Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sissy's in "time out". ... again

We're kind of getting into a rut lately with our repeat offender.  Arianna seems to be spending so much time in "time out" that I'm not sure exactly when she's in time on anymore.  We started time out (or "the thinking chair" as I'm calling it) to try and stem the biting problem that's been plaguing us.  We tried everything short of covering Genevieve in hot sauce but her sister just kept biting, so finally we went to time outs.  They're nothing crazy, usually only between a minute and a minute and a half (recommendations out there are not to exceed one minute for every year of age because they forget what they're there for after too long).  I can't tell if it's working or not; the biting has slowed but we've also kept really active the last few weeks with swim lessons and vacations - but the "thinking chair" is getting used for pretty much everything now, from tantrums to. ... well. ... pretty much just tantrums (it's a broad category, I suppose, that covers almost everything a toddler does).  Since Arianna is like me and prone to fits she's become a permanent resident of that chair.  So much so that as soon as the word "time out" comes up she trots off to the room, clears out the chair and climbs in with out any kind of appeal.   I think of the kids on those nanny shows and how they had to drag the kid to time out and pretty much sit on them to make sure they stayed there.  Our kid is offering no resistance at all.  I'm not sure if that's the result we were looking for.  We were trying to avoid raising a felon, not raise one that happily self incarcerates after committing a crime.  I can't tell if the little experiment is working.  There are two ways of looking at it: 1) it's not because she's still acting up, or 2) it is. ... just imagine how bad it'd be with  OUT the thinking chair.  I don't know.  I'm not big on spanking (although if it comes to it and it's a serious enough crime I'm not an empty "1, 2, 3" counter) so I'd rather keep with this method of punishment - I just wish we didn't have to have any type of punishment at all.  What is nice is that after each time out we address the problem again and we hug, then send her off for an apology if necessary.  She's really good about making up after the fact.  I suppose that means it's working.  Of course 20 minutes later she violates parole and ends up back in the joint.  Looking at the bright side, she's doing a lot of thinking in that thinking chair, which has got to be good for brain development, and we're getting a lot of hugs after release, which is a bitter sweet enjoyment.  So if we're not correcting the problem, at least we're creating a brilliant criminal mastermind who enjoys a good hug.


  1. We are just now entering toddler tantrum (hiting, biting,scratching... the works) and are trying really hard to figure out a punishment that works. We are in the middle of moving so we don't really have a time out place... yet. We have tried the corner. That worked all of two times... she finds it funny and will go to the corner if you tell her with a big smile.... Does a game work as punishment?

    Good luck. If you figure out whether the time out chair is working or not be sure to let me know ;)

  2. Discipline is so difficult. Time out works great for my daughter and is absolutely ineffective for her twin brother. Luckily, our little one hasn't had need to try out timeout yet. Now that Ky's a bit older (3 1/2), a star chart works pretty well for him. He gets stars for good choices. 10 stars = a trip to the park. He loses stars for poor choices. We'll see how long it lasts.

  3. I have one kid who carries on like you are chopping off body parts in timeout. The other one isn't phased in the least. He's also the one that states calmly when asked to apologize "but, I am NOT sorry."

    We have found toy timeouts are much more effective for the future serial killer. His favorite toy getting a 10 minute time out is the