Friday, October 22, 2010

The Evolution of Time Out

Throughout Carter's life we have used many time out spots and techniques.

"No, I read about this today. This one will work..."

I'm beginning to think they have not yet invented the time out trick that can cure Carter. Or they probably have, but it's since been outlawed.

We gave Carter his first time out when he was 14 months old. I sat him on the small carpet in our play room. He laughed...I should have known then.

I wasn't sure how long to keep him there or if he even got the concept of time out, but I was actively disciplining my child so I gave myself a quick pat on the back. Nothing irks me more than parents who let their children run the show, tell them what to do or say no to them.

I once watched a mother actually bribe her child with MONEY to put on her shoes in the middle of winter.

"I'll give you a dollar if you put on your shoes."

SERIOUSLY! How bout I'll let you LIVE if you put on your shoes? Its winter, this is not an option, put on your damn shoes. I was not going to have this child.

At 15 months we began physically holding him on that carpet square while looking away and not giving him any attention. I was eight months pregnant at the time so, I'm not sure if you can picture me trying to wrestle with him at this point...but try, cause it's funny.

At 18 months we went to two minutes and made him sit on the bottom step of our staircase. So now every time he got put on that step his first move was to mess with the throw rug that I have in the foyer...cause he knew that it annoyed me. Then he would look at me innocently and ask "What happened?" You, Carter. You happened.

Now, the thing about Carter is not only is he very fresh...he's also very amusing. This leads to some difficult discipline moments.

Like, when Mike was explaining how we can't actually ride our little brothers and Carter very slowly and very deliberately reached out his finger and poked Mike right in the eye. It's probably hard to take the lesson seriously with your mother cracking up in the background. Or the time when the toaster dinged while I was correcting him and he exclaimed "OH! Your toast is ready!" How does one recover from that?

So the doctor just told us we need to step up our game and put him in his room for time outs.

Now, do I tie him up and then put him up there? Cause I'm pretty sure that's the only way that this will not result in my having to pick up the room that he trashed while alone in there for two minutes. Who is this a punishment for again?

OK, I'll try anything at this point. So I wait for an you can guess I didn't have to wait long.
"We don't push our brother! Time out! Upstairs!"

I put him in there, shut the door and wait. I hear the drawers opening, things being thrown around and even one noise that I didn't recognize...soooo... that made me kind of nervous.

Towards the end I hear silence. I go up to release the prisoner. And find him laying, literally sprawled out, in the middle of his room surrounded by every shirt, blanket, toy and chair (that was the noise I didn't recognize) that he could get his hands on. He just looks at me. And he honestly looks exhausted! Like it was just SO much work wreaking all that havoc, and he just totally needed a rest!

So as I had imagined, this is more of a punishment for ME than for HIM. What I really need is a room with nothing in it. I need to put him in "the hole", solitary confinement. I've seen shows where this works on inmates...something to think about...

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