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Stephanie
10-08-2006, 06:32 AM
Hi all,

I'm writing an article for a site about preschoolers and am looking for opinions on time-outs as a discipline method. Do you use them? Do they teach the child anything (good or bad)?

Also, any "quick tips" regarding parenting young children - for example, how do you get your 4 yr old's medication down (3 times a day!). Any potty training tricks or hints when creating good sleep habits would also be appreciated.

Please let me know if I may use the quote and whether you wish your real name to appear.

Thanks!

veinglory
10-08-2006, 06:38 AM
Time outs are undeniably effective when done correctly--which is rarely (very short time periods, in a boring area, consistent and without emotion or negotiation)

Lyra Jean
10-08-2006, 06:48 AM
Time outs worked for me when I babysat two boys. They were 7 and 9 so it might be a little older than what you are looking for.

If trouble was started then they both got put in time out no matter who started it. They each sat in a chair in the kitchen away from the table. They were allowed to get out of time when they settled down and stopped yelling, picking or kicking at each other. I think the longest was ten minutes because they didn't think I was serious.

Aesposito
10-08-2006, 06:53 AM
Time outs almost never worked for my kids. But taking away privileges almost always did. I think it was more tangible for them....losing something they wanted versus doing what I wanted.

The exception to that rule is my developmentally-delayed, behaviorally-challenged child, who self-times-out to her room when she needs to chill out....(boy that's a lot of hyphens, LOL)

Audrey

cree
10-08-2006, 06:55 AM
I never had to use time-outs on my daughter. Just my husband. :)
As for potty-training techniques: really cool stickers, given as rewards. She got to stick them all over a piece of plexiglass attached to the wall right behind the trainer toilet. On Sunday nights, we'd admire and count them -- great counting practice too.

LeeFlower
10-08-2006, 08:09 AM
In my experience, Time-Outs are effective when they're being used to show kids that negative behavior will not get them attention. I have a mantra I use to quell temper tantrums with my babysitees: "Ok, you go ahead and have yourself a good cry. When you're ready to use your words, you let me know." I followed this up by ignoring them (unless of course they tried to do themself or someone else an injury, at whichpoint I'd restrain them, calmly, silently, and without acknowledging their yelling or demands) until they stopped screaming and spoke to me.

Other fun tricks:
----the false choice. "Would you like to brush your teeth before or after your bath?" "Would you like to wear your firetruck pjs, or the Elmo ones?" It makes kids feel like they have a little more control while establishing clearly that they will in fact be brushing their teeth/going to bed/whatever.

----Monster-B-Gone(tm) area spray. Get an aerosol can of air freshener (your choice of scents) and create a can cover in photoshop/illustrator (or even just a text-based one in a word processor) that labels it as a patented monster-repelling formula. Print it out, glue it to the can, and presto. An easy answer to the monsters under the bed dilemma. Cans with their original labels can work in a pinch, but I don't recommend it. Kids are clever, and might notice that your monster-b-gone looks like the Glade can in the bathroom. And of course once they're old enough to read, the label is essential.

----"Three, Two, One; YUCK!" My mom taught me this one. When I had to take gross-tasting medicine as a kid, my mom would give me a count-down from three. I'd gulp it down, and then as soon as I was done with it I was allowed to yell "YUCK!" as loud as I wanted. Mom yelled with me. It didn't make taking the medicine any more pleasant, but it was nice to know that mom really appreciated the foulitude I was enduring in the name of personal and public health (it's a word now).

BradyH1861
10-08-2006, 08:35 AM
They work with my son. He is four.

Stephanie
10-08-2006, 05:19 PM
This is the kind of great input I need, thanks everyone! And please keep it coming.

For those of you who use the kind of "boring" time-outs mentioned by veinglory, what do you think of the line of thought from psychologist, educator, and mom, Jane Nelsen, who says punitive time-outs only foster resentment and undesirable behaviors?

She suggests "positive time-outs" which are chosen in advance by the adult and child and are used as cool-down periods (for mom and toddler!), after which problem-solving can begin.

Stressed
10-08-2006, 05:37 PM
This is the kind of great input I need, thanks everyone! And please keep it coming.

For those of you who use the kind of "boring" time-outs mentioned by veinglory, what do you think of the line of thought from psychologist, educator, and mom, Jane Nelsen, who says punitive time-outs only foster resentment and undesirable behaviors?

