Time out: how to invite children to reflect when they misbehave

Misplaced behaviors are inevitable. No one is perfect, let alone children. The desire to enjoy, the lack of emotional control and the lack of maturity can sometimes cause the little ones to have unacceptable behaviors. The mission of the parents is to re-educate to get these attitudes to change for the better.

But it is not just about imposing a criterion, we also have to make children reflect on this behavior and understand why they should not repeat it. A mechanism proposed by the pediatricians of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States is the "time out"A formula with which to create an isolated space where children can think about the attitude that is being reprimanded.


How to create 'time out'

When parents notice a behavior that requires reprimand, it will be necessary to proceed with the "time out". These moments should be isolated from all possible distraction and entertainment that causes the mind of the child to disperse and reflection is not invited. Here are some tips to create this environment:

- Choose a place for "time out", away from toys, people, television and anything else that can claim the attention of children. For this reason, the child's room is not a good place for this environment because it usually contains elements that distract him.

- A good option is the end of a corridor. If you choose to use a separate room, you have to make sure it is safe, that's why the kitchen is not recommended as it has several toxic elements.


- Do not leave children without supervision for long periods. In spaces of 10-20 minutes, parents should return and check if the children have reflected and discussed their behavior.

- Make children see that the aggressive response to this "time out" is not a good choice. Hitting walls, screaming, and any other attempt to require attention, will mean more time in this situation reflecting.

Debate and reflection

Sending children to spend "time out" does not eradicate bad behavior magically. The goal is to make children reflect, so when parents return they should talk with their children about what they have reasoned. Ask If you know why they are there and what they did to be apart from the fun. The goal is to check if the child is able to identify in a concrete way the bad behavior.

Another objective of this debate is that children do not relate "time out" as a time when they are diverted from fun as punishment and then return. Without reflection, you can not put an end to this isolation since it is the objective of it, to get the children to reason about what they should improve in their way of being.


Damián Montero

Video: LoveParenting: Forget Time Out, Try Time In - here's how.


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