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5 Reasons Why Time-outs Can Be Harmful To Your Children | Root Parenting - Early child development research and insights
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5 Reasons Why Time-outs Can Be Harmful To Your Children

6 April 2009 41,760 views 26 Comments

Child Time Out

If you use time-outs as a punishment technique for your child’s bad behavior, then you are not alone. It is a highly popularized “convenience parenting” technique, and appears to work well in the short term. If you watch any American TV, then you’ll see this concept promoted by “SuperNanny” or “Jon and Kate Plus 8″. The reality is that using time-outs can be harmful not only to you and your child’s relationship, but also to their personal development, self-esteem, and their ability to generally think for themselves. It separates the behaviour from the moment, treats only the symptoms and not the root cause, and puts your relationship in the back seat. Leading child development psychologists agree that the last thing you want to do is separate yourself and your child during times of conflict.

1. Relationship Is Being Ignored

When you separate yourself and your child, you are instantly demonstrating to them that your relationship is not important. When your child is misbehaving is when they need you the most, and your relationship with them is vital. You need to listen and empathize and bring them close to tell them that you still love them, but want to understand what they are feeling. Children will open up very quickly and explain the root cause of their actions when they feel loved, and secure with their parents.

By listening and asking them about what their intention was when they hit their sister, they will then be able to explain that they really were upset because no-one was paying attention to them, and it had really nothing to do with their sister at all. Having a solid relationship with your kids and bringing them closer (not separating them to another room) allows you to get to the root cause of behaviours, and work on solutions vs discipline.

2. Time-outs Appear To Work

The reason that timeouts are so popular with parents is that they actually do appear to work in the short run. When a child is told to go to a time-out, and sent away to their bedroom or a quiet area, they do in fact often temporarily stop the behaviour that you were discouraging. The problem is that, most children, younger ones especially, live in the moment, are impulsive and will often forget what the purpose of a time-out was soon after they start one. You are disconnecting them from the behaviour you are looking to discourage.

For children under age 4 to 5 years old, did you know that they don’t understand consequence at all? Their brains simply aren’t yet developed enough to understand cause and effect – so any kind of discipline similar to time-outs is being completely lost of them! Their left and right brains up to the age of 4 to 5 years old are essentially operating independantly. They are unable to think logically, and with compassion or empathy. They are almost primarily governed by impulse and emotions and will act selfishly when playing with others. Concepts such as sharing are foreign to them, though they may mimick or parrot this kind of behaviour back to you if driven home repeatedly.

3. Easy For Parents

Time-outs are a part of a “convenience parenting” movement which puts priority on the ease and speed of discipline, rather than it’s effectiveness at getting to the root cause of the behaviour. Often parents are the ones who need a time-out to settle down and compose themselves when they are with their children, but with busy work schedules, many athletic activities etc.. they feel their is no time to deal with their kids. Attachment parenting advocates will tell you that times of misbehaviour can be opportunities for connecting and really listening to your kids. It’s rare that a behaviour such as yelling, hitting or throwing food is what it appears to be on the surface. By sitting down, empathizing, and listening to your child, they will soon tell you what is really the matter. This does take time, however, and can not be rushed.

4. Treats Only the Symptoms

Time-outs are really only band-aid solutions for more deep seated issues. If you are trying to punish aggressive behaviour or hitting with a time-out, you are really not getting a chance to understand the root cause of this symptomatic behaviour. By connecting with your child, sitting down and hearing them out, you will get to understand the real intention behind their actions. Empathy and compassion is key. Child Development Psychologists such as Gordon Neufeld and others agree that you must “connect, then direct” so that they will ultimately respect you and listen to you.

Extreme punishment, such as spanking or grounding for six months, teaches kids you should treat yourself harshly when you do something wrong.  This offers little instruction on what to do when similar difficulties again arise. Kids then grow up to be harshly self-critical, which saps energy and motivation levels, and can undermine their quality of life. Alternatively, compassionate discipline starts by understanding the child’s point of view and then helping the child change harmful behaviors. The goal is to build habits and social skills that will serve the child well in the long run. For example, if a child hurts his friend’s feelings, he should feel bad about it, reflect upon the pain he has caused and think about ways to avoid such behavior in the future.

