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to think this article on time out is a load of bullocks?

(49 Posts)
banana87 Wed 17-Aug-11 21:22:04

There is a group on Facebook who basically advocate against punishing your child. They say that putting your toddler in time out and praising him for good behaviour is teaching "conditional love". An example: "I would say that you are teaching your child conditional, rather than unconditional love. Time-outs and punishments do that. Look at how he is so quick to come to you and apologize. It's not because he knows what he did was wrong, it's because he knows he upset mommy and wants her love. Between the two, I can guarantee you that the child is worried more about losing mommies love than learning a lesson. Also, praise will teach conditional love too. When you say - "the more praise you give the more positive behavior you will see," you are showing how he can please mommy and gain her conditional love." (this in response to someone saying they use time out).

What drew my attention to this is that I had a friend who has a child DD's age (2). Friends child is/was out of control, destroying her house and other people's houses (think black coal all over my white sofa when our backs were turned angry, hitting or pushing my DD, taking toys off my DD, screaming if she didn't get her own way (mum always gave in), etc etc etc. Said friend never did anything in any of these situations and it all came to a head and I had to stop seeing her. She thinks its because she doesn't use time out. sigh.

Anyway, thoughts?

worraliberty Wed 17-Aug-11 21:26:57

My thoughts are for the poor teachers. I hope to god Mummy's little darling will be Home Ed

banana87 Wed 17-Aug-11 21:46:08

Yes, she is. She refuses to let anyone else look after her children, even to educate them hmm.

RitaMorgan Wed 17-Aug-11 21:49:34

I disagree with you that not using a rewards/punishments system is the same as letting your child run wild with no boundaries.

Not everyone wants to go down the behaviourist conditioning path with their children.

banana87 Wed 17-Aug-11 22:09:44

Just curious then, how to you impose boundaries?

FreudianSlipper Wed 17-Aug-11 23:25:21

i do not use rewards or punishments. i do think it can teach children when used to the extreme that love is conditional

how do i impose boundaries i explain things to ds, when he oversteps them i inform him that he has and why he shouldn't. i do not expect him to behave just as i want to all the time but he is as others would say well behaved. he has no problems at nursery (they do not use time out and only remove a child from the class if it is necessary and they do not use the naughty step)

and i try and see things through his eyes and i beleive children want to make others happy, they want to be involved so he gets lots of praise and encouragement children are not all wild little people that have to be strictly controlled or they will grow up to be thugs

and yes of course he is a handful at times but that is becasue he is a very determined little boy who knows his own mind and wants his own way but he can not aways have it

DuelingFanjo Wed 17-Aug-11 23:30:19

how strange, there was another thread on this subject today. Lots of thoughts there.

muminthemiddle Wed 17-Aug-11 23:31:04

I have heard of this before. Think I read a book written by the author. I didn't go along with it though as I found it too hard to implement (basically I needed a more structured approach to parenting, if that is the right word, although others often say I am laidback.) Perhaps a more organised approach to perenting is more what I am trying to say.

banana87 Wed 17-Aug-11 23:36:51

For those who "explain" to their DC, a question. What happens when they do the same thing over and over again? Do you just continue to "explain"?

Thanks for the link to the other thread, I will check that out smile

FreudianSlipper Wed 17-Aug-11 23:47:47

yes i do, he does not usually do the same thing over and over again as i try to distract him then praise him once distracted

there has been a few occasions where i have taken him to his room, more for my sanity than expecting him to reflect on his behaviour and apologise to me

banana87 Wed 17-Aug-11 23:51:50

I don't mean on the same day. For example, in my situation, each and every time the child was around my DD there was at least 1 incident of pushing or hitting. For months. Clearly "explaining" was not effective in this situation, no?

Not saying your DS is the same by the way...

FreudianSlipper Wed 17-Aug-11 23:58:46

but the child sounds like they are out of control, this is not because the parent is not using time out/naughty step and so on its because they are not showing their child what is right from wrong, not teaching them what is and what is not acceptable it sounds like she is just telling him not to do something after the event and not explaining why or keeping an eye on her child

tethersend Thu 18-Aug-11 00:08:54

It depends on the child.

For example, for a newly fostered or adopted child with attachment difficulties and challenging behaviour, the use of time out is likely to be a damaging and unhelpful strategy.

There is, IMO, no one strategy that will work for every child.

HipHopOpotomus Thu 18-Aug-11 00:52:51

I don't use Time Out as a punishment - it's letting dd know when she has crossed lines and it gives her time to calm down before we discuss why behaviour was unacceptable (though she usually knows). I always ensure she knows why she apologising and she knows very well that I love her unconditionally. It works really well for us.

magicmummy1 Thu 18-Aug-11 01:42:02

We don't punish or reward. We're lucky, we have never needed to resort to such strategies, as dd is very well behaved without them. And yes, her teachers have all agreed with that.

