09 November 2007

Time Out

At his 18 month check-up, the doctor told us that this was the age that we could start using time-outs instead of only redirection as a form of discipline. That was almost 3 weeks ago, and let me tell you, I haven't been looking forward to that first time out we have to give.

That first time out came last night. He threw a grape. I warned him not to do it again, and he threw it again. I've been dreading putting the time-out system into use, in part, because I know that it's going to take a while before he gets the idea. It's going to take many, many time outs, and during each of those, I know that we will have to continue to replace him into the designated naughty spot until he figures out that, yes, he really does have to stay there.

So I have to say, that I was pleasantly surprised that after replacing him in the spot only 4 or 5 times, he stayed. At first he thought it was a game. Then, he realized it wasn't and tried to escape. I'd set him in the spot and he would jump up and run for his little scooter, as though he was a rebel without a cause ready to set out for the open road. But the open road was only our hallway, and he's not that great at steering the thing yet, so he didn't get very far before he ended up back in the spot. Eventually he stayed, crying "I want mama" over and over in the short minute he was in time out.

I don't have any fantasies that time outs will continue to go this smoothly. I think it will probably get more difficult before he finally accepts them as a form of punishment for bad behavior, but I'm glad the first one it over. It's like taking the plunge in an icy pool and realizing that the water really isn't so bad.

2 comments:

Andrea said...

I do NOT look forward to this stage of development. I hate being stern with my daughter, even though I know it's necessary so she can learn boundaries.

Sounds like you handled it well.

LD said...

I'm not sure that I did-- but he sure did.