Time-Out Trials and Tribulations
Identify the function of the behavior
~ Not wanting to stop doing something fun
~ Desiring attention
~ Testing limits
~ Trying to get same privileges as older siblings
~ Privilege creep
~ Trying to assert power and control
~ Want to go home or get candy
~ Lack of skills to control the behavior
~ Lack of emotional vocabulary
~ For all suggestions, it is vital to keep your cool and not give in.
~ Understanding the extinction burst
~ Time out is about allowing children to get into their “wise mind” (distress tolerance)
~ Don’t give attention during the time out.
~ Time-outs work best on young children who are oppositional and defiant by hitting or intentionally doing the opposite of what you ask
~ Kids who are just whining about eating vegetables or negotiating for more video time respond better to other approaches.
~ Use when-then statements instead of if-then which communicates a choice. “When you brush your teeth and have your pjs on then I will read you another story.”
~ Always process the issue with the child at the end of time out. (Strike when the iron is cold.) What did you do that led to this?
~ Why did you do that?
~ Why is it important to not do that? / How did that make so-and-so feel? / How would you feel if so and so did that to you?
~ How can you avoid this problem in the future?
~ Suggestion 1: If you are at home, for children up to five or six, pick them up and put them in time-out in a safe (nonrewarding) place.
~ If your child will not stay in time-out, hold the door closed from the outside
~ While you are holding the door closed, it is essential that you remain calm, in control of yourself and the situation. Occasionally remind your child with a calm voice, “As soon as you sit quietly, I will start the timer.”
~ Take away something of value (privilege or toy)
~ Make sure the kid knows the rules and consequences
~ Do everything you can (except argue and get angry) to convince your child that serving five minutes is better than losing his privilege
~ If you have to lock it up
~ For children under 9, keep it in time out until the next day
~ Older children can tolerate up to a week
~ Don’t shorten lengthy punishments if the child’s behavior improves.
~ Why not lock up the toy from the beginning and forget time-out?
~ Time-out is something that is short and easy to administer. It is something that makes punishment easier for you in the long run.
~ If you take too many privileges away, your child may become discouraged and give up trying to behave.
~ Logical consequences
~ Remind child of the rules beforehand
~ Implement to consequence when the behavior happens. Don’t tell the child “Next time….”
~ End a play date if the child misbehaves or wanders too far away from the play area
~ Have a warning system. “Johnny, you are wandering too far away. That is 1.”
~ Have 3 smiley faces on the white board and have the child erase one each time the child misbehaves
~ Have the stoplight system
~ When there are no smiley faces left, or the stoplight turns red, then the child loses a privilege or has to go in time out.
~ Reward good behavior
~ If the child (3-7) follows the rules all day then he or she can choose a reward from the reward bucket. (extra tv time or additional story etc.)
~ If the child is older than 7 a weekly star chart can be used.