It's how I was raised too, so it seems quite natural to me - I never had a problem distinguishing right from wrong. However, I concede that it may not work for all parents/all children.

Morloth Thu 18-Aug-11 04:37:35

I think many modern parenting techniques are a crock of shit. But as no one is insisting I use them on my kids it doesn't actually matter.

I follow the 'Do what works' method.

It appears to work, but I am unlikely to make a fortune on it as there is no way to make people feel inferior when pushing it.

Whatmeworry Thu 18-Aug-11 07:30:10

I wonder how this method works when you have multiple children and a job? It seems designed for a PFB/SAHM situation.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 18-Aug-11 07:44:56

I don't punish or reward, use time out, etc. Mine is almost 3, and very well behaved for her age. And I'm a WOHM.

I just tell her what is and isn't allowed (don't snatch that toy, X was playing with it, give it back; don't play with your food, it's for eating, if you're not eating it dinner is over; we'll clean your teeth and then I expect you to get into bed), and if she doesn't do it I count to three and then do it for her (give back the toy, take away the dinner plate, lift her into bed).

I fully concede that if I had a more difficult child I might need further tactics. As it is, I don't even raise my voice unless she's doing something really dangerous and needs an immediate shock - like running away from me near a road. A stern tone and a follow-through on consequences is fine.

I always find it interesting when someone says "if you don't use time-out how can you possibly discipline your child", just as I do when someone says the same about smacking, because - completely putting aside any debate about whether smacking is wrong, I'm certainly not equating the two things - surely we all have more than one level of enforcement in our parenting arsenal? You don't go straight to whatever your Code Red discipline tactic is, every time, right? You're not seriously saying, OP, that time-out is your only way of teaching your child right from wrong?

MamaChoo Thu 18-Aug-11 08:24:16

I'm with HipHop - we time out but it is Exactly That - Time Out of the situation to calm down, reflect on behaviour and think about apologising and why the same behaviour shouldn't happen again. I think some of the rewards/punishments argument might be semantics - we use logical consequences so never any smacking or being sent to bedrooms, but some people might consider our consequences to be punishments.

A further thought on time out - this is exactly what happens to some grown ups if they don't play by society's rules, so it seems a very logical thing or children to gt to grips with earlier rather than later. Ps for the worried, our time outs happen on the bottom stair, not Wormwood Scrubs.

Whatmeworry Thu 18-Aug-11 08:46:20

I have 3 kids, 2 ds and dd. My experience was that different approaches were needed for each one. I can see how this may have worked for my one child, but I don't think it would have worked for the others.

I also wonder how it's maintained if you work and have the kids looked after by others where they don't use it.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 18-Aug-11 08:51:40

Out of curiosity, how is 'following through on consequences' different from 'punishing'?

cory Thu 18-Aug-11 08:54:40

Totally agree that different approaches are needed for different children. And would also point out that there are children - perfectly healthy and secure children- that are simply so self-willed that even after explanations getting their own will seems more important than not hurting little brother/risking an accident/upsetting grandma. I was such a child myself and so was dd. We both grew out of it in time. But there definitely was a time when the explanation "you mustn't do this because it upsets X" would have been met with the cheerful rejoinder "but I don't mind about that!"

BertieBotts Thu 18-Aug-11 09:16:50

Just a semantics thing, punishing is making the child have an unpleasant experience, with the intent of connecting this experience with their behaviour. So a naughty step or time out would have to be somewhere boring, for example. Whereas a consequence is something which helps them learn the lesson, but which is not necessarily unpleasant. So you might take them away from a source of conflict if they need to calm down, but if they then start playing happily in their bedroom or wherever you have taken them, that's okay, because the conflict is resolved, and they have still learned from this - they have learned that if conflict is rising they can take themselves away to calm down and do something else. (For an older child you might get them to count to 10 - this is a common technique, yes?)

banana87 Thu 18-Aug-11 09:26:14

"You're not seriously saying, OP, that time-out is your only way of teaching your child right from wrong?"

God no. Time out is the last resort, or if she has done something really bad. But I refuse to believe what the article says, that I am doing her damage and teaching her conditional love rather than unconditional love. That is my argument.

BertieBotts Thu 18-Aug-11 09:32:40

The thing is that the article is talking about a supernanny type approach where you use time out or whatever for every little thing. Most people do a mix of explaining, reasoning, punishments, consequences, rewards, encouragement, distraction, redirection, etc etc. I'd imagine anyway. If you're actually withdrawing affection from your child every time they do something that displeases you then I guess that could teach them they are only loved if they do something good, but I don't think many people do parent like that.

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