5. Child Is Not Empowered

When you tell a child what to do using discipline, you are ultimately calling into question their self-esteem. By telling a child what to do, you are discouraging them from thinking for themselves and developing decision making characteristics and self-worth. By “punishing” them with 5 minutes of silence and isolation, they are now going to continue to look to you, the parent, for direction anytime a tough situation arises, rather than think for themselves. They are disempowered from making their own decisions, and are disconnected from the behaviour that you are trying to discourage. Sure, you will need to let them simmer down from a tantrum or tears before discussing the issues they are having. For older children, they will harbour a resentment towards controlling, aggressive or angry parents that don’t let them think for themselves. Excessive use of discipline and separation technique such as time-outs will often result in teenagers who become disconnected, withdrawn to the point where they will eventually “rebel” away from any kind of connection with their parents. The key is to keep the dialogue going, and always work on your relationship.

What Experts Say

Dr. Gabor Mate M.D. on why he is against time-outs.

Bottom Line

Time-outs are a band-aid solution to what is perceived as a behavioural issue. To equip your child with a mature emotional disposition, let go of your anger and hear-them-out.  I highly recommend this article written by Aletha Solter, PhD, who is a developmental psychologist, international speaker, and consultant.  See her article here: awareparenting.com.

Written By: Chris Charlwood




26 Comments »

  • admin said:

    We’d love to hear any comments you have on this article. We realize that parenting is highly personal, and opinions on using some techniques can be divisive, but welcome constructive insights or input for our readers.

  • Kids Under 4 Don't Know Consequences Or Sharing | Root Parenting - getting to the source of parent and child development issues said:

    [...] right brain, which happens sometime between age 3 and 4) skills can grasp. The practise of using time-outs is something that applies consequences, and should not be used with young children, if at [...]

  • Evolution and the Continuum of Parenting | Root Parenting - getting to the source of parent and child development issues said:

    [...] true that this form of negative reinforcement has temporarily been replaced by the ‘time-out‘, but this can be seen as just a step on our evolutionary path away from anger and [...]

  • Breastfeeding and Sleep Don’t Always Go Hand-in-Hand | Root Parenting - getting to the source of parent and child development issues said:

    [...] odd thought that a lot of deep crying for four days was supposed to teach her how to sleep.  Like time-outs, it was too hard on our nervous systems and intuitively we weren’t comfortable ignoring the [...]

  • corinne said:

    we use timeouts sometimes, but the way I do it does empower our child. When she has tantrums and she is beyond all logic, removing an audience (me) allows her to calm down. So when she reaches that point (and all else fails) I do bring her into her room for some ‘quiet time’ and I tell her to come out whenever she is ready to discuss or calm down a bit.

    I then walk away, removing her ‘audience’ and she remains in her room, but the choice is hers, which I feel is empowering. She calms herself down in time, and may stay to pay quietly for awhile, but when she does emerge it is on her own volition and she is calmer.

    When I see her come out, I am very happy to see her and we can resume our discussion or just exploring what had happened that caused the problem.

    This works for us. I don’t think it negates the importance of our relationship, and I see that she feels empowered by making the choice herself to calm down, in her own time.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • How Timeouts Sometimes Work for Us » There She Grows said:

    [...] Lately I’ve heard some talk from the attachment-parenting set (something I’ve considered myself a part of in many ways, go figure) that time-outs are in fact a detrimental no-no. An article on rootparenting.com was recently brought to my attention. It lists 5 reasons why time-outs are harmful to kids. [...]

  • Tina Dietz said:

    The problem with “time outs” is that most parents don’t know how or when to apply them. While I do not agree that they are “convenience parenting” they do tend to be overused and done more as a “go to your room!” ultimatum rather than an opportunity to stop or interrupt an action where behavior has gotten out of hand.

    A time out is to be used as an alternative to a parent screaming and yelling, not in addition to it. The length of a time out is relative to a child’s age, and developmentally it’s pointless to do a time out before the age of 3. 2 minutes is plenty for a 3 year old, and going longer than 3-4 minutes for any child is unnecessary. You don’t “banish” the child, you simply have them sit nearby–you can even sit with them quietly and model the behavior.

