I may get a lot of criticism for this post. Please take a few minutes to hear me out on this topic before you judge.
I believe timeouts are perfectly acceptable. I do not just use them whenever they do something like get into the cabinets or hit each other. I use them much differently.
I DO NOT use them as discipline.
I use them as a timeout for myself.
What I do…
I put them on the couch with a toy, book or TV if its TV time, I put the girls next to each other and let them play.
I do this when I need just one minute to regroup.
I usually use this when they get whiny. Sometimes I use it when they get really aggressive. I also use this method when I need to get dishes done really fast or cook something in oven.
Timeouts are NOT a punishment. They are a timeout from playing and running around. They are essentially quite time. Since the twins are 20 months they have about a 5 minute attention span. So this gives me 5 minutes to do what I need to do.
Sometimes that need is to drink a cup of coffee or eat a snack when they are not looking.
How to a go about this???
I just tell them lets go take a timeout. They get their toy or ask to watch Doc or some other show. Their favorite is a stack of books. These girls love books. If you have a something like dishes that need to get done and they are going to take a while, I make timeout time the same time as snack time this way I have a whole 15 minutes to get the dishes done and eat a snack.
Do I think timeouts should be used as a punishment when a child gets older?
No. I have watched other kids who are older, I used them they same way. I once watched a little boy who at 5 had really bad ADHD and anger issues. This is where I came up with this method. It worked great for him. When the girls were about 18 months I decided to give this method a try. It was successful and they love it.
So next time you think of the word TIMEOUT think of it as a timeout for you not them. We are never to old or set in our ways to try something new.
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