She suggests "positive time-outs" which are chosen in advance by the adult and child and are used as cool-down periods (for mom and toddler!), after which problem-solving can begin.


Hmmm. Do you have proof she is a mom?! That tactic might work with older kids who have a grasp on logic, but in my experience as mom to Exorcist Girl and Chucky Doll Boy, not with a toddler who has just reached mach 4 on the tantrum scale… Tantrums are often attention-seeking behavior and certainly as far as my kids go the best way to snap them out of one is to deny them that attention and take away their audience…

C.bronco
10-08-2006, 06:14 PM
potty training took us a very long time. My boy didn't want to stop playing long enough to go.
I told him the peepee needed to go home to the sewage treatment plant to be with its friends. That helped a bit. Eventually, he did it when he felt he was ready. One day, by divine inspiration, he put on his underwear and that was that. No more pull ups.

veinglory
10-08-2006, 07:39 PM
For those of you who use the kind of "boring" time-outs mentioned by veinglory, what do you think of the line of thought from psychologist, educator, and mom, Jane Nelsen, who says punitive time-outs only foster resentment and undesirable behaviors?

She suggests "positive time-outs" which are chosen in advance by the adult and child and are used as cool-down periods (for mom and toddler!), after which problem-solving can begin.

I would have to know what she means. Time outs are free from stimulation and emotion, they are the withdrawl of conditions the child prefers for a period of time long enough to cause thought but not long enough to resentment. This period requires knowledge of the child but typically one minute per year of age is quite sufficient. More is not better, it is worse.

Punitive/positive sounds like fuzzy language that may correlate roughly with effective and non-effective. Timeouts accompanied by shouting or other angry behavior from the parent, or carried on too long will lead to resentment and tantrums and a highly emotional child is unlikely to learn the intended lesson.

Mom'sWrite
10-08-2006, 09:16 PM
Short boring time-outs always seemed to work with my highly emotional girls. My son, on the other hand, seemed to actually enjoy them, a fact which was bothersome to me. With Conor, losing privileges is the worst thing that can happen (especially the use of his Playstation 2), but with the girls, loss of social contact means the end of the world.

Every kid is different and mine are no exception to that rule.

As for potty training, I really only had to train my oldest son. He was recalcitrant in the extreme. He liked me taking care of him and was perfectly happy to continue in the diaper stage. He was almost 4 years old before he grudgingly started to use the potty consistently. We tried everything to get him interested but he really didn't care if he was rewarded or not. My husband maintains he potty-trained our son in one hour, after a major (and horribly disgusting) accident at a local motorcycle shop. I think the boy just got tired of us carping on him all the time.

The girls got it in 3 days. They were so ready and the big girl underwear I bought for them was way cuter than any diapers.

Did I mention that after #3 was born, all the kids were in diapers still. I probably spent 25% of my waking hours just changing diapers. Yuck.


Also, there's no medicince so bad that it can't be disguised with a little applesauce.

mdin
10-09-2006, 03:54 AM
For potty training, peer pressure has always worked best. Always, always, always.

Stephanie
10-09-2006, 07:29 AM
Again, thank you for the input, everyone. Much appreciated.

Veinglory, one example she gave was for a toddler (even though Dr. Nelsen does not think time-outs are effective before the age of reason, ie., about 3.5 y/o, it seems she does agree with what screenmom said and what we all know to be true - every kid is different!). Anyway, she said one mom would tell her little guy go give his enormous teddy bear a big hug - and would then ask him if he wanted her to join in.

This, to me, is not a time-out in the typical sense of the phrase - more of simple distraction.

Navigator, I think you're right on the money with peer pressure - line up a bunch of little kids with potties (with one who knows how to do it!) and they'll all be toilet trained by afternoon.

veinglory
10-09-2006, 07:33 AM
I agree, that doesn't meet the defintion of time out. Time out is the temporary withdrawal of an enjoyable environment. There are lots of strategies to take with kids but it helps if you don't moosh the theories together too much. It helps the parent use effective versions of whatever strategy is being employed.

