TIME OUT!

Image taken from www.sodahead.com
I've had a few people inquire recently about our method of disciple for Brody.  Discipline is such a complicated and confusing task to take on as new parents.  Jonathan and I questioned many times throughout the first year and into the second what exactly we were supposed to do when a young child misbehaves.  I asked many seasoned parents, googled the subject, and read books from experts who, for the most part, all agreed. 

Re-direction is key for babies and young toddlers. 

So Jonathan and I quickly jumped on the bandwagon of re-direction, and it worked like a charm...for awhile.  But eventually, the days passed, Brody grew older and wiser, and re-direction began to fail.  We found ourselves once again scratching our heads and looking to each other with shoulders shrugged high.  So I found myself searching on google and flipping through books once again. 

No new answers.  Just the same old advice...re-direction.

But that wasn't working and we both knew it.  So, as much as we value experience and respect others' wisdom, we have also found that parental instincts count for A LOT. (Remember, not every child is the same!)  So we found confidence in ourselves as parents and decided to go in our own direction for our {at the time} almost-two-year old. 

We decided our Brody Boy was in need of time-outs.  Re-direction was below him now and we needed to keep up with his ever-increasing understanding of the world around him. 

So how do our time-outs work?

We watched several episodes of Super Nanny while I was preggers to help us prepare for kids. Silly, I know, but we picked up some good tips and it led to many great discussions on our own views of how we feel we should parent. So, naturally, we molded our time-outs to look something like those seen in the Super Nanny shows.   

When Brody is doing something wrong we:
  1. Give him one and only one warning that if he does it again he will be sent to time-out.  Now that he has experienced time-outs, often times all we have to do is warn him and his behavior changes.
  2. If he does said action again, we send him to time-out. Time-out in our home is just sitting on the floor in a corner. Usually the same corner downstairs and one upstairs.  No fancy chair.  As much as I wanted and looked for a cute chair for a long time, I realized I was limiting myself to where time-outs could be served.  If he sees that time-out is anywhere then it is more likely to work even when we are out running errands and what not.  He served a time out just today in the back of my SUV (lift gate open of course for cool air), keeping a constant eye on him through the windows (just out of his sight).
  3. Once he reaches the time-out area we tell him why we are putting him in time-out.
  4. Then we tell him he must sit there for X-amount of minutes.  The recommended time is one minute per year of the child.  So, since Brody is two years old, he serves a two-minute time out. 
  5. We set a timer next to him that has been deemed the "time-out timer."  This timer is used only for time-outs and has an audible "ding" so that he knows when the time is up.  
  6. When the timer runs out, we return to the time out area and get down on his level to ask him why we put him in time out.  Honestly, he is too young to know how to answer this question right now, but we continue to ask so that he will one day just pick it up and the habit will already be formed.  It doesn't matter that he can't express in words why we put him there. We know from his changed behavior that he knows. 
  7. Then we tell him to say he is sorry for not obeying.
  8. After apologizing, we give him hugs and kisses and tell him we love him.
At this point, it is important not to revert back to the discipline. Do not discuss the issue any more.  He has now apologized, you have forgiven, and you have hugged and kissed.  Move on.  Period.

This is the hardest part for me sometimes...moving on.  Sometimes my human-nature wants to make sure he got the point, but that is when I make myself go on in silence for awhile until the mood has passed. 

This method has worked well for our little family.  I really want to know, what method do you use for discipline in your household?
This is a picture my friend Samantha snapped of Brody serving a Time Out by her pool on the 4th of July.  Thanks for sending this photo, Samantha!

2 comments:

  1. We don't have children yet, obviously, but this is such great advice that I am going to store away for my future mommy brain!

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  2. at what age did you start brody on time outs?? my son is nearly 21 months and hitting the terrible twos big time. my husband and i often argue about whether we should discipline him at this age. i'm a strong believer on the younger the better he on the other hand isnt and will often comfort him if i tell him off.

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