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Strategies to help today's working families in Northeast CT, MA and RI.


What it ISN'T

Timeout doesn't work as it is used in many families because it is being used as punishment and not as it was originally designed. Timeout should actually be a method for teaching a child how to control himself or herself, and should only be used when a child is out of control and NOT for any other situations. When timeout is used as punishment the child does not learn lessons of any value, and instead picks up unhealthy messages that he or she is a bad child and less than whole. Sticking a child in timeout simply serves as a way for the adult to control a child or get even, and gives the caregiver a sense of satisfaction or revenge for what the child did.

What it IS

Timeout was designed to be used effectively only when a child is out of control and must be removed from a situation so as to regain some self-control and calm down. In this out of control state, some sort of emotional "thunderstorm has blown in for the child. He may be getting angry and be unable to understand the impacts of his behavior on others around him, nor can he understand any instructions from the caregiver. In this uncontrollable state, he is likely to hurt himself or someone else. By being in the timeout space, the child is given a break from the situation and an opportunity to calm down emotionally. Once he regains some composure, he may be able to return to the activity or previous space. (Used Courtesy of Bill Corbett; Love, Limits, & Lessons Vol 2)

So the question becomes how do you create this space that is needed? And how do you begin the process of teaching them to recognize their feelings and having them go to this space?

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about implementing a respectful method of timeout in your home.

"Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each." ~Plato