February 14, 2009

Trying to understand timeouts for 1 year olds

I try very hard not to judge other people, but I find it extremely hard to do since developing such strong views on how I parent Pookie.  The concept of not using rewards punishment, & praise was new to me, but it really made sense.  From year of teaching ballet I came to my own conclusions that my goal was to get the kids to WANT to work hard all on their own, and to WANT to follow the rules because they made sense and it was in their best interest.  When I first started I leaned towards a lot of praise, and some punishment.  Since moving away from this model, my students have become harder working, better behaved and better dancers IMO.   Although it is very hard to use this method on older students who have never been taught how to push themselves.  I am having that problem now.  I find some of my older students need me to yell at them (they have actually requested it!),  or set up competitions constantly to get them to do their best. 

Anyways I was lying in bed last night trying to understand why a one year old needs timeout? (I don't plan to every use timeouts, but I find the use of them on 1 year olds more perplexing then on an older child)? I post on a very mainstream May 2007 board.  It seems like most of the mom's use timeouts, and I can't even think of what might warrant one.  Is it just that Pookie is really well behaved or is it just that what others might see as a problem that needs to be disciplined I see as a chance to redirect or educate.  Last night Pookie was standing on her booster chair, after asking her to sit with no results, I explained to her that she might fall down and hurt herself.  After she did a bit of a demonstration of falling and hurting herself she chose to sit there on her own.  I think Alfie Kohn really articulated it well when he said something along the lines of that you need to think of your long term goals as a parenting.  Using timeouts, bribes etc. certainly might get results, but in the long term it doesn't necessarily lead to the kind of child I want Everly to be.


Amy said...

I don't think children need or benefit from time outs, but I do know that even young children can enter into situations (physical and emotional) in which they are out of control and need to separate from their environment to calm down and work through whatever is causing problems. For example, my then 18-month-old son became beside himself when I told him firmly to not hit another child. I'd never spoken to him so strongly, he'd never hit anyone before, and the shock of it all was too much for him. But rather than have a time out, we had a time-in: I held him in our reading/nursing chair and sang to him until he calmed down. Then we could talk about what had happened and why it was not appropriate to hit others.

Shannon said...

I agree. I think time-in's are a great idea. I also like the idea of waiting until the child has calmed down before talking about what happened.

Linds said...

This is definately something that I too have been trying to figure out. I would much rather distract or redirect Logan if he is doing something that is not appropriate (standing on his chair) than to take him to a stair or corner and give him time out. I'm not sure that they are even able to understand the concept of a time out at this age. We have really been working with Logan to use "his words" instead of certain actions (hitting, throwing things) when he is frustrated, but I also know that there are times when he just needs to throw that tantrum and we will talk it over when he is ready.

Shannon said...

There is an awesome article on MDC about tantrums. I think I posted it once at ATP... but I don't think anyone looked at it. P It talks about why it is important to let tantrums run their course. When Pooks has one I usually just sit near her and make sure she doesn't hurt herself. If I try to talk to her, look at her, or touch her she gets really mad. Once it is over we cuddle and talk it out if needed.

Here is the article.

Jessica said...

I also agree about the timeouts :) We don't use them and, honestly, I can't think of a situation where I have felt that one is warranted!? I am surprised at how many people use them. We are usually very successful at being able to redirect Grace when she is engaging in undesirable behavior. And if that doesn't work, I remove her from the situation... :)