What's wrong with timeouts?

What's wrong with timeouts? Are timeouts hurting our children?

Time outs...

  1. Cause children to see themselves as bad. 
  2. Does not help children learn about self-regulation.
  3. Creates unwarranted fear in the child. 
  4. Forces children to go underground with (or hide) their behavior to avoid getting caught. 
  5. Fuels continued misbehavior.
  6. Leaves children alone at a time when they most need support.

Parents and families always struggle with discipline strategies. We need alternatives to timeout and other corporal punishment as discipline techniques.

Old Paradigm - misbehaving child = bad child = bad parenting
New Paradigm - misbehaving child = discouraged child = partnering with parents

What is a parent supposed to do in the moment?

  1. When you feel you're losing it, give yourself a time-out. This is positive behavior-modeling for your child.
  2. When you see your child losing it, redirect your child's behavior.
  3. Be proactive: if you continually feel challenged by your child, offer appropriate choices, such as chores and/or meaningful experiences. This will give your child appropriate power.
  4. Be prepared to demonstrate unconditional love. Find ways to give your child a sense of belonging.

Three things children need:

A sense of belonging
A sense of being loved
A sense of appropriate power

Post by Steve Zwolak