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3 time outs in the last couple of hours - do they really work ????

(8 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 17-Aug-07 17:12:51

My ds is 3 (just) and I have been using time outs for discipline purposes (3 mins in his room) for the last few weeks. After a couple of warnings he will be taken up to the room if he refuses to do as I ask.

I have had full on screaming and negativity from ds all afternoon. I have remained (mostly) calm and taken him up to his room each time he has acted up - the latest incident involved refusal to wash his hands after using the loo.

Should I be saving time out for absolutely terrible behaviour? I am just so tired of him ignoring me and not doing as I ask. When we are out it can be downright dangerous as he has a habit of running off laughing at me and not looking where he is going (very bad combination as you can imagine!!). He can also be beautifully behaved,chatty, engaging, fun and lovely and sweet to his sister.etc.

Please tell me that time out is going to work - is there another trick I am missing? What I would really love is a pause button for him!

HonoriaGlossop Fri 17-Aug-07 17:26:34

Yes, I think you're right, save if for much, much worse behaviour. For things like not washing his hands I think use other strategies. With my ds, I would joke him out of this stuff. Loads of silly ways of doing it - look out of the loo door and say "OH NO DS! The finger biter is coming! Any unwashed fingers - he BITES! Quick, lets get them in the water!!!" or just pretend it's mud coming out the tap "Oh, no look at this disgusting mud - whatever you do, DON'T PUT YOUR HANDS IN THIS MUD!" or something along those lines.Or challenges - I bet you can't wash and dry your hands before me - I'm going to be first!"

My way of coping with this age group was to ignore loads and loads of little annoying stuff, joke him out of loads, role play lots with him ("Train drivers ALWAYS wash their hands otherwise they're not allowed to drive the train")

You will be doing time out all day every day if you do it for the small stuff.

Also, much more fun to PLAY more I think, the kids love it and you don't have to come the heavy parent ALL day long, which is no fun for us is it!


HonoriaGlossop Fri 17-Aug-07 17:27:31

oh and I also had a runner off - reins for me I'm afraid. Ds knew (eventually!) that if he wanted reins off, he had to hold hands and NOT dart!

Kaz33 Fri 17-Aug-07 17:41:01

I save time outs for my 4 year old just for downright aggressive, violent or dangerous behaviour.
Not for misbehaving or not doing what mum says - star charts and horrendous amounts of praise when he behaves well I find more effective.

bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 17-Aug-07 17:43:48

Thank you Honouria - to be honest I do a great deal of engagement and distraction etc. But I am having trouble getting anything done (as in dinner/ tidying/ mn)as my dd (16m) also demands attention and I sometimes just need ds to do as I ask - am I expecting too much? Yes I probably am

If my ds is deliberately and rudely defiant though - I find it hard to ignore - shouting noooo in my face and pushing me away etc. Sometimes my halo slips and I just want him to bally well behave or else!

It also gives me confidence to go out with the dc's if I feel ds will listen when it is important to - as dd is quite a handful as well and there is no reasoning with her yet, if I am at a playground or in a busy town centre. I have to know that I can get ds to do as I say when required etc.

Reallytired Fri 17-Aug-07 18:15:43

I think lots of people would like a pause button for their little boys.

I found to get compliance it works well for me to count slowly "5, 4, 3, 2, 1". The advantage is that this gives my son thinking time and if he hasn't heard then he will ask me what I want him to do. If my son does not comply with my request then he is put on the step. (9 times out of ten my son will do what is asked by the time I get to 3) I also praise him when he obeys me straight way without having to count.

With time out its important that the child clearly understands why they were put in time out. Otherwise its a total and utter waste of time.

On really negative days a change of scenary like going to the park can often improve behaviour.

bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 17-Aug-07 20:52:39

Thank you for your replies

To be honest I did lose it a bit this afternoon - but instead of shouting and raging I used time out so I suppose that was a smidgen better

But tommorrow is another day and I will try and be reasonable/ entertaining mum instead of evil 'you vill do vat I say' mum - a glass of wine will help.

Now not tommorrow btw

KTNoo Fri 17-Aug-07 21:17:31

I agree with Honoria - it usually works to be a bit creative with my ds to get him to do what I want and save time out for the awful stuff. He'd be in time out all day otherwise. Having said that, when you're knackered there's absolutely no energy left for any kind of creative parenting, not that I'm a particularly imaginative person at the best of times. If your ds really hates time out then eventually the threat of it should be enough - this is certainly the case now with my ds (now 4) but it's taken a while. Counting to 3 now also works but it probably didn't at just 3. I'm sure in a year's time you'll realise how different things are! Good Luck.

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