Thursday, October 25, 2012

Time out

I try to pick my battles when it comes to disciplining Luca.  Along with this idea, I do not enforce time-outs for just anything.  It has to be for something that is dangerous, disrespectful, or if I think she just needs a minute to regroup.  The main two things I have put her in time-out for are biting my leg while I am on the phone or answering an email, and for feeding the dog.  I leave her for a maximum of 2 minutes, because as a toddler, I think 2 minutes is probably plenty long.

The time-outs are backfiring though.  What do I do when my child puts herself in a time-out?!  It started when she started hollering for me.  I went down the hall to find her pointing to Tessa eating out of the box of teddy grahams.  I picked up the box and scolded the dog.  Then, Luca signed "go" and went to her room to the spot I put her in when she gets a time-out.  I asked "oh did you feed Tessa?", she answered yes.  Now, I am realizing that she is purposely feeding Tessa in order to go into a time-out.  Well, this clearly is not working!

I think what she likes most about time-out is what happens after the time-out.  I go back to her, explain why she was in a time-out, ask her to say sorry, and then she has to give love.  Well each time when I go back in the room, she is squealing with excitement to say sorry and give hugs.

Needless to say, the time-outs are not accomplishing quite what I wanted them to.  I will keep trying them, but in the meantime, I clearly need to find some other ways to teach her that she cannot do certain things. Back to the drawing board...

Do you use time-outs?  What other methods have you used to help teach your toddlers?


  1. That is so adorable!

    We haven't attempted time outs yet but probably should. I just don't think AM will sit still for any given length of time. How do you even introduce timeouts?

    1. This is how I started:
      I decided to start doing it for bigger mishaps - like biting me, or something dangerous she should not play with. I told her no and then walked calmly to the designated time-out place. I told her in about 6 words why she was in a time-out. I stepped just outside the room. Each time she stood up, I walked back in and said "you are in a time-out and need to stay put." After about the 3rd time-out, she understood she was supposed to stay there. I keep them short - probably started them for about 30 seconds, then gradually increased them. They do tend to help calm her down.

  2. HA! Sorry to laugh, but Kennedy used to the do the same or she would tell me to go to Time Out when she thought I did something that was disobedient.

    We still use timeout, but the girls have to sit on a step. Now that Mackenzie is bigger we are starting to have "badgering" issues, where she asks for things over and over even after being told no. So I read 1-2-3 Magic, which has helped. Good luck!

    1. We laugh about it too, Sarah. I have to keep a straight face when she does it! I will have to look into 1-2-3 Magic...thanks for the suggestion. I do like that L seems a bit calmed down after a quick time-out. And it also gives me a minute to regroup. We will keep trying ;)


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