July 7, 2011

A time out on time outs

As a child of a generation that faced spankings as a form of punishment, I am quite torn on how well time-outs really work.  I admit, I do put my two year old on time-outs.  But she is a sassy little thing (wonder where she gets that from?) and when I ask if she WANTS a time-out, she actually responds with YES!

But as I sit and watch my tiny little girl plop down in a corner with her lip stuck out and her soft brown eyes looking up at me apologetically, I wonder what I am accomplishing.

Although she says sorry for the offense, I'm not sure of the punishment's effectiveness.  For instance, she colored my Wii Fit board with blue crayon and I put her in a time-out.  I then talked with her about how we color only in coloring books and on paper.  NOT on furniture, windows, my Wii Fit board, the entertainment center, etc.  Then we hugged. 

Fast forward to earlier this week.  I had written my daughter's name on a towel when she had a water day at play school.  She saw the towel and said, "Mama.  You are NOT  supposed to draw on that towel.  TIME-OUT!"

I explained why I had written her name on the towel, but she wasn't having any of it.  "TIME-OUT!" So I sat on my bed in a "time-out".

But looking back at the entire situation, I wonder what part of her "punishment" really stuck with her.  Yes, she put me in a time-out after seeing the towel, but she also understood the reason behind the time-out (no drawing on towels)

So was it the time-out, the talk explaining why it was happening or a combination of the two?  If I had only talked with her about why she shouldn't color on my Wii Fit board, would it have still made a lasting impression without the addition of the time-out?  What do you think?  And do you use time-outs as a form of punishment?

1 comment:

  1. So cute that your daughter put you on time out! The time outs didn't work so great with my daughter either (a little better with my two boys). Instead of "punishments" I try to reward better behaviour -like, "If your good at grandma's house will go to the park later..." etc.