Taking Breaks Instead of Time-Outs

Traditional time-outs are having your child go into a corner facing the wall for whatever length of time is established to remedy bad behavior. It doesn't always work, especially if your child is totally out of control or is very upset. Putting them in a corner at that stage can make things worse. Next time bad behavior ensues try to help calm them down. Let them know that you understand that they are upset, angry, or sad and that they should try and calm down. It may even work to have the try and take deep breaths to wind them down. You may even say to them "I cannot talk to you when you're crying, whining, or screaming, please settle down so I can help you." Create a place for them to go to relax and calm down. The space could be in their room or a common area of the house. Put some pillows out and maybe some books to encourage them to relax and regroup. Many times when young children act out, it's because they have a hard time expressing their feelings so they resort to hitting, screaming or crying. Giving them a chance to slow down and take a moment can make a big difference in helping them work through their feelings and talk to them about the situation.

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