Time out

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Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997
Time out

I gave DS his first time out today because he was disobeying me repeatedly by messing around with our cat's food and water fountain despite me telling him no sternly, removing him and trying to distract him with other stuff. He did this yesterday too and I was worried this was starting to become a game for him and he wouldn't know that when I say no or stop that I really meant it. Since we are not spanking (kind of new territory for me since I grew up with parents and grandparents who spanked) I decided to use time out as last resort.

I put him in his crib for one minute because I thought that is what I recalled to do from Happiest Toddler on the Block. He cried during the time out but seems to be steering clear of the food and water for most part now. I did have to give him a stern no when he wandered over there once more but he backtracked immediately so I'm hoping he made the connection.

Are you doing time outs yet? What is your method? Also if anyone happens to own Happiest Toddler on the Block, do you know specifically what he recommended for this age group regarding time outs? I checked it out from library couple of months ago but I should just buy it because I liked his methods for dealing with tantrums, etc.

Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703

I don't use timeouts. "Disobedience" at this age is merely expanding their boundaries, trying new things, and checking for reactions. I definitely use NO to stop an action immediately, but then quickly move on to distractions and teach them what they can and should do. Distractions work sometimes, but it's also important for me to be clear about what they CAN do. I'm amazed every day by how quickly they learn and want to help. So, for instance, maybe your son can't play with the cat food, but he CAN help you pour the food when it's time and he CAN help you dump out the water bowl and get new water. I also learned that I can put a baby gate between the dog bowl and the kids and avoid the whole issue most of the time. It takes a lot more time and patience to teach what I do want and expect from them rather than use punishments, but ultimately I'm not trying to teach blind obedience.

Sorry, these were the more effective articles I meant to link to! http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/use-positive-discipline
http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/Consequences_Punishment

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"triplespiral" wrote:

I don't use timeouts. "Disobedience" at this age is merely expanding their boundaries, trying new things, and checking for reactions. I definitely use NO to stop an action immediately, but then quickly move on to distractions and teach them what they can and should do. Distractions work sometimes, but it's also important for me to be clear about what they CAN do. I'm amazed every day by how quickly they learn and want to help. So, for instance, maybe your son can't play with the cat food, but he CAN help you pour the food when it's time and he CAN help you dump out the water bowl and get new water. I also learned that I can put a baby gate between the dog bowl and the kids and avoid the whole issue most of the time. It takes a lot more time and patience to teach what I do want and expect from them rather than use punishments, but ultimately I'm not trying to teach blind obedience.

Sorry, these were the more effective articles I meant to link to! Dr. Laura Markham > How to Use Positive Parenting
Dr. Laura Markham > What's Wrong with Consequences to teach kids lessons?

Thanks for the input. I'll read the articles when I have more time later tonight. I guess my biggest frustration is that I had tried the gentle talking and explaining, removal from area, attempts at distraction and stern "no" for several days now (well probably longer since this has been an issue since he could crawl but feel it had increased lately) so wasn't really sure where to go from there. His reactions to the above have been laughing at times, pushing me off, returning back to the area immediately and tantrums. I don't really know where I could put the food and water in our house so it could be out of reach from DS but still allow our cat access. I had DS help me before with filling the cat dish but he just tried to eat the food instead. I'm glad I get high quality cat food Blum 3 I wouldn't mind him over there if he didn't keep trying to eat the food and spill water in the area. He seems to manage to get water beyond the water proof mat and a couple of times has fallen into the water and soaked his clothes and the floor. I haven't even brought up the litter box another attraction! But at least that is in the laundry room where he only seems to go and stay if I'm in there. I wish the food and water could fit in that room too then maybe it would be less of an issue.

Joined: 04/10/11
Posts: 1703

That definitely sounds super frustrating. And I'm not in a good place today to make suggestions sound the way I want them to sound so I'm truly sorry if I sound like a jerk, but it sounds frustrating so I hope you won't mind if I throw out ideas! I feel like that's what I always need to do with my new mom-friends that get it since our kids are newly on the move. How about ... Putting the food up high? Only feeding the cat at particular times when you can watch the babe? Using a gate with wide openings that the cat can get through? Putting the food at the back of a crate or upside down box with a small cutout door? And for the kiddo, since he loves playing with the food, what about redirecting to some beans in a dish to play with (a "you can't touch those because they belong to Kitty, but let's play with this" type of thing)? Making the little box inside a crate-type-thing and putting the food directly on top of it since there isn't additional floor space?

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

I really do appreciate all your suggestions. I'm used to adapting stuff for my patients and when I had a disabled cat, you would think I could come up with a good solution for this situation, but the frustration probably zapped my creativity. I read the articles and even bookmarked her main webpage for future reference. Well, tomorrow is a new day, hope it goes better for us all. Thanks.

mlle_carrie's picture
Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1134

We use methods similar to what Sheila does. But we have been pretty lucky in that Evelyn tends to listen pretty well. We have noticed her pushing boundaries a lot more lately. If she doesn't stop doing what we ask, we typically just remove her from the area and then she knows we mean business. But, like Sheila said, I also let her know what she CAN do, like scooping food into the cat bowl, or playing with pots and pans in the kitchen instead of playing in the cats' water.

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

Ugh we are in the same boat. DS does not listen AT ALL. He thinks it's funny when I say no, even when I follow it up with actions (i.e., remove him from the area, take something away he's not supposed to have). He will throw mini-tantrums too, screeching and throwing himself on the floor! This kid is strong-willed already... I am scared to see what happens in a year or two.

My strategy is to say no, and if he doesn't listen remove him or whatever he has that he's not supposed to have. Example: he will try to climb into the dishwasher when I'm loading it. I say no, then have to remove him from it because of course he just smirks at me. This process might repeat itself 5-10 times at which point I'm usually done loading the dishwasher or have given up and have closed it.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"science_gal" wrote:

Ugh we are in the same boat. DS does not listen AT ALL. He thinks it's funny when I say no, even when I follow it up with actions (i.e., remove him from the area, take something away he's not supposed to have). He will throw mini-tantrums too, screeching and throwing himself on the floor! This kid is strong-willed already... I am scared to see what happens in a year or two.

My strategy is to say no, and if he doesn't listen remove him or whatever he has that he's not supposed to have. Example: he will try to climb into the dishwasher when I'm loading it. I say no, then have to remove him from it because of course he just smirks at me. This process might repeat itself 5-10 times at which point I'm usually done loading the dishwasher or have given up and have closed it.

Okay, so it's not just me. And strong-willed is a good description of my son too. Which is good in a lot of ways from reading articles because it seems they are less likely to succumb to peer pressure and more likely to take on leadership roles when they are older. But man does it drive me crazy sometimes Blum 3 Today the cat food and water were left alone, but he was intent on flinging everywhere these little washcloths that we keep in the kitchen for clean up. I tried giving him some substitute cloths of similar size to play with but he kept going after the washcloths. I guess they will be finding a new location. I almost had to laugh though because at one point he seemed content with his toys, I left the room for a moment and when I came back he was running down the hall with a stack of the washcloths in his arms. As soon as he saw me he stopped in his tracks and threw the cloths down like he didn't want to get caught in action. Have no idea where he thought he was going to put them all, silly kid.