Disciplining the child via “Time-In”
While browsing through the Internet, I stumbled upon a post about time-outs not being an effective way to discipline a child when he or she does something that’s not good. Some parents use time-outs when disciplining/punishing their kids by putting them in a corner where they can “think about what they did.” In the article, it says that instead of the child pondering about the wrong thing he or she committed, time-outs make him or her feel more isolated. The message that comes across is “I’m only interested in being with you and being there for you when you’ve got it all together.”
Reading that surprised me, because I thought of implementing time-outs at home whenever my daughter would do something wrong. I felt it was better than spanking her (it always hurts me when I spank my little one). Little did I know that time-outs can make kids believe that they are less loved by their parents when they commit mistakes.
To tell you the truth, I did try giving Zee a time-out recently. We ended up with a lot of struggle and frustration. And a lot of crying on her part, too. Now I know why she felt that way — she probably thought that punishing her with a time-out made her feel less loved (probably even unloved) by me.
I don’t want my daughter to feel that way. But I want to discipline her so that she’d behave better in and outside the house. How do I do that?
Interestingly, I discovered another disciplining style while reading about the effects of time-outs. It’s what’s called time-ins. It’s somewhat the opposite of a time-out: instead of putting your child in a corner when he or she does something bad, you connect with him or her with compassion.
This post from Aha Parenting further notes that when your child is acting up, there is a reason behind his or her cranky mood and behavior. It’s just that the child has difficulty in verbally expressing what he or she is currently feeling and thus resort to throwing tantrums.
When that happens, the first instinct of a parent is to be immediately on the defensive, but the article says you must realize that his or her action is actually a cry for help. So instead of getting angry or upset about him or her throwing things or throwing a fit, you can choose to approach the child with compassion and connect with him or her physically — probably a snuggle or a hug. Stay calm throughout the time-in and let the child sort out his or her feelings during that time.
Time-in is not a punishment. It’s a way of meeting your child’s needs so he doesn’t have to act out. Specifically, you’re giving him the connection that’s essential so he can regulate himself. And you’re helping him process his big emotions, so he’s ready to problem-solve and repair.
Actually, while reading the article, I thought of the times my daughter was in a foul mood and my mom (her lola) would be able to calm her down without spanking her. Somehow, it made me think and realize: maybe a gentler, calmer approach or discipline style is what Zee needs.
Hmm, I’m thinking about doing time-ins instead of time-outs or corporal punishment whenever my daughter would do something bad. Of course, I’ll have to try to control my temper and emotions, too, so that I would be able to reach out to her more whenever she’ll have tantrums. Maybe, just maybe, she will respond to this approach better.