Monday, June 06, 2011

Time-outs continued

Well, we went to church yesterday and on the way, D says to me, "so I think you should say something because you've been quiet for a whole hour"


A record for me. Just shows how cross I was.

He may have changed his mind when I started talking but talk I did.

I am tired and frustrated of saying the same thing to a child a couple of times, only to do time-out and 10 minutes later have to go through the same thing again.

This may be unrealistic but I expect them to obey me.

They are not naughty but are naughtier than I'd like. People keep saying they're well-behaved and I almost have to read the sentence twice, like, "my kids???"

The babies' "transgressions" are different:

  • Connor is more physical and all his misdemeanors involve standing on his high chair's seat instead of sitting, going to touch the heater, our phones, etc, etc.
  • Kendra doesn't listen and obey. It can be small things but it's everything. We can be talking and she deliberately disobeys (with a gleam in her eyes) or pretends to not hear or walks away, etc.
This sends me over the edge.

We don't really have tantrums, maybe because we walk away and leave them to thrash it out on the floor wherever they are.

Anyway, back to D and the conversation in the car.
  • I don't believe that time-out works for Kendra.
  • I don't like escalating the time-out in the bathroom for Connor. It goes against everything I believe around safety, even if just for 2 minutes.
We've agreed that he will "do" K's timeout so I can see it done properly. I feel at a disadvantage not having attended this talk myself.

And, if I'm being 100% honest here, I honestly think "my way" of dealing with things (which is really just my personality) worked for me with the kids. Or maybe they were just younger then.

If the child doesn't listen after the standard time-out, you put the child in a room further away, and then if they don't listen again, you close the door of that room.

I asked him what exactly the lady said about escalating things. Turns out our house doesn't support the escalation as we don't have any rooms that have doors which close and are "boring" (have virtually nothing in them). That room for me is our entrance-way but our whole sun-room/ entranceway/ dining-room/ kitchen is all open-plan.

We're now going to put up the camp cot somewhere .... (where?) for the escalation.

Meanwhile, I have started reading 123 magic (just a few chapters in) and am loving it so far. If those Amazon reviews are correct, we will have transformed kids soon.

So we dropped the kids off at children's church and enjoyed (I was still too tense to take it all in) the service.

Afterwards, they were their usual adorable selves, especially because both sets of people missed the others, and we had a lovely afternoon until supper time.

Connor again stood on his chair and received a smack on the bum from D. He FREAKS out and is LOUD but afterwards is good as gold.

The whole time afterwards, if I say, "no, Connor," he says, "nack" (smack) so he associates that with having not listened before.


I must say, I find the repeating myself over and over and over the 2nd most exhausting thing about parenting.

Of course, the most exhausting thing is SLEEP DEPRIVATION. That one wins hands down!

How's the discipline thing going at your house on a scale of 1 - 10? Which method do you use?

Roz, if you're reading, how is it going at your house?


  1. Try to be Zen-like about it and only think about the current minute. Don't think about the times they did it a million times before or will after. It's tough, but it's what helps me keep from blowing my top. That said, keep learning what motivates your children to behave, whether it's time outs, spanking, or something else. As you figure that out, two things will happen. I think children's behavior goes is waves. I've seen it with Phoebe as well as the boys. Days, months will go by and they are awful! You're ready to pull your hair out. Then you'll get a few weeks or maybe months (!) of wonderful behavior. The second piece, is I've seen that it's not the one correction, but all the corrections over time that work. I won't use the word consistency, because people can beat themselves up thinking they are not consistent enough. It's just that if you keep at it over time and try to catch the bulk of the misbehaviors that seems to work. Hang in there!

  2. Oh I feel your pain :( Before 1,2,3 magic my house was LOUD! Everyone was yelling and screaming just trying to be heard over everyone else. In order to discipline my child (expecailly when they were fighting) I would have to yell even louder than them and it just was crazy! They didn't listen to me. They were not nice to each other. OUr house was stressful and chaotic. I went to bed every night feeling like a failure as a mom.

    My middle child has ADHD and we started behavioral therapy about 2 months ago. The first session the therapist handed me 1,2,3 magic and told me it was wonderful for all children including ADHD (because diciiplining my ADHD son was a whole new challenge because NOTHING sticks with him.)

    THe first couple days were wonderful. The next 2 weeks? Pure hell! They tested and tested and tested some more. I felt like I was constaintly putting someone in timeout, but I stuck with it and now... I think we might do one time out a day and that is for all three children! If my boys are fighting all I have to do is say "that's one" and instantly, they either figure it out or separate on their own. If we are out in public, all I have to do is make eye contact and hold up a finger and the behavior usually stops (if it doesn't, I walk the child out to the car for a timeout while my husband stays with the other children.)

    My house is seriously so much calmer. I am enjoying my children so much more. I feel like I am being a much better mom and by the end of the day I am less stressed so instead of spending all evening alone (major introvert) recharging, I am able to spend it with my husband and we are now able to reconnect.

  3. I'm glad you like the book...I felt like a cult member recommending it, but it does point out some of the things that we, as parents, could work on.

    I hope it calms down...stay consistent...go with your gut.

    BTW, the "not talking" thing goes a long way. The Crazies know I'm really serious when I stop talking and remain completely silent...kind of like D on the ride home!

  4. I feel with you - repeating yourself over and over again is so exhausting. With my youngest, I use smacking on the bum and with my oldest I deduct computer and TV time.
    Time outs does not work for my children. They either play with their hands, talk to themselves (find a way to entertain them in time outs).

  5. Oh goodness, I have to say if you expect 1-2 year olds to obey your every command, then you are going to have some INSANELY frustrating years.

