Tammy Jacobs, L.C.S.W., describes an appropriate disciplinary method to enforce when a child misbehaves.
Tammy Jacobs, L.C.S.W.:
Timeouts are very interesting subject that many parents come and ask about, how do I do a timeout? My child, I can never get my child to stay in timeout, what do I do? And like I said, they’re very interesting.
Originally when I raised my kids when they were little and we started timeouts we did it the way the lot of people do it. Here’s your timeout spot or your timeout chair or whatever you’re going to use and you’re three so you stand in the corner for three minutes and sure that works with some children, but when you get an intense child, good luck! My other child I could never get to stay in timeout.
Time-ins need to occur in a family. A time-in is spending that quality time with your child and during that quality time you’re going to feed them with that positivity. You’re going to give them that . . . some irrefutable evidence about what they’re doing in that moment that makes them great, that allows them to believe that they have this greatness in them.
So when you do a timeout, this is how I prefer to do a timeout. It works with my children and many intense children and instead of being in a specific spot, time and place, what you really want to do by instilling a timeout or consequencing a child with a timeout is you’re really just hoping to get them back on track on this path to success. So why should the child or you have to go through an agonizing five minutes of, “I don’t want to be in here! You get out of here!’ You know, and the whole hair pulling, kicking, screaming the walls, you know.
So instead, wouldn’t you want them to be back on this path to success? If it could happen in five seconds wouldn’t that be great? And then you could spend that whole rest of that four minutes and fifty five seconds being successful rather than through this agonizing timeout.
So a timeout, some people that use The Nurtured Heart Approach, what they often might refer to it as is like a reset button, kind of like a computer has. If the computer is freaking out, control, alt, delete, reset; all of a sudden the computer is back to normal. Too bad kids don’t have a reset button.
However, you can create that. So in that moment you can tell the child, “Your behavior right now is not okay. You need to reset. You’re in timeout.” The minute the child stops that negative behavior or that behavior that you’re not wanting them to do, that’s them in that moment resetting themselves and it would be easy enough to say, “Wow, I like how you stopped banging the walls and kicking the walls. I can see that you’re really wanting to follow the rules – welcome back.”
About Tammy Jacobs, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.:
Tammy Jacobs is a licensed clinical social worker and child and family therapist in Mesa, Arizona. She specializes in parenting, specifically working with difficult children and teens. Tammy's number one approach is The Nutured Heart Approach developed by Howard Glasser.