    After they’ve calmed down, then you can talk about feelings, teach them alternative behaviors (even role playing them–kids love this), or even breathing exercises.

    Excessive use of time outs is usually an indicator that there needs to be more structure overall in your child’s routine, or they could even be picking up on YOU being stressed out. That’s another story. But as they say, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • Cynthia said:

    A baby learns early when they cry they get something. Very simple cause and effect. Brain building toys for ages 3 and under often use cause and effect – pushing a button > dog pops up.

    It seems to me that children are taught way to much self esteem to the point where no one else matters. There has to be some balance and putting your children first ALL the time only teaches them that THEY matter most.

    When you do a time out properly you would naturally sit down afterwards when they are calm and talk with them to find out the problem and about how thier actions can affect others. Time outs are more about taking control of a situation and establishing boundries then they are about the actual behavour.

    If you dont TEACH your kids about consiquences before ages 4-5 they are going into school thinking there arent any. That is scary.

    To me, this article is an insane step backwards in the fight to learning how to regain control over your own kids these days, as it is this kind of thinking that has raised our current ‘generation me’.

    In my humble opinion.

  • Yvonne said:

    Cynthia, young children, particularly under four are naturally egocentric, parents don’t make them that way. It’s part Jean Piaget’s Stages of development, preoperational thought, chilren are only capable of looking at things from their own point of view. This is called egocentrism. Yes babies as young as 3 months old can have a very very vague sense of cause and effect. Though before six months of age, once something is out of sight it may as well not exist. It is important to understand the brain development that this article very vaguely describes to understand what they meant when they said “no concept of cause and effect”. The statement in itself is not entirely accurate. Between the ages of 2-6 the prefrontal cortext, which controls forethought (The ability to think about something before doing it) and emotional regulation, is beginning to develop. The ability to think before acting is directly effected by the development of the prefrontal cortex. Children under six are capable of thinking before they do things, but only so much. They typically become more and more capable of controlling their behavior between these ages. By six or seven (The time when you start teaching children academic learning and this is why) is when children’s brain’s have developed sufficiently for concrete thought, and more advanced forethought. I personally do not use time-out but like the article here said, they really are almost entirely pointless before three or four years old because of brain development. They’re not teaching anything to the child. You know what my memory of time out is? Starting at a microwave waiting for the numbers to count down. I remember time outs very well. I NEVER spent that time “Thinking about what I did” Nor do I remember even one reason why I was put on time out, just the time out itself. I remember my brother (and I both) being asked after time out why we were in it and not being able to remember to tell her, and her leaving us there until we could remember. Which never happened. She’d eventually have to remind us.

  • Margo said:

    Time-outs are the PERFECT way to show a child they are misbehaving. Young children do not listen to “reason” or “logic.” A five or six minute separation from their siblings, friends, or parents will impress upon them that they have done something wrong…and the parent can explain what the bad behavior was. I disagree that it is harmful. But, it goes without saying, that it must be done correctly. Only short periods of time, and an explanation of the misdeed. Also a reward for the GOOD behavior that follows always helps. What is the alternative? Slapping them? Screaming at them? Parents MUST have a safe way to discipline their children who will not listen or respond when they are spoken to.

  • Chris said:

    Margo,
    I agree that young children will not listen to reason or logic, they simply are not developed yet for complex thought. That said, the real issue or damaging part of the time-out is the loss of connection with the parent. Young children especially under age 5 need one thing to feel secure, and that is love from their parents. They will interpret you pushing them away as them not being loved, and will not even go so far as thinking about their actions. That is why you need to sit through the behaviour with them. It is hard, especially if you are the one who is upset, but you should have your own time-out and just sit and listen with your child to let them release their emotional tension.

    And in terms of rewarding good behaviour, most leading child development experts agree that rewards (like timeouts) are short term solutions. A true reward is having the child feel good about themselves for an action. Showing interest in what they have done well, asking questions and asking them how they feel about themselves are good approaches. Disciplining young children simply is not age appropriate. When they are older – 6 or 7 years, then children will begin to understand cause and effect.

    Don’t think that attachment parenting is a hands off, no involvement approach. Quite the opposite actually, it’s a very hands on, compassionate and connected approach to reinforce your love for your kids, while still showing them your expectations. Children are immitators, and so they may in turn start to push you away in times of distress if you are demonstrating that to them.