On a side note, I have used time out with rats, children, dogs, undergraduates. It's pretty broadly useful but not a panacea by any means. As noted it can be particulalry good for exciteable individuals as a mild punishment and tracking strategy (getting back on task).

expatbrat
10-09-2006, 08:05 AM
I'm a swim teacher and get 17 x 4yr olds in the pool at once. When a kid misbehaves I pick them up, remove them from the pool and tell them "you can sit on this chair for 5 minutes for doing bla-bla-bla."

Sometimes they cry to which I answer "yes you should be upset, you hurt NAME and you should feel sad about that." That is all I say about the tears.

There is no more discussion and after 5 minutes I simply call their name and say "you can come back in now." Again - this is all the attention they get for their time out.

I find that giving minimal attention to the negative behaviour, and being very aware of finding lots and lots of things the kids are doing right, works well. I focus on commenting on the smallest improvements so that 70% of what I say to a kid is positive.

I'm pregnant now and a little nervous on whether any of this will work on kids who know you as a parent rather than a teacher...

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-09-2006, 05:02 PM
Time outs help some children, don't help others.

My niece would be put into a time-out in her room when she threw tantrums - she was allowed out when she could talk about what was bugging her, and the length was up to her. If she came roaring back out, she'd have to go back in.

A nephew (different sibling) began to put himself into "time out" when he wanted to be alone. He's announce "I need a time out." walk into his room and close the door.

And a third nephew was NEVER deterred by time outs. Loss of favorite toys or priveleges was the key for him.

spike
10-09-2006, 05:53 PM
Time outs didn't work for my kid. She would take it as a challenge to see how long she could scream. I would shut the door and pretend I didn't hear her. In the war of wills, I would win (you can see where her stuborn streak came from!), but it didn't deter the behavoir. Saying No Swings, No outside, no TV, etc worked better.


My niece was potty trained by having cartoon character underwear. She didn't want to pee on Rainbow Brite.

Soccer Mom
10-09-2006, 06:09 PM
I think time outs work great with older kids, but with young toddlers, I don't think they get the point. With my boys, the most common problem is fighting over toys (and everything! Dear dog, those boys can fight!) I take away the offending toy and place it up high where they can see it, but not reach it. Giving the Toy a timeout seems to settle things down.

mommywriter
10-09-2006, 06:59 PM
Stephanie~
We have the same name...(first and last)...and perhaps the same issues. :)
Time outs worked great for my fist-born, however, did not work at all for my second. She used to put herself in time out until we realized we needed to switch to a different method of punishment. We find that for her it works to take something away from her that she wants or enjoys. She seems to get the message that way.

We also just finished potty training her as well. At first she wanted nothing to do with it because her little brother had just been "added" to the family. Once she realized that it was more fun being a big sister than a baby, she really just decided herself she wanted to do without the diaper. Although we talked about "going on the big girl potty", we didn't push it. She was 2 1/2 when she was finally trained.
Her older sister was the same way. 2 1/2 and did it very naturally. My third is a boy and I hear they are harder. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Sleeping is a much different story. My first slept through the night at 8 weeks. My 2nd didn't for a year. And my 3rd finally at 7 months. We found sucess in putting them down awake so they can learn to put themselves to sleep and letting them cry it out. The cry it out method is horrible for about 1 week and then they are sleeping through the night (most of the time). My boy is 8 months old now and sleeps around 11-12 hours a night. Although my 2 1/2 year old still wakes up occasionally! Go figure.

I hope these ramblings help.

PattiTheWicked
10-09-2006, 07:45 PM
With younger kids, like toddler age, you have to keep a time out short for it to be effective. With my oldest, they never worked at all. I'd send her to her room for a two minute time out, and as I walked down the hall I'd turn around and there she'd be, following me, so we'd have to go back and start again. It probably could have gone on for hours like that if I'd let it.

My younger two, though, really got a lot out of time out. Escpecially my son, Zac the Twitchy, who was a rather high maintenance toddler -- I'd set a timer for two minutes, where the twins could see it, and I'd have them just sit on the couch in the living room with no television or any stimulus. They were allowed to pick one blanket to snuggle with during time out, which for Z was a HUGE calming mechanism.

If BOTH twins were in time out, they had to spend their two minutes thinking of something nice to say to the other one when their time was up. When the timer buzzed, they'd say things like "You smell like flowers" or "You're not really a poopyhead" to each other. It was great.

veinglory
10-09-2006, 07:57 PM
My 2c is that toddlers do not need to get the point, time outs work at a Pavlovian level that does not require conscious awareness of "the point". You hope ofor an association between the "bad" behaviour and the withdrawal of the good activity.

