Thoughts on Time Outs

Time Out Or Time To Think?

Skamvrån_av_Carl_Larsson_1894

Isolating children when they don’t meet our expectations of behavior is one method of implementing time-out. Using time-out may be one of the most popular discipline methods used by parents today. Carl Larsson, the Swedish artist, did a painting in 1897 of an older boy sitting in time-out. The time-out technique has been around for a long time, sometimes used in a positive way, but much too often used in a punitive way.

How can we know if our time-outs are punitive or positive?

If we send a child to sit in the corner or tell them to “go to your room” and our intention is to motivate the child to act differently using shame or guilt, we are using time-out as punishment. When we try to use guilt and shame to make our children change we fall for the faulty assumption that making our child feel bad about their behavior will teach them how to act differently. More often than not our punitive agenda has our children sitting and thinking that they are “bad”, or thinking of ways of how not to get caught next time, or thinking of ways to get even...read more...