For quite a while now the good old parenting strategy known as Time-Out has been copping a lot of negative flack. It has been claimed that Time-Out is harmful to children; that using Time-Out can traumatise children and cause them short and long-term harm. It’s been argued that Time-Out sends the message that the child is not loved and is ‘unlovable’; that the child feels rejected and abandoned, etc. I DO NOT agree with this at all. Instead of using Time-Out, parents are often told to use Time-In, where the parent must remain completely calm and has to ‘re-connect’ with their little darling, who is supposedly so distressed that they cannot possible manage on their own with their ‘big feelings’. And this is supposed to magically make everything better and the child will stop throwing tantrums because they feel so connected and supported by their very understanding and patient parent. I definitely DO NOT agree with this at all. In my opinion, Time-In rewards the child’s behaviour, so instead of getting fewer tantrums, you will get more.
Last week, Professor Dadds from the University of Sydney (Child Behaviour Research Clinic) published their latest research which conclusively shows that Time-Out is in fact very beneficial to children with disruptive behaviour, and it results in children being “much happier and much more regulated”. Professor Dadds even went on to suggest that the Government Departments responsible for overseeing the adoption and foster-care of children with traumatic backgrounds should also be recommending the use of Time-Out.
Time-Out is healthy for children, and it’s a very effective strategy for containing a child’s unruly, intolerable, unreasonable, aggressive behaviour. If you are struggling with your child’s behaviour, please feel free to contact Simon to discuss your concerns.
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