When time-out fails to work, don’t despair. One mom suggests 5 ways to discipline children aside from the traditional methods of yesteryear.
Since time-out is out, it’s time to talk about time-in. I adore using time-in as a discipline method. It is loving and kind and helps me to focus on what matters most – my child, of course!
So what is time-in? Time-in is a way of helping children to process their emotions and calm down. It is logical and affectionate and a wonderful way to deal with children who are not making the best choices. Time in gives us the chance to look at our children from an ultraistic perspective. Focusing on our children is a good thing!
Time-in works by holding your child close and then walking them through the emotions they are feeling. Parenting coach Dr. Laura Markham uses this example: Cups aren’t for throwing. You’re having a hard time aren’t you, Sweetie? Let’s go to our chill spot and snuggle for a bit. She says that time-in reminds us that our children’s “emotions aren’t bad, they are just part of being human… You don’t have to DO anything; your job is simply to create safety so [your child] can feel all these emotions and let them go.”
Needless to say, time-in is a win-win form of discipline for children and parents.
Divert and Redirect
Once again in full disclosure, I have to admit that my children can be a bit obsessive. Especially, when they are having a frustrated, sad, or angry moment. Due to their random bouts of compulsive behavior, I often use a method of discipline I like to call “divert and redirect.”
Sometimes a small dose of diversion and redirection is just what a child needs. I have found that gently offering a positive alternative to misbehavior generally produces a favorable result. PBS Kids writer Bridget Bentz Sizer uses this example: A child acting up at the grocery store could be enlisted to help pick out oranges or rearrange the items in a grocery cart, or a kid running around a swimming pool might be challenged to walk as if on marshmallows.
As a teacher and parent, I have come to the conclusion that one of the best forms of discipline is life itself. Letting life discipline children through natural consequences is powerful.
Disclaimer: The hardest part of implementing natural consequences with children is giving up control. As caregivers and parents, we automatically control aspects of our children’s behavior. A bit scary, isn’t it?
If and when you get past the hard part of giving up control, natural consequences can be a useful discipline method. Natural consequences are simple. They take little to no effort and are highly effective. Case in point: envision a child who has left their favorite outside toy in the driveway. – Your car runs over the toy and destroys it. Natural consequence – The child no longer has that particular play toy – no extra discipline is needed. Cut and dry, life itself has disciplined the child and taught them a valuable lesson.
Meditation With Mindfulness
Besides time-in, redirection, and natural consequences, meditation with mindfulness is a solid way to prevent inappropriate behavior. Mindfulness is being aware of the present by paying attention to thoughts and feelings.
Mother Sandi Schwartz says meditation with mindfulness allows our children to “understand [their] mind-body connection better and learn not to be so reactive to thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. With mindfulness, [children] develop a quality of attention that can be present no matter what is happening around [them].”
With meditation and mindfulness, children learn to recognize, accept and respond to their emotions. Children avoid negative choices and behavior by recognizing and controlling their emotions. Needless to say, this method of discipline is highly pro-active and preemptive. Of course I love this, as in really LOVE this!
I might even use a bit of meditation and mindfulness myself.
Coming From a Place of Love
Regardless of what type of discipline you choose, stay positive. Always remember, childhood discipline should come from a place of love. Children are people, too, and we should treat them as such!
About the All-Star Blogger
Paige is the mother of three creative Little Women and enjoys spending time eating chocolate, watching movies, reading for pleasure, creating educational products, and maintaining her blog. Paige has a passion for helping students develop a love of reading. She has been a faculty member at Amelia Earhart Elementary for over seven years. She is a CITES Associates member of the BYU-Public School Partnership and a member of Provo School District’s Literacy Committee. She is an award-winning educator who enjoys mentoring interns and student teachers. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.