Time outs worl well with rats who are not terribly rational. I have taught rats to run complex mazes using nothing but a time out box (no food reward). Time out will not be the best approach with every child but if applied correctly it will work. For example--timing out to the child's room may not be a good idea, kid's rooms these days are not unstimulating and they leave the child the option of destroying things to get attention. I always draw attention back to the gaol of the breif, calm withdrawal from a sitaution the kid is enjoying. The seat by the pool is a great example. If the child is not enjoying the activity, the adult is angry, the time out area is not boring or the period is too long then what is happening is effectively not a time out.

Oops, second 2c. While using withdrawal from a stimulating place to stop a child from becoming over excited is great--especially when done by the child themself--it is a different process....

kristie911
10-09-2006, 09:25 PM
Time outs do not work for my 2 year old. I know they use them at his daycare and they seem to work for him there but not at home. He's very aware of feelings and the consequences of his actions, so usually if, say, he hits me, I put on a sad face and say, "are you supposed to hit mommy?" he'll say, "no" and then lay his head on me and say, "nice mommy. sorry." And that's that. If he knows I'm angry about something he usually starts crying and I'm the one that ends up comforting him.

However, I must say, I have yet to witness a temper tantrum from him yet so I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm counting myself as one of the lucky few that my son hasn't gotten to that stage yet.

And on the subject of potty training...I have just started to introduce my son to the potty. He loves to sit on it but after 2 weeks of letting him sit there a few times a day, he finally peed while he was on the potty last night! Yay!!! But he doesn't have the control yet to really start training seriously and since he just turned 2, I'm thinking it may be pretty early for him to start. Boys are notoriously slower than girls...generally. But he likes the potty and asks to sit there frequently so I'm counting that as a good start! When it comes to trying to train him more seriously, well, I'm open to ideas!

Siddow
10-09-2006, 09:30 PM
I use time-outs with all three of my toddlers, and I think they're effective in the short-term. We have the time-out corner, which is in the living room between a bookcase and a wall, and they have to stand in it, facing the wall. It's for those impulsive moments: whacking one of the other children, stealing toys, (gah!) biting...

My house is so fun.

My little ones are 2, 3, and 4. Time-outs last just a couple of minutes, after which the child must apologize to the one he/she hurt. They understand it, and will even place themselves in the corner if they know I'm going to put them there anyway. That's really cute.

For my older child, we use loss of priveleges. PS2, playtime with his buds, television, computer. We're having trouble with him remembering his assignments from school, so he's on a stepped-loss program.

We also use a reward program. I have a chart, with things like 'picking up toys', 'putting clothes in the laundry basket', 'no fighting', 'keep food in the kitchen', just a list of things we've had problems with. The kids earn a point every time they accomplish something on the chart, and when they get ten points, they can choose something out of the Reward Box. I stock it from the Dollar Store. I also have things on there specifically for the older child (Cleaning his room, for one), and he can choose whether to pick from the box or earn cash.

For medications, there's so many good-tasting ones on the market that it hasn't been a problem. One time, though, one of the little ones was put on Prednisone and another yucky prescription (I can't remember which!). He would not take it, and after taking a taste myself, I understood why. Blech! So I called the pharmacist, and he advised me that one of them could be disguised in grape kool-aid (worked!) and the other med went well with chocolate syrup. I don't know a kid who wouldn't take a spoonful of chocolate syrup. So when in doubt, call the pharmacy. They have tricks they'll share.

Potty training has been difficult. My youngest is just starting, we bought his first underpants last week. Here's a little anecdote for you: When my now-4-yo was training, he was outside with his father. He had to potty. Dumb Daddy decided that instead of bringing him inside, he'd show him how to use the Great Outdoors. Dear Son took that as an invitation to potty everywhere, and he did. The living room, the hallway, the front yard, you name it. If he had to pee, he just pulled down his pants and went. It took me a long time to undo the damage. Not to mention all the carpet cleaning. My daughter was easier. She trained at two, while I haven't been able to get the boys fully trained until three. One thing I think is important is to make potty training fun. It demands positive reinforcement. My husband would get upset if one of them had an accident, and if he yelled at them, I was put days, even weeks behind on what we'd accomplished. Be patient, and be forgiving of the inevitable accidents. And keep impatient husbands out of the room!

