The Blog

Do Time-Outs Hurt Kids?

There was a recent article in TIME talking about the so-called “dangers” of time-outs and how they can harm your child’s sense of well-being.

It claimed that time-outs were punishment and should not be used to discipline your children.

This is funny to me (ha ha) because when you look up the definition of discipline, this is what you find: “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”

Disciplining is about teaching, and sometimes that teaching requires consequences.

Articles like this one really get my blood boiling.

Honestly, what is so wrong with children being a little upset from time to time?

Why do we have this idea that childhood should be a beautiful skip through the butterfly fields of life?

Why do we believe that our kids being unhappy for a few minutes will cause them to grow up to be traumatized, brain-damaged adults?

I remember sitting in a playground one day with my kids.

There was a boy of about 4 on the slide with my daughter.

He was sitting at the top of the slide and wouldn’t move. He just flat-out wouldn’t go down and he wouldn’t get off.

Every time a child tried to approach the slide, he would kick at them with his boot.

His mom was standing at the bottom of the slide talking to him in a sing-songy voice about “using his words” and was saying that it was “not ok” to hit.

She was not actually doing anything to solve the issue or show him an appropriate way to act.

She was speaking to him like he was a rational adult, when he was, in fact, an irrational toddler who was misbehaving.

I was so annoyed that I couldn’t stand it another second. I had to take my kids and leave the park.

The TIME article would have been right up this mother’s alley.

In situations like this one, it suggested that when the need for discipline arises, parents might consider a “time-in” and forge a loving connection such as sitting with the child and discussing the issue or offering comfort.

WHAT!? Yeah, that is just what this boy needed—more talking.

I believe in consequences, because they are a natural part of life.

You do not want to raise your child to be someone who doesn’t consider other people’s feelings and who just does what he wants all the time.

I have raised all 3 of my children to understand consequences, and it is the basis of all my books.

You make good choices and pleasant things happen. You make poor choices and something unlikeable happens.

Consequences are everywhere and they shape the way we act and participate in the world on a daily basis.

You could sleep in and not go to work today, but if you do, you might lose your job. That would be the consequence of your behavior.

If you don’t put your shoes on when mommy asks, then you will get a trip to the time-out chair.

That is the way life works, folks, and I truly have no issue with the temporary upset that it may cause my child.

I think it’s important to help children navigate challenging situations so they can learn to respond appropriately and become empathetic, caring members of society.

I do this by modelling, teaching, and yes— disciplining.

What do think? Are timeouts actually hurtful? What do you do when YOUR child misbehaves? Or what do expect other parents to do when THEIR child’s behavior is bothering your child?

Let me know in the Comments below…

Is your child misbehaving? If you are looking for a child discipline system for kids aged 2 – 12, you can check out Kids: The Manual.

Learn more here.


Certified Sleep Sense Consultant Tip

“Your doctor will tell you that being active is the best medicine out there for all sorts of health ailments and poor sleep is one of them! Find time in your day to get moving! Leave the dishes until your children are tucked into bed and head outside after dinner for a bike ride, walk or kick that soccer ball around with your children! The fresh air will do you all some good and your children will love spending this time with you before bed! And the bonus is they won’t be begging you for TV or screen time which can actually inhibit great sleep!”

Michelle McAvoy
Lovebugs Sleep Coaching


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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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