Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Time Outs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time Outs!

Time Outs!

This seems to be something that many people disagree on how to do and everyone thinks their own way is best. I am included in this group as I have found that in running the daycare this works to keep the group under control and having fun without unrestricted insanity. Now, with kids you may have moments that seem chaotic, but they should be what I call controlled chaos. This means that even though a kids is crying another is wanting help with something and a diaper needs to be changed, all things should be able to get done without the diaper remaining unchanged for five minutes, the crying kid lashing out at another kid/themselves/an object/ or you, and the one needing help is able to wait patiently or follow instructions while the diaper is changed and the crying kid is consoled. In order to have the kids to a place where this is possible I use time outs. Kids can understand more than people give them credit for and crying/screaming while sitting in one spot doesn’t count as time out.

I start time outs around one for the reasons that kids are walking, starting to talk, are probably feeding themselves so they have cause and affect understood to a level, and as many have realized they are able to understand how to get your attention. I start by picking a time out spot, when something major-hitting, kicking, biting, throwing inside; repeatedly misbehaving I implement a time out. The child must sit in the spot and be quiet. This is hard at first because they will scream, try to get up, but once they are quiet wait a moment or two to make sure they aren’t just catching their breath and then go let them up. When I let them up at this age I use two words like No hitting, followed by a hug to let them know I still care even if they are in trouble. The first few times of this are the hardest because the kid doesn’t fully realize what is going on and will get up and have monster scream fests. Stick with it because as time goes on they will quiet sooner and you’ll be able to lengthen the time they sit quietly. This will also help down the road when kids are older because they will understand how to sit quietly for you when they are older.

My daughter is now 1½ and there are times she will try to get up or cry, but they are shorter and fewer. She gets one minute of non-screaming and I now use longer phrases like “Do Not Stand on the Couch”, than she gets a hug. Does this mean she is cured of trying to miss-behave? No, but she is easier to guide to good behavior, she understands life has consequences, and she understands that time out means calm down and listen to mom’s words.

I have taken care of kids who get let up while screaming and often these kids seem to think that if they scream and have a fit they can get out of time out or avoid getting in trouble because it’s too hard for the caregiver to get them to sit or listen to them screaming and crying. This encourages bad behavior. It’s basically saying, you can misbehave and if you get punished just threw a tantrum and I’ll give up. Kids often don’t realize how much time has passed when they are throwing a fit. They react and create behavior patterns at this age. Then, when away from home or an environment where their fits work in their favor (like school or daycare) they often resort to worst behavior like hitting and kicking or biting or even self-harming (biting self, pulling out own hair, etc) because it is stressful for them to adapt when the norm for them is to get what they want as long as they have a tantrum. It also creates a reaction of rejection from their peers because no kid wants to play with another kid who is always throwing tantrums, taking toys, or hitting. It also puts a strain on the caregiver who now must talk with the parent about being firmer or more structured on their discipline, must spend the time constantly guarding other kids against the one acting out, and constantly having to structuring discipline a child instead of spending time with crafts or learning tools for the kids who behave.

The rule is one minute of time out per age and it’s a good rule, but the minute needs to start when they are sitting quietly or else you’re just teaching them how to be the kid that everyone dislikes because they act out, hurt others, and think the world revolves around them when they are older. If you don’t structurally discipline your child than expect to be kicked out of daycare, have parents refuse to let their kids come to your house or visa versa, for school parent meetings to be more frequent, possible learning issues because of their disruptive nature, and a whole other mess of issues down the road. Take the time to teach discipline now and save yourself the embarrassment and trouble later, because the later you start, the more the kid understands, and the harder it will be since the kid will know that if they hold out they can do whatever they want later. In closing, think of who you want your kids to be down the road, do you want them to be kind to others, share, and have the ability to sit and learn? If so, than do what you have to early to install the behavior as they grow and you’ll find your child will not only be a better person, but they will respect that you loved them enough to guide them well. Guidance comes as early as you are willing to provide it and lasts as long as you are willing to give it!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Can't get enough Mommy Moments?

Need more Mommy Moments? Check out my wedding blog! That's right, Mommy Moments is getting married! Twice!

Shopping Job