Stephanie
10-10-2006, 01:16 AM
Stephanie~
We have the same name...(first and last)...and perhaps the same issues. :)

Well, there's goes my unique identity I've been working on so hard! ;-)



Time outs worked great for my fist-born, however, did not work at all for my second. She used to put herself in time out until we realized we needed to switch to a different method of punishment. We find that for her it works to take something away from her that she wants or enjoys. She seems to get the message that way.

A lot of parents seem to agree that privilege removal works better than time-outs in many cases; however, the onus remains on the parent to be very consistent.


We also just finished potty training her as well. At first she wanted nothing to do with it because her little brother had just been "added" to the family. Once she realized that it was more fun being a big sister than a baby, she really just decided herself she wanted to do without the diaper. Although we talked about "going on the big girl potty", we didn't push it. She was 2 1/2 when she was finally trained.
Her older sister was the same way. 2 1/2 and did it very naturally. My third is a boy and I hear they are harder. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I just read somewhere that in Japan (I think), men's urinals have a fly carved or painted on them - in the spot deemed best to aim. Apparently, clean-up has been much easier....

Maybe it's a good strategy at home too!


Sleeping is a much different story. My first slept through the night at 8 weeks. My 2nd didn't for a year. And my 3rd finally at 7 months. We found sucess in putting them down awake so they can learn to put themselves to sleep and letting them cry it out. The cry it out method is horrible for about 1 week and then they are sleeping through the night (most of the time). My boy is 8 months old now and sleeps around 11-12 hours a night. Although my 2 1/2 year old still wakes up occasionally! Go figure.

I couldn't stand the crying, so now that my youngest is 8 years old (yes, years), we're finally finished with our family bed. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids; but I can't find my poor hubby!


I hope these ramblings help.

Very much, thanks!!

Stephanie
10-10-2006, 01:21 AM
With younger kids, like toddler age, you have to keep a time out short for it to be effective. With my oldest, they never worked at all. I'd send her to her room for a two minute time out, and as I walked down the hall I'd turn around and there she'd be, following me, so we'd have to go back and start again. It probably could have gone on for hours like that if I'd let it.

I've got one who LOVES time-outs. She'd never come out of her room if I'd let her! She's does a lot of art work and writing, so she's quite lost in her own little world.


My younger two, though, really got a lot out of time out. Escpecially my son, Zac the Twitchy, who was a rather high maintenance toddler -- I'd set a timer for two minutes, where the twins could see it, and I'd have them just sit on the couch in the living room with no television or any stimulus. They were allowed to pick one blanket to snuggle with during time out, which for Z was a HUGE calming mechanism.

This is a lovely example, I think, of POSITIVE time-outs; it's quiet and reflective; yet comforting.


If BOTH twins were in time out, they had to spend their two minutes thinking of something nice to say to the other one when their time was up. When the timer buzzed, they'd say things like "You smell like flowers" or "You're not really a poopyhead" to each other. It was great.

I've tried something similar here, learned from my mother when my 2 brothers were toddlers: they'd have to dance together to make nice.

Stephanie
10-10-2006, 01:25 AM
I'm pregnant now and a little nervous on whether any of this will work on kids who know you as a parent rather than a teacher...

Oooohh, expat! Nobody can push your buttons like your own kid! As swim teacher, however, you have an advantage - just threaten to drown 'em ;-)

Stephanie
10-10-2006, 01:33 AM
Time outs didn't work for my kid. She would take it as a challenge to see how long she could scream. I would shut the door and pretend I didn't hear her. In the war of wills, I would win (you can see where her stuborn streak came from!), but it didn't deter the behavoir. Saying No Swings, No outside, no TV, etc worked better.

Do you think giving her time-outs did anything? They must have at the very least stopped the behavior that warranted the time-out.

Do you think she resented the time-out more than she did the removal of privileges?



My niece was potty trained by having cartoon character underwear. She didn't want to pee on Rainbow Brite.

This is brilliant. I can think of many moms who could have used this bit of inspired training technique!

Stephanie
10-10-2006, 01:37 AM
Giving the Toy a timeout seems to settle things down.

