Friday, May 29, 2009

Time Out

We've been doing time out around here for a couple of weeks. Some days go by with no timeouts and then there are those other days..

I feel like they are sort of working, but not sure. Here is how our Time Out's have been going lately:

Neither girl ever gets upset when I tell her it's Time Out. They just sit there until I tell them to get up. Occasionally they try to get up before, but I just tell them, "Sit, you are in timeout for _____" and they sit right back down. I don't think that is a problem, since I read somewhere Time Out shouldn't be considered a punishment, but a literal "Time Out" or "Time to Reflect" on a behavior. It is odd to me that they don't get upset though.

Second, when I put one girl in time out the other girl always puts herself in time out too. They don't talk or interact, they just both sit there in their corners (either side of our front door) and wait until Time Out is over. I can tell the girl not in Time Out that she can go play over and over, but she won't budge until sissy is through with her Time Out. (She won't leave even if she was in timeout for hitting said sissy!)

Third, sometimes I have to do Time Out 3 times in a row to get any effect. For example, today Maddie hit me, so I put her in Time Out. When it was over, I told her to say sorry to me and give me a hug and kiss, which she did. Then she looked me square in the eyes and hit again. (Remember, she wasn't upset, no tears, etc.) I did Time Out 2 more times. The last time she gave me the hug and went off to play like no big deal. My reading on this is that they are testing their boundaries and making REALLY sure that it isn't okay to hit, throw books, etc.

For me, one thing I've found is that it can be hard to have the patience to do the Time Out. Especially if it is needed when I'm in a hurry. Usually it's in my head that I'm in a hurry. I know in the long run, an extra 15 minutes of discipline right now will pay off huge in the future. Sometimes in the moment it is hard to remember that though. You know, I almost like calling it "Reflection Time" instead of Time Out. It has a much more peaceful connotation. I think I'll stick with that.

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