5 Time-Out Alternatives


Are time-outs not working with your children, or not as effective as you’d like them to be? Rather than feeling as though the situation is hopeless (which it definitely isn’t!), avoid continual power struggles and try any or all of the following time-out alternatives. Ignoring your children, taking things away, and putting them in the “time-out” corner are all types of punishment, when what your kids really need is guidance and support. Learn to be a teacher during challenging moments:

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Stay Calm

Whatever else, stay calm. Don’t start yelling because your child is yelling, simply take a few deep breaths to help yourself and your spawn through the situation. The calmer you are, the more capable you are of handling the issue. If you need to say a few mantras, such as “I can handle this,” go ahead. Whatever you need to do to keep calm is best!

Look At It From Your Child’s Perspective

Take a moment to look at the situation from your child’s perspective. What is your child probably thinking in this moment? How is he or she feeling? Review the situation with empathy and let your child know you understand where they’re coming from. You may not agree with it, but you still can understand. Responding with something like, “I understand how much fun it is to swim, but we’ve used up all our time at the pool today. Maybe we can come back tomorrow or the next day for a longer time” is usually best.

Remain Firm

Set limits and stay firm about them without resorting to harsh words or actions. Staying firm is actually the mirror image of empathy when it comes to child discipline, as again it emphasizes that you understand what’s going on.

Be Present

Be present in the situation, as tantrums and nagging are often signs your child is feeling disconnected from you. Engage with your child, show how interested you are, talk to him or her without distraction, and be aware of signs indicating the kid requires more attention. The more present you are as a parent, the less trouble you’ll have.

Do A Little Lesson Planning

Don’t try to teach lessons while your child is screaming and crying. Wait for a calm moment to instill various lessons in the youngling’s brain, such as politely disagreeing or discussing expectations in assorted scenarios. Your child will benefit from this much more, as they’ll learn how to deal with things properly.