I couldn’t believe that I had to start implementing time-out before my son’s 15 month birthday. I know his receptive language is well developed so when he chose to ignore my repeated commands to stop touching the buttons on the side of the tv I decided it was time to introduce time-out. The first time I gave him the 1 minute time-out he sat in his time-out chair and cried. After that, he would leave his time-out area and I had to hold him in his chair. We spent a day back and forth from time-out. Now I know it sounds like a ridiculous reason to begin time-out but it’s really about listening. He needs to obey adults. I should also mention he began biting and kicking during diaper changes so the idea of time-out was already on my mind! Unfortunately, I have not mastered the time-out during those behaviors because I am trying to get something done and I don’t have access to the time-out chair. Still, whenever he is aggressive he does get an automatic time-out even if there needs to be a slight delay.
It’s hard for me to not react firmly with a loud voice when he does something dangerous or hurtful, but I know I need to keep my cool so he doesn’t repeat the behavior just for my reaction. Kids know more than we think, even when they can’t vocalize their knowledge. Another strategy I’ve begun for not following directions is counting to 3 before instituting time-out. The three count is also a helpful reminder for me to give him a chance to comply. I know that it takes about ten seconds for a typical child to process what has been said and to respond.
Overall, I enjoy playing and having fun with my super active kiddo. But my ultimate goal is to raise up a respectful adult, so when a behavior needs correcting it’s my job to use positive discipline.