With both Supernanny Jo Frost and Dr. Phil supporting them, time-outs have become the popular go-to disciplinary method over the past decade. But Kimberley Clayton Blaine has an issue with that. In her new book The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children ($10), she argues that kids receiving time-outs often don't understand what they did wrong and what is happening. She likens the method to using a negative action to punish a negative action. Rather, she suggests sitting with a child until she calms down and then discussing better solutions for the future. What do you think?
Disciplining a child is one of the toughest parts of parenting. Spanking, time-outs, and positive reinforcement all have their supporters and detractors, but do they all send subliminal messages to our lil ones about our love for them?
Recently, two of TV's popular authorities on the issue — Dr. Phil and Supernanny's Jo Frost — made strong arguments for positive reinforcement. They both agree that children seek praise and attention from their parents and by denying them those feelings until they act appropriately, they will learn right from wrong. Opposite their philosophies, author Alfie Kohn supports a program of unconditional love and suggests that regardless of the type of discipline used, punishing youngsters shows them that they aren't loved by their parents. Rather than taking away privileges and toys, instituting time-outs, or spanking, parents should take the time to work through the issue with their offspring, demonstrating that they love their wee ones regardless of how they behave.
What's your opinion?
Parents aim to raise their children to be productive members of society, so when kids start pitching public fits or socking playmates at the park, most moms and dads step in to guide their offspring toward more positive interactions. From Kate Gosselin to Alec Baldwin, everyone has an opinion on the proper way to discipline. One trend that is increasingly popular with today's parents is time-out.
A time-out removes a child from a situation so they can reflect on their behavior. It also serves as a cooling off period. How and when that time-out is taken depends on which philosophy a parent chooses to follow. Here are two common techniques:
1-2-3 Magic: Dr. Thomas Phelan uses the time-out as the end-result of a warning system. According to his theory, a parent warns a child with, "That's 1", "That's 2", and then "That's 3 and time-out" over the course of 30 minutes. If the tot reaches the end stage, without emotion the parent removes the child from their current environment and places them in their room for one minute per year of age. When the time-out is over, the child is free to go on with their activities — no apology or conversation about the misbehavior is necessary.
Naughty Step: This method, made famous by Supernanny Jo Frost, tells parents to confront their child's misbehavior when it happens, explain why it is wrong, and warn them not to do it again. If the tot repeats the action, he is placed on a step on the staircase or a mat for one minute per year of age with a short explanation as to why he was put there. When the time-out is over, the parent should get on the child's level and explain the misbehavior one more time, ask for an apology, and then praise the child for their understanding.
Do you use time-out with your children, and if so, which method?