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Time Out

March 6, 2012

“Excuse me little girl, if you unplug the lamp one more time, you will get a time out. I’m telling you this now because I want you to be able to make an informed decision.”

My daughter likes to unplug thingTime Out or Play Times. My wife and I, feeling that this is not a safe way for her to express herself, utilize all the proper safety procedures. We have tried “in use” outlet covers and we frequently rearrange our furniture attempting to block all the outlets, but she still manages to get through. Finally as a last resort…we recently implemented time outs. That’s right, we set the timer for two minutes, put her in her room, and wait. Of course, two minutes later she stands on the other side of her baby gate, smiling, with an arm full of toys. She’s learning her lesson though…right?

The problem is…now the internet (the all knowing authority on everything) says that time outs are the new spanking…they’re inhumane.

What’s wrong with time outs you ask. According to Dr. Peter Haiman timeouts make children angry. Now I know I wouldn’t want to do that.

Here’s the deal. There’s no go to, all the time, works for every kid, conflict resolution tool, but to tell me to “continuously meet[ a] child’s developmentally normal needs and drives” when my three year old is biting people because they think its funny or my teenager wrecked my car because they were driving under the influence is, how shall I say, not helpful.

Granted we need to work with our children to help them understand their feelings, their behavior, and the consequences that follow. They need to know that we love them and it is very important that our children learn to be “self disciplined.” If I’m still putting Teagin in time outs 30 years from now I’ll be concerned. But, all in all, there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned time out.

Here’s something that is wrong…taking parenting advice from someone with no kids…even if they have a PHD!!!

Leave A Comment: What do you think? Are time outs okay?

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