Implementing ‘Time-out’ Correctly
How Do We Know What Really Works?
It is extremely important that you advise with expert parents and educators in order to achieve expert results. If you spend a lot of time observing these people, you will eventually notice a pattern. Experts use specific strategies to produce quality children. The great news is that you can emulate the experts in order to achieve identical results.
Example: When Experts Use “Time-out,” They Are Supportive and Assertive
Though “time-out” has its appropriate place in behavior modification, I have all too often seen parents and teachers use it aggressively or just plain ineffectively. Parents do not realize that if they show their child that they are upset when they put him into “time-out,” they are actually causing him to repeat the negative behavior again. The reason for this is that children crave connections with their parents, and any form of emotion is actually a connection.
So, if you tell your child, “That’s it, you are in trouble now, and you need to go into a “time-out,” and the child sees your upset face, you are teaching him that this misbehavior is exciting and will give him with a connection with you. How detrimental!
Interestingly, parents almost always tell me that they are not interested in learning “time-out” as a behavioral strategy because they have tried it many times, and know that it doesn’t work. I respond to them by telling them that they are right because over 99% of the time, I have seen “time-out” used totally ineffectively. I then teach them a few points that they have to know about “time-out” and tell them that if they are mindful of these specific points, “time-out” will serve its purpose as a deterrent.
Why Reinvent The Wheel?
An expert parent already spent the time researching and learning exactly how to use “time-out” as an effective behavior modification strategy. Why should you reinvent the wheel? Experts know that when you do a “time-out” with a child you are speaking to him in the same exact loving way that you would speak to him if he came to you with a broken leg. The message you want to send to the child is, “I love you and I see that you are struggling. I am here to help.” The wording that you would use is, “Aw, when you hurt someone, you need to go to a “time-out.” Come, sweetie, “time-out will help you remember that.” Say this in a COMPLETELY unemotional matter of fact way, and without giving any eye contact. This will indicate that you are being supportive to your child who just violated a rule. That is how experts are both assertive and supportive when they do an effective “time out”.
Can You Achieve This Level of Expertise?
Yes. Being an expert parent or educator is within anyone’s reach. I have seen the most (seemingly) limited parents learn new strategies and change the entire dynamic in their home. If you learn the techniques and apply them immediately, you can see the same exact results.
Get the Best Recipe if You Want the Best Results
Imagine that you are participating in a bake-off contest with the possibility of winning $10,000 if your cake comes in first place. If you really need to find the best recipe would you ask someone who did not have much experience baking? Would you ask someone whose cake always flopped? I hope not. You would find someone who bakes excellent cakes and ask them for their recipes. Parenting is a skill that is far more important in its everlasting effects. There are many experts in the field and if you see a parent achieving the results you like, get the “recipe.”