Perfect. I like to give myself a time out when my kids are screaming "She said this..." and "She hit me first!" Either they come in with me and calm down or they start playing nicely together again.

sassandgroove
10-10-2006, 01:55 AM
Short boring time-outs always seemed to work with my highly emotional girls. My son, on the other hand, seemed to actually enjoy them, a fact which was bothersome to me. With Conor, losing privileges is the worst thing that can happen (especially the use of his Playstation 2), but with the girls, loss of social contact means the end of the world.


YES! When I was in 5th grade, I wasn't doing my homework, so my teacher made me sit on the wall at recess. The problem was, I didn't have any friends. I lived in a fantasy world. It didn't matter if I was on the wall or out in the play yard, I was still alone.

As for younger kids and time outs. When I taught preschool, i used them now and then. I had one child who it worked well with. He had a tendancy to talk during circle. After a few warnings, I would make him sit at the table, which was literally two feet from the circle, but just being removed was so terrible to him that after two times, he would stop talking when I asked him to. And i kept his time out short. Maybe during one story or song, long enough for him to calm down. It depends on the kid. Some of them deal with it like water on a ducks back. Time outs don't matter. And at 4, reasoning with them only marginally worked. I would use rewards for the kids who were bahaving in that case. (or, if you only have the one kid, ignore them until they cooperate, then reward them when they do.) Like when it was time to clean up the class room. If I noticed one or two kids not helping, I would tell them they needed to help or I would make them clean all by themselves. If they still didn't help, I would let the kids who were cleaning go line up to go outside. The key is actually doing it. Once, I had to sit with a child while the rest of the class went out with the other teacher, while he very slowly picked up each block he had thrown on the floor. He would pick up a block, put it in the wrong place, I would ask him, "is that where that goes?" then he would put it in the right place, then cry and say "I don't want to clean up by myself." With EVERY Block. To which I would say "then you better help the other kids during clean up time." It worked so well, I told another kid "You need to help clean, or I'll let the others go outside and make you clean by yourself." and the director of the preschool said, "YOu better listen, Miss Jenna will DO IT." :D

(No, I wasn't Miss Sassy... ;) )

veinglory
10-10-2006, 02:07 AM
IMHO giving the toy a time out, is the perfect time out if the positive experience they desire is the toy. Time outs and being sent to your room are not the same thing. The goal is negative punishment, that is reducing the behaviour by breifly removing a reinforcer. This need not be by moving the child, it can be by removing a toy, your smile, or whatever reinforcer is in force at the time.

emeraldcite
10-10-2006, 04:49 AM
Time outs worked for my daughter. The key is, as veinglory said, you can't negotiate, you can't feel bad, and you have to understand that sometimes when you punish your kid, you punish yourself. As long as they stay in time out (introducing a timer really helps) and make sure it's boring and you don't barter for time, it can be very useful.

As she grew older (around four or five) we started teaching her about privileges. We bought a bag of gold coins which she earned with good behavior and chores. She then could spend those coins on TV and computer time.

Then, when she was in first grade, we changed the coins to fake money so that she would have to learn to make change.

As for potty training, our daughter was pretty resistant because when she peed, it was "warm." Then she'd giggled.

So, we drew a picture of a toilet on a piece of paper and every time she went in the potty instead of a diaper, we added a star sticker. When the toilet was filled, we took her to Chucky Cheese.

Then we started over again. She only filled the toilet two times before she was trained.

my two cents...

Melanie Nilles
10-16-2006, 12:56 AM
If you need advice on using time-outs, I HIGHLY recommend 1-2-3 Magic! All my daycare parents have started using it and what a work of magic it is. When done right, time-outs/taking away privileges works for all kids.

I have four toddlers (just under 2 to almost 3 years old) and a one year old in transition to toddlerhood in my home daycare. We have a specific corner of the entry foyer of the house that is the time-out corner. The kids know this (unfortunately, they like to time-out each other!)

