A common method of admonishing children for bad manners or mischief is giving them a time-out. During the time-out session the kid is isolated from group of friends or siblings. He or she is asked to stand in the corner alone. The results of new research of disciplinary techniques on child development reveal that time-outs are likely to hurt a child’s brain.
Though pediatricians and child experts recommend time-out often to parents, it might not be the best way of teaching discipline. Every child is unique and they deserve to be treated in a unique manner. Keeping that in mind, this post analyzes the effectiveness of time out for raising kids.
Reasons Why Time-Out Does Not Work
The effect of time-out depends on the psychology of the child you are dealing with. Some kids respond well to time-out, changing their behavior to not get punished again. Others may feel neglected or bullied by time-out. As a result, they will act more angrily than before and behave rudely.
There are some reasons that may make time-outs ineffective. If you are in the habit of threatening the children with time-out, without actually following it through, they will lose the fear eventually. The child may not understand the significance of time-out and spend that time in playing alone. Of course, their behavior will not change once the time-out is over.
Children may start feeling that you consider them to be bad. This perception will trigger further rude behavior in them. Some children scream and cry during their time-outs. This is mainly because they feel insecure. They get anxious if parents will accept them back and let them play as usual.
Cutting a child off for a certain period of time can also make them feel abandoned. This way they may start behaving obediently but the insecurity will prevent their natural growth. When a parent acts angrily or screams at the child, sending them in a time-out, they feel rejected. Such negative feelings in a child make time out ineffective.
What Can Parents Do If Time Out Does Not Work?
If you notice that time-out is not working with your children then it is time to utilize some other disciplining method. After all, time-out is not the only way to admonish a kid. The focus of parenting should not be on punishing a child for misbehavior. Instead try to help them understand what mistake they have made and how they can make amends for it.
Tell them that time-outs are meant for them to ponder on what they did wrong. They should know that their parents love them and will never abandon them. Proper guidance from your side leads children to change their behavior and attitude.
Things Parents Should Avoid Doing
Often parents mistake time-out as a tool of punishment. Without really meaning for the children to suffer, they represent time-out as a vehicle of suffering. Time out need not be spent in a corner or on a chair. It is meant to teach children self control.
Changing how you look at time-out will change how your kids react to it. Always keep channels of communication open with your children. Do not punish them for the wrong reasons and clarify why the time out is being given. When kids have complete understanding of the reasons of time-out, they will participate in it more willingly.
Also, avoid frightening children with time in a particularly lonely room or corner. There should not be any fear involved with the time out or else the objective of this tool will miss its mark.
Use Other Methods As Well
Time out should not be the only disciplinary tactic you utilize. Ask children to write about their bad behavior and the proper way of behaving, every time they misbehave.
Another tactic is barring them from using privileges around the home. For example, next time your kid behaves badly, tell them that they will not get to watch TV for next three days. Find alternatives that work on your children. At the same time don’t hurt their feelings and give them full support in changing behavior.
Time-outs may not be equally effective on every child. Parents should evaluate the manner in which they use time-outs. The motto is to help the children realize their mistakes. Misuse of time outs can make a child feel insecure, disrupting their growth. Alternative can be used in place of time outs for disciplining the children more efficiently.