you asked for opinions, she obviously isn't happy with sitting at the table anymore, so I'd say it was time for bed. Do you have DH there for dinner times, to help with one while you manage the other? Was she particularly cranky for any reason (I know sometimes my DD is really tired by the end of the day and I have to accept at a certain point she's gone beyond the point she can control herself)? If she's really at that point, I might just take the fork away from her and try to understand what she's so upset about. I'd make really sure I wasn't getting upset either, one tantrum is enough. Believe me, I find that the hardest thing sometimes! If I keep my cool I can usually find a way to get through it with my DD.

    If it's at the point where she can't be manged, DH isn't around to help, I'd perhaps resort to time out. In our house, time out is in the laundry, where she can't open the door. And it isn't for very long, but there's no entertainment for her in there!

  14. #14

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    With DS, if time in doesn't work, I don't put him somewhere. Our house is too much fun. Instead, I just tell him I don't play with people who hit me and sit and read a book until he apologises. He can play on his own (and does) but I will not do anything with or for him until he apologises.

    With the table, if DS messes about I ask if he has finished. If so, he may leave. If not, he will stop messing about or he will leave. If he hit me with anything then I would remove that and say quietly that I do not want to talk to him until he apologises and he is to stay away from me. For his own good - I would be tempted to stick my fork in him if he came near me for the next 10-15 minutes!

    DS knows if he is upset or wants to talk he can tak to me. But talking is without violence. Anything he says I will believe and act on, so if he says he's upset because of XYZ I won't tell him to get over it or that he's being silly, we'll talk about what I can do to help. If he hits me then he must apologise, I don't deal with violence.

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