  • jenn said:

    I for one think timeouts are fine when used in a conducive manner. I do not know about the rest of your parents but timeouts work wonders for me when I am upset and can’t seem to catch a breath. This is why I love yoga and meditation for myself and that is a way to look at it for children as well.
    Sometimes children are so upset (like the parent) and caught up in the moment and have lost all ability to calm down and have a mini therapy session about why they hit or why they are upset and so in comes a time-out. It does not have to be a negative thing. It can be a bonding experience if you do it together.
    The “convenience parenting” JAB makes me question the person who wrote this article and their experience, observations, and studies with children. When you use negative condescending words like that it seems you are more about getting on a soapbox and schooling us than really guiding and supporting. i wish I wouldn’t have clicked on this article. Just another article for me to question myself as a parent. I thought I was getting some positive information that supports parents but instead more tear down garbage. I guess that is what happens when you have technology like the internet … everyone is an expert.

    All children are different and from that comes different experiences. I can say that my child and I really benefit from using a time-out. It gives us a chance to calm down and take some deep breaths together. I think this will be a great tool to have while growing as a child and a person. Long live the bodies natural way of working through things… taking a moment and breathing.

  • Raqual said:

    I find time-outs to be a very effective form of discipline with my 2 year old. But I have modified it to what feels right for us. As I don’t believe that a 2 year old is capable of reasoning like an older child and being made to sit alone I do it differently. Firstly if he,s misbehaving I give him 3 warningsm on 3rd warning I take him to the naughty step. But I sit him down and get to eye level and explain that what he did was naughty by name (note: emphasise that he is not naughty but what he did was naughty). Then I sit with him there until he (and myself) has calmed down. It doesn’t take too long. When I feel that things are calm again I get down to his level that what he did made me sad and I ask for a kiss better. Then I make a point to be happy and loving with him straight away. There’s no witholding relationship and extended punishment. And I expect that as he gets older this will open an opportunity for contemplation and sharing feelings behind the behavior. So I feel that my time-outs work very well. Or we could call them time-ins.

  • Mr Rambo said:

    @Cynthia:

    “It seems to me that children are taught way to much self esteem to the point where no one else matters. There has to be some balance and putting your children first ALL the time only teaches them that THEY matter most.

    To me, this article is an insane step backwards in the fight to learning how to regain control over your own kids these days, as it is this kind of thinking that has raised our current ‘generation me’.”

    I’m afraid I have to completely disagree with you here. For a start, there is no such thing as “too much self esteem” – self esteem is not the same thing as selfishness. Self esteem is about self respect, self belief, and self worth… not putting oneself first, in any situation. Spoiling children and rewarding bad behaviour may lead to them thinking that they “matter most”, but validating their feelings and reminding them that, whilst they shouldn’t be self-centred, they do matter.

    As for the second point, my observations here are completely the opposite. Parents who raise their children using convenience techniques such as time outs, and earlier, “cry it out” / “controlled crying” techniques in order to gain “control over their kids” are far more likely to raise children who will go on to do the same… usually with the reason being that they need their “me time”. A term that I personally can’t stand, and I think epitomises “generation me”.

    Mutual respect between parent and child is far more important, and far more worthwhile, than “control” from the parents. The article itself is correct: control never lasts, what seems like a “well controlled” child will, a large proportion of the time, become an angry and disrespectful teenager and beyond that, an adult who doesn’t care much for his or her parents.

  • Darla Hutson said:

    “Their left and right brains up to the age of 4 to 5 years old are essentially operating independantly. They are unable to think logically, and with compassion or empathy.” – I have done childcare for 25 yrs. and have six children of my own. I’ll have to disagree that children under age 4 cannot think logically or with compassion/empathy. I’d like to SEND IN A VIDEO:) They can and DO on a daily basis. Time outs, while not the END ALL of the discipline family, DO have a purpose. When a child becomes over stimulated and loses control, bites, hits, etc…a moment away from other children, stimuli, etc. will cause a BREAK in the pattern. A period of CALM where they can let go of stressors and regain some self-control. Discussion/teaching must follow, but with loving guidance…time out periods will NOT deflate a child’s self-esteem/self-worth/relationship with the parents/adults in their lives. Children that are lovingly disciplined, given age-appropriate boundaries, and age-appropriate challenges will naturally develop a healthy self-esteem. It is when we parent FOR self-esteem that we often lose our children. Self-esteem should be the by-product of healthy relationships and not the ‘goal.’ My 2 cents worth:)

