Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Time Out

I was always wary of those mom's who used: "You need to sit in time-out!" as a way to control the tantrums.

But lord help me--it has become a very common phrase in the Jeans household lately.

I would almost rather it be me in time out....sitting in a chair with peace and quiet for 2-5 minutes multiple times a day?! Sounds like heaven.

But that little stinker, time-outs aside, is my pride and joy...this age is so much fun. Speaking of age...I am in complete denial he will be 2 years old in 3 weeks.

Also in a few short weeks, BlogHer and Jimmy Dean will pick someone to win a $100 Visa gift-card! Want that "someone" to be you? Go here to tell me how you will be better in '11. I am making slow but steady progress with my resolutions so far.

And for my time-out comrades: how are you dealing with the tantrums and time-outs at your house?


  1. We went through a tanturm phase this past fall. We discovered it was because he didn't know how to communicate with us. He still isn't talking much. We learned to ask a lot more questions and taught him a few more signs. It has gotten a lot better.

    I anticipate it will come back. Oy! Have you watched Super Nanny? I never had, but now that we're usually home on Friday nights I've watched it a couple times. The SN has some great tips that I've already started to use. Basically you need to get in their face and look them in the eye so they can tell you are speaking to them (rather than just barking orders from across the room). Be consistent and follow through with your discipline. I've also read that with full blown tantrums you should allow them to work it out themselves while making sure they don't harm themself or someone else.

    These are all things I'm keeping in my back pocket. I am, by no means, experienced in this area. Please share whatever you find that works.

  2. Time outs have been in our house for the last few months. Some people have told me she's too young, but I disagree. She knows what time out means, and all I have to do sometimes is ask her if she needs a time out and she stops the "bad" action.

    Like Serenity, I've watched SN and have to admit, I've adopted her time out technique. We have a chair that is for time outs only and it's away from the toys and TV. If she is getting a time out we put her in the chair and get down to her level and say "You are in time out for XYZ. You sit for 1 minute" then we set a timer. When it goes off, we tell her "You were in time out because you didn't listen to mommy when she asked you to XYZ" then it's hugs and kisses and back to fun. It sounds cheesy, but it works for us. I've heard that time out should be a minute for every year old they are...and Lexi will sit for the full minute now (after lots of putbacks the first few times).

  3. We use time-outs for hitting, pushing, not listening after repeated instruction, etc... The only thing I've found that will stop the all out, throw themselves on the floor, screaming and crying tantrums is to walk away. The girls are wanting my attention to get what they want, so I tell them so long as they're throwing the fit Mommy won't listen. When they are ready to talk to mommy without crying and fussing that I'll be more than happy to listen. Once I walk away they only last for a few more seconds. Then they'll come to me and say, "I happy now" or "I'm through fussing". lol Yelling at them to stop wasn't working, putting them in time out for the tantrums wasn't working b/c they would just sit there and cry, trying to calm them by getting down on their level and talking to them wasn't working b/c it just made them fuss louder, but walking away has.

    Good luck!! This age can be so much fun with all that they're learning and doing, but it can also be so trying b/c they just don't have the communication skills they need to fully tell you what is wrong. Keep up the good work!!

  4. Ditto Amy. I do not watch SN but read it in a book somewhere about 1 minute for every year of age. I have yet to find a Time Out mat or chair, so he just sits in the big chair in the living room. We also set a timer and tell him why we are putting him in TO and again when the timer goes off.

    Terrible 2's here we come. And then onto the Troublesome 3's! Oy Vey!

  5. Glad to know I'm not alone! Thanks for the post and for the others who commented. We *try* the same ideas. Sometimes I feel it works other times, uh not so much. Tis the terrible twos.

    Did that cutie get a hair cut????

  6. Lovey Girl is only 20 months and she's hit the Terrible Two's without any difficulty at all. Definitely a trial for my patience. So, what do I do. Since she's the energy machine in diapers she will NOT sit still for a time out so I have to either hold her on my lap and restrict her movement, or if she's wriggling too much I march her up to her high chair, make it face the wall and make sure there is nothing within her reach and leaver her for the 2 minutes (it's supposed to be 1 min. for every year). I also reaed "123 Magic" which a toddler discipline book and I have found it very helpful. Now if I say 1, she stops, but if she continues, I'll say 2, and usually that's enough. It's when we get to 3 I have to put her in a time out. It's one of those things that ALWAYS has to happen whether it's you, your husband, grandparents, babysitter, pre-school teachers, etc. She does understand perfectly. Don't let the O man fool you. He gets it, just choosing not to.

    I see what the other commenter said. Maybe I'll set the DVR fo Super Nanny :-). Great idea, thanks!

  7. The tantrums got worse when E turned 3. Time outs are still the only thing to calm her down and make her realize she did something naughty. We did try spanking but that did nothing. at all.

    Just wait until you start counting to five before you put them in time out :) I'm that parent now...and in target :)

  8. Oh he is adorable! Sounds like Mommy could use some time outs with some vino!

  9. Yeah - Z is in the same phase...she learned a technique of time out from the older kids at daycare and it seems to work. We have a blanket/towel around that is put on the floor and she must sit on it without moving off of it for one minute. I see now that since she is two she should be doing two minutes. Most of the time it is for biting or hitting or other things. Regarding the tantrums, I have been trying really hard to get her to verbalize what she needs. I ~think~ it is starting to work, but we have a loooong way to go. :) Your little monster is adorable.

  10. Tantrum are hard but they became much easier to deal with when I saw Gabe carefully lowering himself to the ground before pitching a fit (didn't want to hurt his head, you know). Just keep reminding yourself that this too will end, be consistent, and be firm. I promise, it does get better.

