Time Out... NOT!

How do you deal with that?

Children seem to be born with a tanrum switch. And boy, do they have the perfect timing to turn it on! Once it's on, you can be sure it will NOT be turned off for a long time. Or at least until you finally can't take any more and give in to their whims. But you don't want to spoil your child, do you?

So how do you deal with tantrums? People have different parenting styles. Likewise, they have different ways of disciplining their children. Some are spankers, some are shouters, some give time out. But these, especially the last one, seem to have lost their magic powers to induce universal submission.

Here are tips from the lovely site breezymama.com from Amy McCready, parenting coach and founder of Positive Parenting Solutions.


1. Give a Giant Hug
– Do the unexpected! When your child misbehaves he’s waiting for the hammer, instead, do just the opposite of what he expects. He’ll be thrown completely off-guard!

2. Walk Away
– “But I can’t let her get away with that!” You’re not “letting her get away with it.” You’re just choosing to NOT engage in the power struggle by walking away. You’ll deal with the behavior later when everyone (including you!) is calm.

3. Take a Deep Breath
– This can do wonders for the mind and body. Sometimes after a deep breath, the infraction doesn’t seem like such a big deal after all.

4. Whisper
- Kids expect parents to lecture, reprimand or yell. Instead…WHISPER – it will get their attention!

5. Do something silly!
Again, do the unexpected! Instead of “laying down the law” do something silly and totally unexpected. You’ll diffuse the power struggle so you can focus on solutions calmly with respect.

6. Think about WHY the child is behaving that way.
Focus on “the WHY,” not the behavior. That helps you target the root cause of the misbehavior, not the symptom.

7. Consider YOUR role in the misbehavior.
Did you invite the power struggle with your tone of voice?

8. Encourage!
“You are really growing up and I know you’ll make a better choice next time.”

9. Divert attention to something else.
Instead of jumping to Time Out – get the child involved in a more productive activity.

10. Ignore the Behavior.
Drawing attention to the misbehavior actually causes it to continue and even escalate. (The child gets an “attention or power fix”) Instead, ignore the behavior when it makes sense.

Has "time out" ever worked for you? How do you discipline your children? What's your parenting style?

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