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Yes and no.
Yes, it is good for inappropriate social behavior to be "rewarded" by removal from "society".
The "no" is about the adult choosing when the "timeout" is over. In fact, using the term "timeout" isn't, the greatest idea because, once again, it's the parent's (the bigger guy) pushing around the kid (the smaller guy) in order to bring about something that the child will probably learn to do just to please rather than to take full responsibility for.
I feel it is much better (I've seen this done and tried it myself with kids I babysit) to let the child know that YOU will not have THAT kind of behavior "in this house" or "in this room" ...whatever. See, it's about what YOU ARE willing to tolerate or what YOU ARE NOT willing to tolerate, not how bad or negative the child is being. No guilt thrown.
This gives the child another chance to face the world. If you (the parent) are not willing to tolerate the behavior (and that is your right as a responsible parent) you can tell and/or assist the child to go to a designated spot that the both of you can agree on for situations like this where the child can, in isolation, vent his frustrations in a manner that isn't hurting others or property. You decide again what is tolerable and what is not...FOR YOU. You tell the child calmly, lovingly, sincerely, that "When you are ready to come back in here with me/us, just let me/us know and I/we will welcome you back"
This scenario might look different in your situation depending on lots of factors but the point is that everyone, you, others and the child are truthfully saying what they mean (honesty in action!), putting up appropriate boundaries and taking responsibility for their feelings and behaviors. This is such a good thing for us all to practice.
Of course, when the child comes back in there is nothing else said other than "I'm so glad you are back--missed you" *hug*. If necessary you can, at an appropriate time, bring up the subject saying something like "I really noticed that when....was happening you looked like you were...(sad, angry, frustrated etc). Can you tell me about that? Children need to know that you are watching and caring about them. No one wants to be invisible.
My little friend David, when he was only 3 had done this routine enough times that when he had a tizzy fit in a situation where it was disturbing or violent all I had to do was gently say "David" and look at him and he would say "I know" and walk into the other room and sit on the bottom step and sulk. After several minutes I would hear that sweet little voice, "I'm ready!". Sometimes I would just walk over and sit down next to him, give him a hug and invite him back in where I was.
So simple. He's 12 now and is a very self-contained, friendly (likes hugs!) young man. His older siblings who were also raised with this method are all amazingly successful young people and socially delightful.
Hope this helps.
Edited by: ANIDUCK at: 12/24/2009 (16:56)
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I'm interested in your opinions on this subject.
Here's the article:
Time-outs: effective discipline or waste of time? - tinyurl.com/ycbevjz
Perry P. Perkins
Portland Fatherhood Examiner
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