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Time Out isn't working!!!

(5 Posts)
Sexonlegs Thu 13-Sep-07 09:55:38

I am at a loss.

My dd1 who is 4 is a nightmare. She can be as nice as pie one moment, and then say something she doesn't want to hear, then she turns in to a horror.

Simple things such as not doing something for her immediately, or not giving her more cornflakes until she has finished the ones she has.

She hits, spits and screams. She then puts her hands over her ears and screams that she isn't listening (you can say that again)

We have tried time out by taking her to her room. All she does is kick the door and scream.

What in God's name am I to do? We have bought several books, but tbh I have no time to read them (also have a 5 month old dd).

Any thoughts/advice greatly appreciated.


Lorayn Thu 13-Sep-07 10:06:54

has this been more frequent since your new baby?? It could just be her way of reacting to the change in her life??
Time out can be a wonderful thing or an absolute nightmare, It's probably best off not to put her in her bedroom, but the most boring place you can find in the house, and if she wants to scream etc, let her, just ignore it, it's her way of trying to get the attention you are taking away from her when putting her in time out.

Was she always used to getting things as soon as she asked until baby came along??? It can sometimes help to reassure the elder sibling that not only is ok to sometimes think of baby as a nuisance but that you do too!!! My DD was 4 when DS came along and often we'd be having a cuddle or something and DS would need a feed/changing/one of the many reasons a young baby interrupts what you are doing, I would good humouredly roll my eyes at DD and say something along the lines of 'here we go again, I'm glad you're such a big girl that I dont have to do this for you anymore, though when you were a baby, my gosh you liked to make a racket' tickle her tummy and off to do what is needed. Humour, reassurance and reminding them they were too exactly the same once upon a time can really make all the difference.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 13-Sep-07 10:45:56

great post Lorayn.

What I want to add is that this IS totally normal 4 yr old behaviour, and she WILL grow out of it - not that it helps to know that!

I think the best way to think of time out is not as a punishment or as something that will magically change her behaviour. It won't work if that's what you want; not straight away anyway. What time out will do is A) give dd a firm boundary B) give you time out. Her kicking the door and screaming is fine, it doesn't mean it's not working.

With the fusses she makes, ignore as much as you possibly can. Ignoring is powerful, you don't have to feel that you're not dealing with it if you ignore.

Also, pick your battles! Only time out if she is really beyond the pale, eg hitting, etc. Don't just say 'no' if you can avoid it, negotiate a bit, for example with the cornflakes thing, all she's trying to do is exert a little bit of control over her own life; make a deal with her as in "OK, you have two more spoonfuls and I'll give you a bit more", it only has to be a few flakes probably, and her honour is satisfied!

Sexonlegs Thu 13-Sep-07 20:44:07

Thanks ladies.

I think dd1's behaviour probably is a knock on of dd2. She is lovely with her, but taking it out on us a bit I expect.

I also think I need to be less stubborn myself with her.


law3 Fri 14-Sep-07 10:43:37

sexonlegs - Telling my 3.6 year old what i actually want him to do, as oppose to just *dont do it* helps.

Ie dont draw on the table, *draw on the paper*

Dont hit the dog, *stroke him gently*

etc, etc, If you get my drift.

Agree with Honoria as usual, pick your battles!!

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