Thursday, April 30, 2015


If you are a parent of a toddler, you probably are pretty well versed in the well known time-out. We've probably all heard the do's and don'ts of time out- every minute for however old the child is, etc. For a lot of parents, time outs can be an effective strategy and I do believe that it can be effective if it's implemented correctly.  Just enter "time out" on Google and you instantly have at your fingertips expert (and not so expert) advice on how to do a time out.

In the past year or so, we've started doing time ins. Sometimes, when our kids are acting up, our first reaction is to isolate them or take them away from the situation/person etc. And that is appropriate for some situations. Some kids just need to take time away from whatever the trigger has been. I have found that in our house, a lot of acting out behaviors were simply a cry for attention. And that's another thing that happens- we start to deny attention when acting up occurs so as not to continue giving attention when they're seeking it in such negative ways. But sometimes, doing the opposite is much more effective. So, obviously depending on the situation and severity of the behavior- we do time ins. If Sophia is struggling or not listening, I simply take her hand and have her spend time with me. She might help me with something I'm doing at the moment, or we might simply sit together quietly. I have found that this strategy works just as effective, if not more, than time outs.

Some of you may struggle with giving your child the "extra" attention when they're misbehaving. It may feel like giving in or sending the message that it's ok to behave in that way. But I encourage you to ask yourself about what your child's behavior is telling you. And just because you do a time in doesn't mean you don't talk about the behavior or consequences. We still have that conversation but it provides an opportunity to do so in an environment where we are really connected and makes it so much easier to address the behavior.

And sure, there are times when a break from each other is probably necessary for everyone!The aim of a time out is to give each of you space and for everyone to regroup, calm down and gather themselves.  But if you're finding most of your time outs are being used for your child to take off their clothes, pick their nose, hang upside down or it's further escalating a tantrum or behavior, a time in might be your answer. Do you do time out? Time ins? A mixture of both? Please share!

Time ins can really work!