  • Teach Self-Compassion over Self-Esteem | Root Parenting - Talking about How to Be our Best Parent said:

    [...] creates long lasting resentment and can cause them to pull away from you into adolescence (e.g. using timeouts, a mass media and often harmful technique that has numerous negative and long-lasting [...]

  • Becky said:

    @Mr Rambo,

    You said “The article itself is correct: control never lasts, what seems like a “well controlled” child will, a large proportion of the time, become an angry and disrespectful teenager and beyond that, an adult who doesn’t care much for his or her parents.”

    While I do agree with the first part of your statement, a large percentage of adults were spanked as children, before time-outs became the norm. And a majority of the people I know still care very much for their parents.

    What I don’t understand about this article is that if a two year old cannot guage cause and effect and they cannot truely have a conversation about what caused the behavior…what the heck are you supposed to do? I’d think removing them from the environment is the best step. And I don’t think time-outs necessarily have to be looked at as a bad thing.

  • SuzanneL said:

    I have never understood how to implement timeouts. I have never seen a child in the midst of a temper tantrum or severe bad behavior stay where you put them. If they are not complying with “don’t do that”, how will they possibly comply with “stay there”? Spanking them to make them stay there seems stupid when I could have just spanked them to make them stop the bad behavior.

    So I found simple diversion worked so much better. “No, you can’t take the baby’s toy. Help me make some brownies, instead.”

    And news for everybody — removing Red food dye #40 from their diets makes for so much better behaved kids!!! They’re still kids, but they’re not monsters anymore.

  • danita said:

    I completely disagree with this opinionted article. GOD made all children different. Some of these suggestions sound very long winded. If children dont understand consquences than how will they explained all behavior??? They just are children. They also have short attention spans so lots of words to explain 1 small action is a waste of time with my children. I agree to disagree

  • Stacy said:

    I have to disagree with this article! While it is essential to create a repationship with your children, I don’t see time-outs as some horrible awful thing. And us should know: I was a child raised on time-outs. My mom used to make us stand facing the corner of whatever she was in. If she had to change rooms, she would say “moving” and we’d follow her to the next room and find the nearest corner. When the timer in her watch sounded, we knew to go stand in front of us and apologize for whatever grievance we had committed. If we didn’t know what we had done wrong, we’d go back to the corner until we could remember it! She was always consistent! She never tolerated yelling at others, using bad language, or taking things from others, ever!

    As someone who live through about a gazillion time outs I can tell you that the theories in this article are fallacious! I have a wonderful relationship with my mom; I always have. My self esteem is strong and has enabled me to get far in life. And I learned from time outs! My mom was so consistent that it became a pablovian ingrained response. When I went to say a bad word or yell at someone or take things from others I knew that there would be a consequence for my actions! As q high school teacher of at-risk struggling high school students, more children could benefit from this lesson! In society, when you break the law, the cops don’t sit you down to talk it out; they send you to time out (in jail!!!). Every action has a reaction; every infraction has a consequence! Kids need to learn that as early as possible. And if parents don’t teach that lesson to their children as early as possible, the kids will have a VERY hard time in the real world!

    Relationships and self esteem are important for parents to develop in their children, but so is a sense of responsibility and civility. They live in a rule-based society. If we don’t prepare our children to navigate this rule-bound society by teachin them that their actions lead to positive or negative consequences, then we are doing a huge disservice to our children and failing as parents.

  • Homeschooling Makes Kids Less Dependent on Peers | Root Parenting - Early child development research and insights said:

    [...] from peers rather than parents or adult role-models. His book also confronts such relationship devastating devices as time-outs and using what children care about against them. Neufeld essentially offers an attachment parenting [...]

