16 answers

Help with Time Out

my 3 and half year old is used to time out. but now i have the problem after the timer has gone (super nanny style time out) that he doesnt say sorry....so i say"say sorry to mummy" he doesnt. "this is your warning or you go back in time out". he still doesnt say it and he goes back in. this can happen for 4 or 5 cycles and eventually its all just confusing as to why we started time out in the first place. this has been happening for the last 6 months. apart from that time out was great.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi O.-

I personally never required my kids at that age to apologize...at least not in the 'heat' of a time out. Sometime later in the day, I might 'review' the situation...and maybe would get a sincere apology...But in my experience...with 'my' kids...often...after a time out...they really were not necessarily 'sorry'.

My 'goal' with time out was to stop a behavior...then...later 're dress'...and maybe get a sincere sorry...

Hope this helps
michele/cat

2 moms found this helpful

Don't use time out, to punish him , you can explain to him his action that was wrong, and how to correct it he does understand, stop the timeout
either will be no effected or he might do more

More Answers

I agree with the moms, I also suggest that for each transaction you, your son and husband have to include, thank you, please, I am sorry.. This way it will come more naturally to your son..

He will learn it feels better when someone tells him "I am sorry". Or "I am sorry, I hurt your feelings." "I am sorry, I yelled instead of using my regular voice. " He will then want to apologize to you.

4 moms found this helpful

sounds like a power struggle. Get to his eye level and make him look at you. Say somethig like "What did you do to get your time-out? What do you think you can do next time so that you don't get a time-out? What do you say to mommy?" He'll either say nothing, say the answers, or say "I don't know" which will help you as a parent know what's going on in his head so you can explain it to him. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I would skip the sorry mummy thing. He needs to figure out that time out is for the action. not for the failure to say sorry. Sounds like a control thing on your end and sometimes you need to pick your battles. are you giving him time outs for behavior or for hurting your feelings?

2 moms found this helpful

I don't make my 4 1/2 year old say "sorry" after a time out - only if she hurt her brother (or vice versa). For time out, after the timer goes off, she has to come to me and tell me why she went into time out. If she doesn't know, (or can't say), then I tell her why. i don't force the "sorry", I think that can lead to power struggles. Sometimes they are NOT sorry, only sorry they got caught! My personal feeling is that if they can recognize the behavior that was out of line you are doing well.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi O.-

I personally never required my kids at that age to apologize...at least not in the 'heat' of a time out. Sometime later in the day, I might 'review' the situation...and maybe would get a sincere apology...But in my experience...with 'my' kids...often...after a time out...they really were not necessarily 'sorry'.

My 'goal' with time out was to stop a behavior...then...later 're dress'...and maybe get a sincere sorry...

Hope this helps
michele/cat

2 moms found this helpful

Hi O., this is one of the problems with time out. Who is the time out really for? You or him? He obviously does not mind the "time away" I know kids who actually prefer time out to a lot of other activities.
Why does he need to say sorry? What if he isn't? Do you want him to learn to say what he does not mean just because "mommy said so?"

To me, time out is a waste of everyone's time. I believe in parenting, full time. First and foremost, you are the parent, you set the guidelines. Parenting your children takes discipline. The term discipline really means - a system of rules of conduct or method of practice - so PRACTICE being the parent you want to be. If they are doing something you don't like tell them what you DO like. As soon as there is a consequence the learn to weight the consequence with the actions. Guide and role model the behaviors you want.

It is very simple. It may not be easy, but it is simple. You state in a very clear tone, "we do not do that in our family. Are you part of this family? Fine then we don't do that (whatever the behaviour is). If you want something, need something are upset about something we discuss it, we don't (whine, be disrespectful whatever the behaviour) in this family. So in this family we discuss what we want. Are you part of this family? Great, then let's discuss it. Do you need a minute to think about what you want to say? (Give him the opportunity to calm down and formulate his thoughts)" Sit with him, do not send him of to "think about it" he is 3! What do you think he will think about when he is alone? He will think about the chair he is sitting in the paint on the wall, whatever, but I will promise you he will not be sitting there thinking about what he did wrong. Ah, but i have known children to think about how they can get away with it next time, how not to get caught!

Be firm, but not mean. Be straight, no guesswork on his part. There are no consequences, just facts. In this family we do this, and this is what we don't do. Fact. No story, no explanation, no variations.

The other day we were at a friends place visiting. I told both my daughters we needed to leave by 6:30 to get home in time for my live parenting call at 7 PM. I said: We will say our good byes at 6:20 and be in the car, backing out of the driveway before 6:30. Tonight I have a coaching call and we will be home in time, alright? Everyone agreed. At 6:10 I reminded them we had to leave in 10 mins. My daughter's friend said, "Can Taylor Rae stay and play longer and my mom will drive her home?" Taylor Rae answered and said, "nope, we can't". I didn't have to say anything. It was already decided earlier.

Some might argue for negotiation skills...seizing the opportunity, but you know what, there are some non negotiables. Brushing their teeth is a non negotiable, drinking their nutritional shake in the AM is a non negotiable, getting in the car so that I was on time for my team call...a non negotiable. They know the rules, they know their boundaries and we never have or will have the whining, the disrespect etc.

B.
Family Success Coach

1 mom found this helpful

There are some serious tradeoffs that come with requiring a child to apologize in order to get on with his day. If he does NOT feel sorry, he's being told to lie as a matter of form. If he doesn't agree that the punishment was fair, he's not being allowed his own thoughts and feelings. He'll hang onto them, of course, but his authentic self goes underground and genuine communication takes a hit.

Kids do learn good manners just from seeing and hearing them consistently modeled by the adults in their lives. My grandson has never been required to say he's sorry, but since about your son's age, he offers his regrets freely when appropriate, because his parents don't hesitate to apologize to each other and to him. Same with please and thank you. He sees these niceties in action, and learns exactly what they mean and when they are appropriate.

I'm glad you're noticing that the original issue gets lost when he's not immediately sorry. It's possible that he's simply outgrowing the time-out as an effective discipline tool. There are other approaches that work very well for most kids, and that virtually eliminate the need for punishment in their usual applications. If you'd like to explore those options and see if they work better for you, you could google Emotion Coaching or Dr. Sears' website, or read the best-ever parenting book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. My grandson responds fabulously to the techniques taught in this book, and many other young families I've suggested it to have been delighted with the happy results they are getting (even with a couple of particularly difficult children).

1 mom found this helpful

Supposedly kids of this age still don't really "get" the concept of saying worry. Just keep reinforcing how good it makes you feel when he says he is sorry and modeling what you want your child to learn. Eventually, he will get it.

Best,

C.
The Sweetest
www.thesweetest3.com

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.