“Go to your bedroom and think about what I am saying!”
“No television for you this week.”
Almost all of us have been at the receiving end of these statements at some point or another. One behaviour management strategy that is lesser-known in our part of the world, something almost every parent or teacher is unfamiliar with is the concept of ‘time-outs.’ Today we will try to get to know it a little better.
A paper published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies defines a ‘time out’ as time away, usually for 1-5 minutes, from rewarding stimuli, including attention from the parent, as a consequence for misbehaviour. The child can either remain in the same place or be asked to move to another. A time-out strategy expects parents to stay calm and engage with the child in any way that neither threatens nor rewards them. There are different versions of time-outs but these fundamentals remain the same.
In this article, we will cover little known facts about time-outs for parents.
The book, Please Explain Time Out to Me: A Story for Children and Do-it-Yourself Manual for Parents by Laurie and Fred Zelinger lists five steps that help parents introduce their children to time outs and provides tips to stay consistent with time-outs. Dr Laurie Zelinger is a board-certified Psychologist and Dr Fred is a parenting expert.
When time-outs are perceived as punishments, their effectiveness to manage long-term behaviour comes into question. When that happens, it causes powerful emotions such as resentment, revenge, and rebellion in the young minds. It then eventually leads to sneakiness or lower self-esteem. Hence, it is important for parents to introduce the concept of time-outs to children in the right way before implementing it at home.
What do you think about time-outs? Have you ever used them at home? What has been your experience with time-outs? Let us know in the comments below or drop a line at [email protected].
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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