The popular "time-out" behavior management technique is less harsh than traditional forms of discipline, but it's still a punishment — like a mini jail sentence. Time-outs usually include a shame component as well (e.g., the "Naughty Chair").
An alternative to time-outs is what you might call a "time-in." The purpose of a time-in is not to punish but to help the child get centered and enhance the parent-child connection:
- Rather than being forced to go to a time-out place, the child is invited to join the parent for a time-in (although "protective use of force" may sometimes be required).
- The parent and child go to a quiet, comfortable place and stay there together.
- The parent uses the time-in to get centered and create a feeling of unconditional Presence and Connection, which has a calming, healing effect on the child.
In Part 2, we'll take a closer look at the time-in process. For today, give yourself and your child a time-in "just for fun"! Establish time-in as a good thing, not a dreaded punishment.