  11. We just passed the 2 year mark this past weekend with TK and I can't believe it! Where did our babies go?!?

    We started a time out sort of thing with TK when he was just under 18 months. He started dropping food intentionally on the floor during mealtimes. He would slowly reach out his arm and release the food in slo-mo all the while never breaking eye contact with me and smiling a devilish smile! If he could have said the words then, I know he would have said, "So what are you going to do about that, woman?" So, we started taking his food away and push his highchair away from the table, told him he was getting a time out and ignore him for 1.5 minutes. It was the longest 1.5 minutes of my life!! Sometimes he would sit there and just smile and kick his feet like he was having a good ol' time. Other times he would cry a pitiful cry and cry out "mama" like I was torturing him, but he got the point relatively quickly. He pretty much stopped intentionally dropping food. Now we still use time outs for other things like when we have repeatedly told him NOT to do something and he keeps doing it. I usually give him 3 chances and if does it a 4th time, he goes to the time out corner. I have read that time outs don't usually work for under 3s, but it works for us so we're sticking to it. We do the SN method as so many others here have talked about and make sure to hug him after his time out. He really seems to want that reassurance that we still love him. Nowadays, just a threat of a time out can stave off a bad behavior a lot of the time.

    When the tantrums and testing get to be too much to bear, I try to remember to tell myself that this is a sign of the independence they are feeling and that that is a good developmental milestone. Well, good for TK anyway.

  12. We started using time outs around the time when A was O-man's age. We find that it's the only way to "reset" her mood and get things back on track. We had been needing far fewer time outs the past several months, but now they are back with a vengeance as we approach age 3.

    I have to say, some aspects of parenting get more difficult as they get older ... but the rewards really multiply too :)

  13. O is so handsome!!! I can hardly believe he's going be two!

    I find the most effective way of dealing with tantrums is ignoring them. I explain that im not going to listen to screaming and I walk away. Lately we are dealing with lots of sassyness. I've dealt with that by modeling the appropriate tone and making L repeat correctly. And it's getting better!

    I reserve TO for more serious offenses. And since she's a runner I have to put a gate up to keep her in the room. It works though!

  14. 2???? holy good god it can't be true. WOW. He's 2...that's amazing.

    Um, Time outs??? They won't sit in them , they laugh at us. So what we do is IGNORE SFS said in her coment to make sure they are safe etc, but walk away from the tantrum. I find it soooooo hard to do that..but I do do it. Esp since why should my blood pressure be up because of them not getting enough milk in a cup???? Seriously???? LOL

    I know it's so hard and honestly 2 and even the first week of 3 has been"Interesting" ..but like you I ADORE those we go with the flow, ignore when we can...speak to THEM and in no way let them get away with Stuff. :)

    he is SOOOOOO CUTE, I can't stand it. :)

  15. This is a great post. Tot is still a little young for TO, IMO. The biggest thing for us right now is climbing our gates. I have been trying very hard to show him that if he will raise his arms, I will pick him up over the gate, but that if he has even one foot on the gate, I won't. "No climbing" is a mantra in our house right now.
    I have been trying to decipher the cause of the fits lately. Often a snack or a short nap (or even quiet rest in his crib) solve some of the melt-downs. We probably haven't gotten to full on tantrums yet, so I'll keep some of these tips up my sleeve for later.

  16. I'm in no place to give advice on handling time outs. We've been doing them for a while and initially I thought they were working. But over the last 2-3 months I think he thinks it's a joke. In fact I know he does, b/c when I ask him "Do you want a time out?!" and says "Yeah..."

    I should read the suggestions your readers have shared. I could use some advice.

    The only thing I can say is that when I can, I give him options. Like when he's rolling on the floor saying "no coat!" I then ask him "Do you want to go to the park?" "Yeah.." Well then you have to wear your coat."

    That works most times. But it's hard to catch him in that moment before any sanity is gone and I'm just walking around pissed off that my kid won't listen to me.

  17. I can't believe he's that big already! Oh my - he is adorable.

    We have a zillion time outs a day in our house (x2!). We even have a "Time Out Chair" which is a wooden chair with "Time Out" painted on it. =)

  18. Tantrums? What tantrums? I have a perfect daughter. :)

    He so looks like his dad in that picture and no, not just because he is sitting in a box.

  19. Great comments you have collected here!!

    Skeeter is 16 months now and I've tried putting him in his room so he can 'cry it out' but he just follows me out so I don't think we're ready for time out yet. So right now I just ignore him completely when he's throwing a fit. Fortunately, we haven't had a total melt down in a public place yet so I don't know how I'll handle that. Probably with bribery.

  20. Ah, what fun! Start getting a grasp on the time outs now because as they approach 3 it gets harder! I use a lot of Super Nanny techniques. I don't call them time out though. At Smooch's school they have a Quiet Corner and so that is what I use at home. Only at school he is actually quiet and at home a screams and cries to get out. As he has gotten older he DOES get out. I set the timer on the microwave for 2 minutes and when it beeps he can get out. When they timer beeps I go to him, he usually tells me he is sorry and then we briefly explain why he went to the quiet corner with a big hug and kiss to end it.

    If he gets out before the timer I have limited eye contact/conversation and keep putting him back as many times as necessary. Each time the timer starts over. It is DRAINING!! For the most part though he gets it now that he needs to stay in the Quiet Corner until the beep.

    I'm also adding 1-2-3 Magic to my library because I've heard great things about the techniques used in the book.


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