Just imagine you were two or three years of age and you were put out to sit on the Naughty Step by a very agitated parent , how would you feel? When I ask parents this the responses are “Sad, upset, distressed, confused, alone, angry”.
TIME OUT not working?
Is there a better way? I think its the parent who needs a little TIME OUT, so my advice is to TAKE AN ACTION FOR SELF,NOT AGAINST THE CHILD and ask yourself, what is it I need to do now?
Parents need the TIME OUT
If you can leave the room, do so and take a moment to CALM yourself, take a few really deep BREATHS, Count to 10, to mentally hit your PAUSE button so you can deal more proactively, and not reactively to your child.
Be real with your child
Be real with your child and tell them that you love them and you don’t want to raise your voice or ‘lose it’, say “I feel sad when you and I need..”. This is positive Role Modelling and your child will copy your GETTING IN CHARGE OF YOUR BEHAVIOUR over time.
Help your child to calm down
The child who needs to calm down can be directed to the couch (in the same room) but away from the child they are in disagreement with. The parent needs to say calm “You may not hit your brother, when you can play without hitting, you can play again”.As soon as the child is calmer, let the play recommence. Show children how they can make amends , a simple “Sorry” or to rub the arm that was hit or to draw a picture to make amends. Don’t harp on ! At bedtime, refer to the earlier incident and say “We don’t hit in this family”.
Child need TIME In, not TIME out
The key is for the parent to be CALM, kind and show EMPATHY “sounds like your’re really upset, when you calm down, I can help you”. I call this TIME IN, time into the feeling that underlies the behaviour, with time out, were in danger of withdrawing our attention at the time our child most needs us.
Children’s challenging behaviour
A child who is troubled or troubling is not out to make your life difficult, rather they are trying to show you how tough life is for them, therefore it makes sense that the child who deserves your love the least,needs it the most so No 1 response is KINDNESS/COMPASSION, see www.practicalparenting.ie