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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tips for Tuesdays: Timeouts

I'm a big fan of the Super Nanny on ABC. I watched an episode on a random day when I was bored. No, I didn't say when I had nothing to do, but a day when I was bored with all the mundane tasks that I needed to do. I'm hooked, now, because Super Nanny does two things for me. First, it makes me feel like I'm already doing some good things as a mom, and, secondly, it makes me want to be a better, more consistent, more present mom. Among other things, Super Nanny encourages moms to set schedules and expectations, follow through with discipline, play and love your kids, and teach them good habits based on example.

So, all of that said, the tip I'm about to give you comes directly from Super Nanny. I was already sending my kids to timeout prior to watching the show, but I was missing some of the steps. So here are the steps.

When a child is doing something wrong...
1. Give them one, clear warning. "Julian, this is your warning. If you do not pick up your toys, you will be punished."
2. If the disobedience continues, Stand up, take the child by the hand or pick them up and place them in the corner or naughty chair. Tell the child why they are being placed in the corner. "Julian, you are being punished for not picking up your toys."
3. Set the timer one minute for each year old they are. D'arcy stands in the corner for 4 minutes, Julian for two.
4. If the child removes themselves from the corner, DON'T TALK to them, simply physically place them back into the corner and restart the timer.
5. When the timer ends, have the child come to you, get down to their level, and ask them to apologize for the offense. If they aren't ready to apologize, they go back to the corner. Once an apology has been made, tell them you forgive them, and then tell them you love them. Then give them a hug and kiss.

This is where I go wrong. I tell my kids to go to the corner instead of getting up and taking them there. Then when they come out, I yell at them to get back into the corner. Yep, now I'm yelling. And, I don't reset the timer. Then they start to tell me why they shouldn't be in the corner, and I start to argue with them. So now, I'm yelling and trying to reason with a preschooler. Preschoolers are very seldom reasonable. That's why not talking to them in the midst of the punishment is crucial.

If you don't believe your child will stand in the corner, they will if you are consistent with this method on a couple of occasions. Watch Super Nanny if you don't believe me. And they will begin to respect you as their authority.

I'm not against spanking, and do use it as another discipline tool. However, spanking can be very emotionally draining, even more so than timeouts, so I don't use it as often as I use timeouts.

This method can also be used for bedtime. If a child will not stay in there bed, you can

1. Put them to bed using there regular routine.
2. If they get out, DON'T Talk to them, simply place them back in to bed.

Disciplining consistently and lovingly is hard work, but is well worth it. Keep at it moms!

1 comment:

  1. Very timely post for me to read, as Ezekiel is about to that age and I'm trying to teach him "no". Thanks! I love the way you parent your children- I've always thought you guys do an awesome job. Your kids are fun to be around :)