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Take a Time Out

16 Oct

I was reading an article tonight on a site that’s new to me. The Natural Child Project has an article on giving your kids time out. The article (The Case Against Time Out by Peter Haiman, Ph.D.) says it’s a bad idea, for several reasons. We’ve been throwing time outs around here for a while–I think it all started by watching an episode of that super nanny show where she suggested time out in a separate room (the laundry room is a prison here). I have to admit time outs don’t seem to do the trick, which is why I was researching the topic. If the doc is right, maybe all those time outs I spent as a kid with my nose in the corner (and if the crime was really serious, my hands in the air above my head) explain why I’m a little screwy. 🙂

I think I’m convinced, based on the research and the ineffectiveness of this practice wiht our kids, to nix the time out thing. I haven’t talked with Jaim about it yet though. So, tell me what you do. Vote in the poll to tell everyone if you do or don’t with time outs, and share your arguments, thoughts or alternative ideas in the comments.

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2008 in Family, Kids

 

Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Take a Time Out

  1. phdinparenting

    October 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    We don’t use time outs either. I wrote a few related posts (not specifically on time outs, but they do get referenced) that you might find interesting and that might set you on the path of finding some better approaches:

    http://phdinparenting.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/new-reason-why-punishment-doesnt-work-the-law/

    http://phdinparenting.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/when-all-else-fails/

    http://phdinparenting.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/short-term-versus-long-term-parenting/

    I’d recommend reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn if you haven’t already.

     
  2. joebart

    October 17, 2008 at 7:25 am

    I should add that when I base my thoughts on the “ineffectiveness” of time outs with our kids, I’m not just referring to whether it changes their behavior (it doesn’t), but most importantly it seems to make them feel worse–more frustrated, more angry, etc. After all, this parenting stuff is about happy shiny kids, not raising robots, right?

     
  3. Kelly

    October 17, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I can’t believe you let out the secret of how you were punished as a child. Please let everyone know that your parents never went to jail for mistreatment! (Although, I guess that could still be a possibility…) So are you saying that time in the corner where you & your brother usually ended up laughing at each other didn’t serve the purpose? How else did you become so wonderful & well-adjusted—-weeding the trees??
    And…what is your alternative form of discipline? Discussion? My suggestion would be to send them to Grandma’s house!

    Love you!
    Mom

     
  4. joebart

    October 17, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Don’t worry Mom, standing in the corner didn’t traumatize me. And here’s a little secret: I actually enjoyed working in the trees…

     

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