Two different schools of thought exist on the subject of spanking vs. time-out as a discipline measure. My wife and I decided to stop spanking our children when we observed them beginning to hit each other. It dawned on us that they were mimicking our actions and that we needed to change our method of discipline. Thereafter, when our children misbehaved, we practiced “time-out” by having the children sit or standing in the corner for a period of time, and not enabling them to continue their action(s).
Should spanking be used it should be limited and done without anger as a last resort to break a non-tolerant behavior. The timeout method proved effective, as facing the wall not only stopped their negative actions but also enabled them to think about their behavior.
The practice of “time-out” may prevent the dangerous combination of hitting and anger, a combination that can escalate to child abuse. Spanking often escalates, becomes a continuous cycle, and only serves to show children that their parents have lost control. It’s very important for parents to be slow to anger and to retain their composure, the practice of “time-out” enables this.
The other important component of “time-out” is consistency, do the “time out” as soon as the child misbehaves and as often as is necessary. As an example, in sports, players are benched for violating the rules. The National Hockey League’s Rule 17.1 Bench Minor Penalty, involves the removal from the ice of one player for two (2) minutes. Your home’s time-out could range between 2-15 minutes depending on the severity of the rule not followed. Remember to keep your “cool” and not get angry, if you need to bring in your spouse or friend to give you a break, that’s wise as the child having a tantrum can be exhausting on the parent.
Your goal is to stop the use of tantrums by the child and not enable the child to continue this detrimental behavior that could continue through life.
Your rules and the importance of these rules can determine your home time-out durations, it’s up to parents to determine which rules are important, and very important.
The below is sorted from important to very important and how many minutes time-out could be.
Eating when its time to eat. 2 2 minutes and no meal till next meal time.
Putting away the toys 4 2 minutes
Taking away another persons toy or object 8 10 minutes
Hitting another person 8 10 minutes
Not obeying the parent 10 12 minutes
“Time-out” and being alone in the corner of a room is a form of punishment and is the opposite of being hugged or hearing the words “I love you”. Children inherently want to please their parents. As a method of enforcing desirable behavior in children, “time-out” is an immediate, more loving, and effective means of parental discipline.
In all matters, our love is the greatest gift we give our children.
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On June 27, 2002 The Associated Press released Columbia University’s analysis of six decades of research on corporal punishment linking spanking to ten negative behaviors including aggression, anti-social behavior and mental health problems. Continual spanking can have long-term negative effects.