    The entire purpose of 1 2 3 Magic is to give children 3 opportunities to learn their boundaries. Ages 1 and 2 are marked by boundary pushing, because they need to understand what their limits are. They WILL test, that is in their nature and that is how they learn what is acceptable and unacceptable.

    I would say ages 1 and 2, we would do time out after time out after time out after time out ALL DAY and eventually they understood their boundaries. I truly believe all the discipline you lay down in the 1s and 2s comes back to you as rewards in the 3s but you really do need realistic expectations of the age to understand them. Children that age are not naughty. They are inquisitive and want to learn about their world in the way they know how. By giving them 3 opportunities to make mistakes, you are giving them a chance to learn by mistake and improve.

    Hopefully 1 2 3 Magic will help!

  6. We use time-out and it works really well. Our time-out is on a step in the bathroom and amazingly they both sit on the step without moving. My only advice is to keep persisting, we went through a bad patch with Ava - pinching,throwing,tantrums,etc. and she's a different child. I can't actually even remember when last she had to even go to time-out but it's about 2 weeks ago whereas a few months back it was at least once or even twice a day. For me things improve a lot as they start to communicate better and better. She now speaks properly in sentences all the time. We also use reward charts (works better for Zoe as she's older but Ava does seem to grasp the concept). I try my very best to praise any good behaviour enthusiastically - I think if they just hear negative all day they start to tune it out and not listen at all. This also works very well with 2 children (fortunately they're not often both naughty)so should be even easier with twins. If one child is being naughty then I try and praise the other one's good behaviour and she gets to choose what game we play or what we do or gets to sit on my lap. I don't make a point of saying the other one is naughty I just try and emphasise the good. It's what we learnt in dog training - praise the good, ignore the bad. The thing with dogs (and children) is that they crave attention and so even if it means they get "bad" attention, like you shouting they still prefer that to no attention. What often happens is if they're being good, we take no notice of them and get on with our own stuff and then as soon as they do something naughty, they get our attention (although negative it's still our attention). Maybe it's worse with mom's that work I don't know as obviously they don't get as much 'time' with mom as children with mom's that are at home or work part-time.
    Time-out works well for me as well as I tend to over react (being a perfectionist). Time out gives me a few minutes to regain my composure and because I stay calm, everyone else does as well. Doesn't work all the time but it works most of the time. Can only say it again - Praise the good, praise the good, it really works wonders.

  7. I really find that kids are so different - the Princess - a harsh word and a go to your room, and she is sorted. And that was from a rather early age, about 3. C works great with time-out - in a corner of the room where we can see him.

    With L - well, nothing really works. Time-outs sometimes, smacking has NO effect.I am still searching for an answer and yes, if it works for ADHD kids (your 123 magic book) then maybe for him.

  8. I guess I don't expect kids this age to really get it, I totally know I'm going to be doing and saying the same stuff over and over. Their attention span is soooo short.

  9. I know you are outnumbered with 2 and I only have 1, so I really can't relate. But! I agree that this is so typical for toddlers. They have to push boundaries in order to learn them. I personally am not convinced that time outs work on this age. Our Pediatrician recommends redirection from the behavior. For instance, when Emily is splashing in the dogs water bowl I firmly say no and lead her ( sometimes kicking and screaming) to another activity. Also, to reinforce good behavior. Such as if Emily goes towards the bowl and decides not to play in it, really praise that effort.
    I know everyone has things that work for them and I am by no means pushing my stuff on you. I'm just not sure a not quite 2 year old has the brain capacity to understand why they are being locked in a room alone.

  10. I really need to read this book! Overall I would rate our current situation at a strong 7. I definitely see a different side of the girls when their father is home which makes me livid. I'm further infuriated that he doesn't see how they act out when he is home and I'm the bad guy for disciplining. I fully expect to be the disciplinarian but I also fully expect for him to fully, and to the T, follow my lead. Sometimes it is my way or the highway, especially if your way sucks!

    The thought of him being home this summer is really making me nervous.

  11. this age there does need to be quite a bit of repetition. I think that Toddlers have short (or maybe selective) memories when it comes to discipline. Also, they are constantly pushing boundaries to see how far they can go. All age appropriate and normal behaviour.

    I do think it is a matter of determining the child’s currency and taking it from there. Once we had our Toddler we mistakenly assumed that whatever worked for our Tween would work for him. Very naïve of us because each child is different and WILL respond differently to things. We do discipline based on personality and who our child is.

    We tried time-out with Joel. Doesn’t work. Maybe our house is also not time-out friendly. We tried smacking. Doesn’t work unless my DH does it. This child is extremely manipulative. He somehow knows that I am not into the whole smacking thing so he really pushes my buttons. My DH either gives him a smack on the bum or he gives him “the look”. As soon as he gets “the look” he leaves the room and puts himself to bed. I have found that it works really well to put him to bed when he doesn’t listen. He HATES that. Basically I speak once. I then speak another time and I make it very clear what will happen if he repeats bad behaviour. If he chooses to do this then I then pick him up, put on pyjamas and tuck him in without making any eye contact. He is EXTREMELY heartbroken when this happens, especially if it is at 9am on a Saturday morning. I then make it clear that he is welcome to join us when he is ready to behave and then I close the door behind me. I don’t put a time limit on this because he is stubborn enough to lie down and (maybe) cry softly for quite some time before rejoining us – almost like he thinks that he is making us suffer. He will basically just lie there and maybe fall asleep. Or after some time he will come out and want to hug and kiss us. My DH and I are aware that he responds differently to each of us so we are trying to get on the same page wrt how we discipline him. Seems like the putting him to bed thing is going to stick. We are still trying to figure out what to do if he misbehaves in public.

  12. It would be utterly hypocritical of me to chime in with any advice, so I'm just going to say: I feel ya!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails