Earlier, we have looked into the concept of ‘time-out’ where a child spends some time, usually a minute to five, away from rewarding stimuli and parental attention, as a consequence of misbehaviour. There are times when ‘time-outs’ do not work or are not appropriate. This is where another behaviour management strategy called ‘time-in’ comes into play.
In this article, we will cover the concept of ‘time-in’ as a disciplinary tool.
The book, Time-in: When Time-out Doesn’t Work, states that children need to take ownership of their behaviour for their own sake, and not to please parents or others around them. ‘Time-Ins’, when implemented correctly, enhances the parent-child bond by building the child’s trust in parents and by making them feel supported. It has the potential to prevent future problems because it teaches children to solve their problems on their own.
An article, Time In Is In: When Time Out Does Not Work Try This Amazingly Effective New Discipline Technique, authored by parent educator Jean Illsley Clarke and published by Working Mother Media, helps parents understand the four-step process of ‘Time-In’, which consists of four tasks — ask, act, attend, and amend.
Asking a question probes the child to think. Parents need to figure out the lesson to be taught from the situation before asking the question.
Here are a few ways of discipling children by the act of asking:
When talking about their misbehaviour has little effect or when children are unwilling to pay attention, performing an action may help get their attention. This is most likely to work with toddlers.
Here are a few ways of discipling children by acting:
Attending something means to pay close attention to what is happening right now. It requires children to attend to the consequences of their actions. For parents, it means figuring out what needs to be done in a way that encourages children to face the consequences of their actions.
Here are a few ways of discipling children by attending:
Amending helps children right a wrong. It corrects their misbehaviour and helps children become better people. It goes one step further than teaching children to apologise correctly. For this step to work, parents must make amends with their children when they wrong them.
Here is the criteria for making amends:
This is how parents can use ‘Time-In’ to discipline their children. Staying connected with children is at the heart of the concept of ‘Time-In.’ There is no set way of using this approach. You should figure out what works best for your children and act accordingly.
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