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Right, I am clueless so please tell me if it is normal/usual for a nursery to put a 14 month old in 'time out'

(20 Posts)
ExtraFancy Wed 08-Oct-08 11:56:34

I went to pick my 14mo DS up from nursery last night and, as usual, asked how he'd been. To my surprise (he's normally a pretty 'easy' baby) the nursery manager told me he'd been a monkey all day, and ended up in 'time out' at one point!

He'd apparently been chucking his food around, climbing on things, jumping on the other babies and rocking backwards and forwards in his chair at lunchtime. He does all this stuff at home but I put most of it down to the fact that he's, er, 14 months old blush so don't really do much about it except try to stop him by distracting him.

Part of me thinks he's a bit little for punishments etc but then maybe 'time out' is just another way of putting him somewhere quiet for a bit.

I don't want to be all PFB about it - he loves the nursery, is there 2 days a week and never had a problem settling etc - but I also don't want him getting confused if the nursery nurses are telling him off for stuff that I just try not to worry about.

SharkyandGeorge Wed 08-Oct-08 11:58:44

I would get the nursery to clarify exactly what they meant by 'time-out'.

happystory Wed 08-Oct-08 12:00:43

Goodness my ds would have been in permanent 'time out' then at that age! Is that the term she used, and if so was she making a joke? I agree with you, the best solution would be a little calm time, a story etc but time out is meaningless at this age.

I'd ask her to clarify.

mishymoo Wed 08-Oct-08 12:01:11

Our nursery use time-out and all they do is sit the child on their own away from the other children for a few minutes (depending on age).

I would think 14 months is a little young for time out though!

Hassled Wed 08-Oct-08 12:08:48

When I childminded (some years ago) I was told very forcibly when I did the training that time-out/naughty step strategies are "humiliating" and should not be used. Was a bit [hmmm] as I've used them very effectively with my own DCs, but certainly not at 14 months - seems way too young. So I'd be questioning a) why they're using time-out at all if the perceived wisdom of Ofsted is that it's Not A Good Thing, and b) why they're using it on a young toddler.

katiek123 Wed 08-Oct-08 12:27:49

too young, surely! am just reading 'how to talk so kids will listen' and am on the 'alternatives to punishment' chapter - authors would definitely say punishing at this age completely inappropriate and counter-productive!

ExtraFancy Wed 08-Oct-08 12:28:18

Thanks, he is there today so I'll have a word when I collect him. Not too worried as he seems to love it there, the staff are lovely (it's owned by the women who care for him every day) but I was a bit shock at the idea of him being disciplined when he can't even walk yet!!

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Oct-08 13:28:51

He sounds like a typical 14 month old. Time out doesn't really work until they are at least 2 years old. Seems a it odd to me.

OonaghBhuna Wed 08-Oct-08 13:44:05

I think this is terrible a 14 month old should not be given time out. I would really ask them some questions and also reconsider using this nursery.
I would recommend looking at Unconditional pareneting by Alfie Kohn, he gives pretty good reasons why we shouldnt use these particular punishments.

ExtraFancy Wed 08-Oct-08 15:27:41

I don't know that it's the sort of thing I would change nurseries over, though. I like it because it's small - only 12 children up to 2 years old - and most of the others round here are 'chain' nurseries which operate from these vast school-like buildings, and I'm just not keen on that. I would rather he played with toys all day than got roped into baby yoga/baby signing/flashcards etc etc hmm

idontbelieveit Wed 08-Oct-08 15:32:49

have a chat with them. Time out at 14 months is just pointless.

Shitehawk Wed 08-Oct-08 15:33:28

I wouldn't have wanted time-out used on my baby at that age, and I wouldn't have left her with anyone who would use it - nursery included. He's too little to understand cause and effect, and he's too little for punishments - distraction works far better at that age, IMO.

It's lazy childcare, actually; far easier for them to put him into time-out than to distract him with something else.

Talk to them. If you are happy with what they tell you then leave him there ... but I would be very wary of anywhere who used time-out for a child under the age of 2.

mumof2222222222222222boys Wed 08-Oct-08 15:34:03

I have just started doing the naughty step for DS2 (21 months) and it does seem to work. Doubt it would have at 14 months though. however, when DS1 at age of about 10 months took to biting me, I used to say no, plonk him on floor and ignore for about a minute. He soon stopped. Not exactly time out, but you have to do something.

ExtraFancy Wed 08-Oct-08 15:37:17

Thankyou, am about to go and pick him up so I'll chat to them then.

Bubbaluv Wed 08-Oct-08 15:39:47

It totally depends what se meant by Time Out.
If he was sitting amongst a group of other children, clearly overstimulated and causing a rucus (spl?) and they picked him up and moved him somewhere quiter so he could calm down, then that sounds pretty sensible to me. If they removed him from a sitation sat him down and told him off then left him alone, then I would think it was a) odd and b)totally pointless.

MrsThierryHenry Wed 08-Oct-08 15:40:44

I disagree about time out not working until they're 2...we've used it (for 2 mins max) since our DS was about 18 mos, and it worked. After a few days he got it. We use it to deter him from things like twiddling the gas knobs on the cooker (kind of important, we thought!).

I think the age to start setting boundaries is when they start to cross those boundaries. So this will differ for all kids. They need to know where they stand with regard to our values, don't they? Goodness knows the terrible/terrific twos are hard enough for parents and children alike, but if you wait until they're 'a certain age', you may find they're more difficult than is necessary. If that makes sense at all!

I also think it's vital to work out why the child is doing 'naughty' things, as boundary-setting is meant to help and teach them, not just to make them upset and sulky. If they're constantly separated from the group it may end up 'naughtifying' (!) them.

As for the 14 mo described in the OP, it does sound a bit young in that I can't imagine a child of that age being really bad, but it's hard to make a judgement without knowing your child or the way the nursery handles time out.

Milkmade Thu 09-Oct-08 09:05:30

Depends what they mean by "Time out" - at dd's nursery they just mean that one of the carers takes them a little bit away from the other kids and plays quietly one-on-one with them for a bit until they calm down - usually done if the child gets a bit overexcited, or rather embarassingly in dds case when she's tried to bite another kid... (She's also 14 months btw)

MrsMattie Thu 09-Oct-08 09:08:20

if 'Time Out' is what Milkmade has described - fine. If not, I'd be livid.

Bubbaluv Thu 09-Oct-08 17:05:36

What did they say?

ExtraFancy Fri 10-Oct-08 19:41:59

Sorry, only just got back onto the PC!

Apparently one of the nursery nurses took him into the room they normally use for sleeping, and played with him there while the others finished their food. He's only just moved from a highchair to a small chair at the table, and is enjoying the freedom to be able to chuck food a little bit too much apparently!

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