The purpose of a time-out is just that--to take the kid away from the situation causing them to misbehave. In younger children like toddlers, they often forget by the end of time-out and move onto a new play. That time out can be their rooms (for your own child in your own house) or the car (such as when grocery shopping). It's fine, even if they want to play with their toys, because they are being taken away from what they were doing (whether stealing toys--common in my age group--hitting, throwing a tantrum in public or at home, whatever). Distracting the child until they settle down is what it is about. The same principle applies to older children and removing privileges (video games, TV time, playdates, going out to eat, etc.) It is a punishment. Say nothing while the child is in time out and you don't count the time until that child quits their tantrum. They don't get your attention for negative behavior. The flip side, of course, is to catch the children doing good things and praise them for it. It is hard (especially when you have six kids 8 week-3 years on busy days), but it's worth it.

Our daughter (one of the two oldest among her daycare friends) is bright. Not bragging, but she is the brightest of the children I care for. Unfortunately, she also knows this is her home and is a bit bossy and assuming. When she was younger, we used other discipline methods. As she got older, we switched to using time-outs in her bedroom, since she understands better. Initially she would cry and scream for at least 20 minutes, but now she understands that she'll get out sooner if she settles down; so the tantrum quits after a couple minutes, and she emerges cooperative again.

The problem with young children of toddler and preschool age is that they forget easily and are constantly testing the limits again. Even as adults, we have to be exposed to something numerous times to remember. It's not surprising to hear some say that "time-outs didn't work on such and such a child". Children are always pushing to see where the boundaries are, often because they forget. It's the older kids (teens) that do it for additional reasons. Consistently using time-outs is effective. When used correctly and with a warning (hence the 1-2-3 count, where if you hit 3 and they don't quit, it's time-out) they DO work for every child.

Melanie

Stephanie
10-16-2006, 01:40 AM
Thanks Melanie. Is 1-2-3 Magic a book or video? Do you use a timer? Also how much time do you deem appropriate for a time-out?

Jongfan
10-16-2006, 02:14 AM
Time outs work when used consistently. Removing the child from what they are doing and having them sit in a chair away from play forces them to focus more than just telling them to stop what they are doing. I find explaining why they are on a time out and how he/she can try harder.

Potty training is such an individual concept for children. I found with my daughter, letting her bring a book with her took her mind off what was happening, we would read together while she sat and before long, mission accomplished. Other kids like a favorite toy or total privacy. Never scold them for an accident , it is called training for a reason. When the child has an accident, have them help clean it so they will try harder to get to the bathroom next time.

Medication can be tricky. I used to explain to my daughter what the medicine would do to help her and let her know that without it, she could take much longer to feel better and possibly become sicker and mommy wanted her to feel better. I would let her help dispense the medicine as well, this made her feel like she was in control of her care. Most times this worked.

Melanie Nilles
10-16-2006, 06:33 AM
Dr. Phelan, the author of the book, keeps things simple. It is SO easy to understand that anyone can use it.

The basic tenets are thus:

1. No talking (that means no explaining--in his words, kids are not adults and don't understand and it just feeds into their win. Even he modifies this that older kids may understand simple explanations. But still keep it simple. No arguments--they win if they get you going. If you don't talk, the kid can't respond. This works great when they want to argue.)
2. Time out lasts one minute for every year of age and begins AFTER they quit their tantrum, whining, etc. (Our little girl sometimes cried for half an hour in the beginning. It's down a couple minutes and sometimes she starts playing in her room nice. That's what you want to see.)
3. Give them a few seconds between each count, but remember the no talking. You only count them. If you hit 3 and they don't quit misbehaving, you tell them "that's 3, take five"-for older kids, but it can be longer than five minutes if necessary-or "that's three, time-out"-for younger kids.
4. Some behaviors warrant an automatic 3. Those include hitting, biting, or anything that happens too quick to count.
5. Time-outs are only for stop behaviors. If you want a kid to start something (ie-homework, chores) he gives other suggestions.
6. Read the book. I can't remember everything ;)

I have been using this on our daughter for almost a year, and the parents whose kids I watch have begun using it. I can say that when I say something like "*insert child's name*, that's 1," they look at me like they know what's coming, which they do, but still want to fight for that toy. Sometimes they just plain don't listen. Doesn't matter--at 3, it's corner time. When the parents and daycare do it consistently, it works that much better.

And when the kids know what to expect and you don't have to fight or argue to make them behave, what happens is nothing short of joy. You are less stressed with the situation diffused easily, and you do just as the good doctor says will happen--you show more love and appreciation to your kids.

I have read many articles, and gone to training sessions for my daycare license requirements, and nothing else I've seen is so easy to implement and effective.

Melanie