Time’s Up for Time Outs

By Sofie Thomson

I’m not going to start this blog under the pretence that I have any level of love for “time outs” because frankly, I strongly disagree with the concept!

I dislike the emotional distress it causes and I hate how it interferes with the parent/child connection.

So to explain my stance, here is a quick guide to why I believe “time outs” are negative:
  • One thing I learned when studying psychology is that every behaviour is the display of a need. Instead of addressing the behaviour, address the underlying need and the behaviour will likely resolve.
  • When we punish the behaviour without considering the underlying need we could negatively affect the child/parent connection leading to more undesirable behaviour.
  • Very few children under the age of eight have developed consequential thinking, meaning that they have no understanding of the connection between cause and effect.
  • Very few children under the age of eight have a reliable level of impulse control, meaning they simply do not have the tools to consider an action before engaging.

When we punish the behaviour without considering the underlying need we could negatively affect the child/parent connection leading to more undesirable behaviour.

See next page for the rest…

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