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January 19, 2012

Time-Out Emotions

I first tried instituting time-outs as part of our disciplinary approach when the girls were just shy of two years old. They really didn’t react to it, but I hoped that consistency on my part would help them get the message.

It wasn’t long before time-out seemed to become a novelty. “I want to go to time out!” they’d ask. And those requests were all the more prevalent if Sissy had recently served a two-minute sentence.

I took a break from the time-out methodology for a while. It clearly wasn’t making much of an impression.

In need of a disciplinary system, I decided to revisit the time-out approach [as part of the 1-2-3 Magic methodology] this past fall, when the girls were a couple of months shy of three.

And it’s not that I relished the screams of my sweet baby girls, but I was glad that they finally both decided time out was, indeed, NOT a good thing.

That was really integral in the 1-2-3 methodology being effective for us, and – by and large – it has been.

On the first offense, “That’s one.”

But I don’t want to go to time out!

Well behave nicely, then.

And usually, they do. There are days when their three-year old memory banks seem a bit shallow, and they sometimes make it to time-out before straightening themselves up...

...but it’s clear to them both that time-out is not to be desired.

I had to laugh (to myself, very discreetly) a couple of days ago. Baby A had earned herself a three- minute time-out, and she was not happy about it. She was crying, and then she began pleading, over and over, “I don’t belong here! I don’t belong here!

[I couldn't help but think of a prisoner, pleading his case from his jail cell, to anyone in earshot. Hmmm...perhaps I've read one too many legal thrillers in my time.]

And last night, Hubby was playing some Elton John for the girls. He told them that the title of the next cut was “Sad Songs”. Baby A volunteered, “Sometimes I get sad when I am in time-out.”

It was too cute, and sweet, and kinda pitiful…but – particularly after the time-out parties the girls seemed to want to have this time a year ago – I’m actually glad it’s making an impression on them.

9 comments:

Wiley said...

We do the 1-2-3 magic, but despite really following all the no talking and like rules and having done this for two plus years now, Trajan often waits until after three to stop whatever we are counting and then flips his stuff. Sigh, perhaps we will get more competent with the younger ones?

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Hmmmm...I should check out this 123 Magic. Ave & Bryce know 1-2-3 when mommy counts but I rarely get to "3". I was going to start time outs becuase they are turning 2 next week but I would hate for them to think it is a "fun thing".

Happy Thursday!

Johanna said...

I started time outs when they were two also. It usually upset the twin who wasn't in time out more than the one in trouble. Now, like yours, they avoid it at all costs and cry when in time out. I also got a perverse pleasure the first few times it seemed to 'work'. :)

OurLifeUnrehearsed said...

This is soo funny because not only does Kai hate timeout (which I snicker about also) but now she says everything makes her sad when it's not anything pleasing to her. She goes on to say you see this sad face and points and even practices her emotion faces in mirrors. lol.
Hope all is well :)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Catching up....

Connor waits for 3 also these days and then shouts "Connor being good, not naughty". I'm trying to be consistent and still put him in time-out if he's late but it's exhausting!

Love the sad songs - I agree to introduce Elton to them young :)

beautiful cinnamon pull=apart recipe BUT we don't have biscuit mix here. I have a recipe pinned from Joy the Baker thought -= maybe i should actually try it!

happinessafterheartache said...

OK, at least it's just not my two-year-olds that think time-out is a novelty! It's good to know that if I'm consistant hopefully it will be considered a bad thing in another 6 months or so. That's encouraging!

happinessafterheartache said...

OK, at least it's just not my two-year-olds that think time-out is a novelty! It's good to know that if I'm consistant hopefully it will be considered a bad thing in another 6 months or so. That's encouraging!

Barbara Manatee said...

Ok, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be singing "Sad Song" in my head the rest of the night! Glad they are 'getting' the idea of what Time Out is these days - a tough lesson to teach!

strongblonde said...

our kids have been putting lots of toys in time out lately :) today m put her little stuffed sheep ("bo peep") and put her in time out. i asked why and she said, "bo peep bit me!" hahahahah!