  • Kim John Payne Talk: The Soul of Discipline | Root Parenting - Early child development research and insights said:

    [...] is also much more fond of “time-ins” vs “time-outs”.  He sees many issues with time-outs (our most popular article by far on rootparenting.org).  The main issue he feels is that they are [...]

  • Helen said:

    I read this article with horror, then I was relieved that lots of other parents have a handle on things and don’t agree either! I’m not a perfect parent by the way : )

    Perhaps some kids at 4-5 don’t understand consequences, but I’ll tell you what, you tell my four year old he’s not playing on the Wii (yes I let him play on it, like a truly wicked and neglectful parent for a short time on a morning) for doing something, or if he does do something, he won’t get to play on it, he understands consequences very well! I’m sure he’s not the only one either!

    I can’t believe how many ways they say you can damage your children, it’s incredibly annoying and I believe it’s untrue. This is especially annoying as lots of those who tell you how it ought to be done, have nightmare children!

    I favor quiet time and sometimes one of my kids needs time to calm down and when they do, then they ask me to hold them, before that they can be a kicking, screaming tornado of anger. I often tell them to stay where they are, until they feel better and have calmed down. Sometimes they have been really tumultuous and have been sat on their bed (for lack of a better place) to calm down and gone to sleep in just minutes, I had no idea they were tired, they don’t normally take naps! Then they wake up, we talk about the problem and they are as happy as can be : )

    Just to clarify, time outs are not an everyday occurrence in our home. We have an almost five year old and a two and a half yer old and I’m six months pregnant. So tempers can be quite high at times for all of us! : )

    I think it’s far better to let them have a few minutes to regain some composure (for both of you) than to try to talk to them, when they don’t want to talk at all!!! This business about them calming down if you talk to them has proven to be rubbish with both of my kids. Then again, perhaps it works for other kids… They do calm down with some time to themselves though. Then they want to talk, then you can explain both sides properly.

    The articles argument suggests that it’s OK if the child whacks another child and you talk to them about it and the child says it’s because they need attention!!! What then? Do you just give them a cuddle and a kiss and say it’s fine to brutalize your sibling (or any other kid who happens to be in your way) if you need attention? It sounds like it’s being suggested that any kind of correction isn’t good… can we really wonder how so many children grow into narcissistic teens/adults? Someone said “too much self-esteem”, but I wonder if they meant that they are encouraged to be completely self-absorbed and think only of number one!

    I was born and brought up in England and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many children who had absolutely no self-control at all as here. Or lacking emotional backbone (I’m talking about teens here)I’ve never seen so many kids on medication, or needing counseling. I think lots of children are held back by well intentioned parents, who are so afraid of them not being able to express themselves, that they go overboard in coddling them/protecting them from their own choices. I’m not saying that there aren’t spoiled brats where I’m from, in case that’s how it sounded! : ) I find it very difficult that children are (from what I’ve seen/heard) protected from a plain and simple “no”. Or if they hear it, the parent has to justify it!!!

    Redirecting can be great and has it’s place, but it’s often overused and becomes a problem, as when they go to school and have to be with other people, they are going to be told no and they will have to deal with it! It’s unfair to leave them thinking that there will always be another option (redirection) or you can demand a justification for it, that has to make sense to you, or you can argue with the answer! It’s just not how things are!

    For example my stepson (from a pitiful example of a mother) cannot deal with being told no at all; he’s nine!!! If he wants to do something and I say no, he will ask if it can be done another day and I’ll say no. He’ll continue to ask repeatedly if it can be another day and when I say no, then he’ll ask why, even though I will have already told him why every time he’s repeated the question. I’ve told him (so many times) that I’m not promising to do something another day if I have no intention of doing it, or can’t promise for sure that it will happen! If he wants a toy (I’m talking about $40 of Lego typically and it’s nowhere near Christmas/birthday etc…) he really can’t understand why I say no… He can’t deal with it at all! If my own kids were still whining like that at that age, I think I’ll crack! My almost five year old gets it!

    Sorry, I’m getting off the point : S

    Giving time outs is often far from “convenient” (which to me suggests that the writer thinks such parents are looking for an easy way out) when we are on our way out, or we are out somewhere! My kids know that wherever we are, if they start on one of their fits, some quiet time is on it’s way. They stop pretty sharpish. I often do try talking, or rather getting them to talk, but if they are too wound up, it’s no good at all. I’m with my kids ALL the time, I don’t do it for convenience. I do full time parenting without a break, out of choice. I adore my children and hate leaving them with anyone else. I dread them going to school and will only do it because I know they will love it!

    I think letting your kids know that there are things you will not tolerate and sticking to it is good. They need limits! One of my favorite quotes says (something like, I can’t find the quote now : S ) “If you do not take the time to discipline your children society will.” I came across another thing whilst looking for my quote which said
    “If you’re the kind of parent who allows your 5-year-old to run rampant in public places like restaurants, I have what could be some rather disturbing news for you.

    I do not love your child.

    The rest of the country does not love your child either.

    And the reason why we’re staring at you every other bite is not because we’re acknowledging some sort of mutual understanding that kids will be kids but rather we want to kill you for letting your brat ruin our dinner.”
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-05/opinion/granderson.bratty.kids_1_airtran-flight-kid-free-tantrum?_s=PM:OPINION

    While I don’t agree that I would want to kill any of them, it’s a valid point. There are too many parents who want to be their child’s best friend. They have friends, you are the parent, do your job!

  • Megan said:

    Someone please show me a 1-3 yr old that can ‘explain’ to you that they hit his/her sister because they aren’t getting enough attention from you? What child knows this?
    I am also curious to all those that oppose time-outs, etc and state that these actions cause feelings of being ‘unloved’ in the children…..how many have at least one parent at home full-time versus one or two working parents?

    All this hype and ’study after study’ done on disciplining children, but everyone seems perfectly ok to ignore the fact that these feelings of ’separation and loneliness’ are mainly caused by parents who work instead of staying home to RAISE their children. Because, in the past 30+ years that has suddenly become ‘beneath’ us. Men and Women can criticize and have you to believe that they have their children’s best interest in mind so we ‘can’t hurt their self-esteem by punishing them’ but forget the fact that we abandoned them from infancy to go about our careers. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that ‘not everyone has the luxury to stay home’ is a logical answer, its not. It’s an excuse. What we are really saying is “We would rather live comfortably then humbly’.

    Psychologist try to tie our childrens self-esteem issues to the type of punishment when really this occurs hand in hand with the same time mothers stopped being full-time mothers. Find a connection there?

    If you were continually there for your children during their formative years, they would never feel unloved from you regardless of whether or not you used time-out. Because they would grow knowing you are always there from them and time-outs are simply a way of setting boundaries, nothing more.

  • Nicole said:

    I completely agree with this article. Someone mentioned that it will be harder for kids when they grow up in the real world if they haven’t learned that there are consequences. This article says nothing about no consequences. And if we teach our children to listen, talk about their feelings and empathize with others, they most likely will grow up to understand the difference between right and wrong and wont have to worry about “adult time out” (jail)

    And the term “convenience parenting” is not meant to insult. If you are insulted by it, step back and evaluate why. The thing is, attachment parenting is hard work. Its not easy. I believe that it takes a great amount of patience and time. It would be much easier to sit my 4 yr old in a 4 minute time out, spend a moment rehashing and forcing an apology and then sending him on his way to do exactly what he just served time for, but secretly, to avoid time out.

  • ccsicsery said:

    I just think this is another article perpetuated to try the give parents another reason how not to raise or discipline their children. We go from Dr Spock, to anti-hitting and giving kids choices and time-outs to now, no time-outs.
    I have had 2 kids, both girls and they were completely different, no one parental style worked with both kids.
    What it really boils down to, is every kid is different, you need to instill right and wrong, and discipline them according to their actions and be age appropriate, without breaking their spirit.
    But, the parents must educate themselves enough to be disciplined as well. To not treat all kids the same, listen to your child, what they say and don’t say (actions) and to have enough insight to be able to change your discipline to work the best for your child and for their age. (what worked yesterday, may not work today). to be intelligent enough to trust yourself, and not fall for the next “fad” parental discipline technique that comes down the pike, just because some PhD in child psychology wants to make a name for themselves.

    Trust yourself, your intuitions, be open to new things, listen to your kids and don’t be fixed on only one way to discipline, children change, so will the ways you’ll need to get through to them.

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