Ideas on When to Start Giving a Toddler Timeouts. — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Ideas on When to Start Giving a Toddler Timeouts.

ladyjenna13ladyjenna13 member
edited November 2013 in Dads & Dads-to-be

I saw a mention about timeouts on a thread over in the female dominated areas of this site, and it got me thinking.  We have already started to give timeouts in our house, for a few very specific things.

Touching the stereo or television.
Playing with the stove/oven.
Playing with the dishwasher.
Banging on the windows.

We simply say "no" once, say "timeout" once, say "no" again, and then it is to the crib for a 3 minute timeout if he does not stop the behavior.  These are the only things we give timeouts for.  Some people believe that a timeout is not effective for a toddler before they are 18-20 months old.  My wife is a child psychologist, and she believes that curbing instances of bad behavior now will help us later on.  I tend to agree.  There were five things on tihs list once, and he no longer does that fifth thing because the TO's have already discouraged him from doing it, to the point that all we have to do is say, "no bathroom" and he won't go in there.

What do you guys think about timeouts for toddlers? 

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Re: Ideas on When to Start Giving a Toddler Timeouts.

  • For us, removing him from a situation where he is causing trouble is effective, but we choose not to isolate him. The biggest line in the sand is safety issues: Him running where he shouldn't, pulling out cords, climbing on things that are not safe.

    Before age 2 I don't personally believe anything beyond distraction and removal *really* work for correcting behaviors. But some people call that a "time out".
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • I also don't personally believe spanking works. It encourages "don't get caught" rather than "behave well".
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
    LaurelJoy91
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  • Thankfully, our son usually listens when we tell him no, that he can't do things that will hurt himself or other people.

    We've always used reasoning and positive reinforcement. Occasionally, we have to do a short time out (2 minutes).

    I would never spank or hit my child. I think that encourages hitting and just seems flat out mean in my opinion.
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  • When our oldest was right around 2 is when we started doing timeouts.  It was mostly for a couple offenses at first, the list has grown as he has now.  We made it a rule that a timeout was for 1 minute per year of life, so when he was just under 2, he got about a minute and a half... at two it was 2 minutes, it is now almost 3 minutes, unless it is a repeat offense in a short time, or he hits his little brother.  Hitting his little brother results in an immediate timeout and possible light smack on the butt if a massive offense.
  • The things I listed as reasons for a three minute timeout we consider safety issues in our house.  His isolation in his crib is hardly that.  There are plush toys in there that he instantly goes to...he cries all of 10  seconds, tops.  He actually wanted to stay in there this morning during one.  But it has worked, using the bathroom as an example of our success.  He has also not touched the stereo in some time.

    I think defining spanking is important.  I would consider a light pat on the bottom, after the age of 2, a spanking, and I have no problem with that.  A full wind up ass whipping, at any age, is entirely out of order.  That quick, light pat on the ass to get that attention, I am a big fan of that.

    Boys are a different breed.  My son is already testing his strength, and I let him know that being gentle is the best way to be.  Sometimes, he can really bring it.  There ain't no way he will ever think he can handle me...that ain't happening.  I tried that once with my old man, a hippie, liberal pacifist.  He stood up and told me to take my best shot.  I turned around and slunk into my bedroom, silent.

    But those fun times won't be for awhile.......

    image

  • For us, we are trying to break his habit of jumping on couches.  We had to tell my MIL to stop allowing him to do this behavior also.  We usually tell him a few times to stop what he is doing or he will go to time out.  There are some things that are automatic time outs such as throwing something that could break one of our TVs in the living room.
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  • LaurelJoy91LaurelJoy91 member
    edited November 2013

    The things I listed as reasons for a three minute timeout we consider safety issues in our house.  His isolation in his crib is hardly that.  There are plush toys in there that he instantly goes to...he cries all of 10  seconds, tops.  He actually wanted to stay in there this morning during one.  But it has worked, using the bathroom as an example of our success.  He has also not touched the stereo in some time.

    I think defining spanking is important.  I would consider a light pat on the bottom, after the age of 2, a spanking, and I have no problem with that.  A full wind up ass whipping, at any age, is entirely out of order.  That quick, light pat on the ass to get that attention, I am a big fan of that.

    Boys are a different breed.  My son is already testing his strength, and I let him know that being gentle is the best way to be.  Sometimes, he can really bring it.  There ain't no way he will ever think he can handle me...that ain't happening.  I tried that once with my old man, a hippie, liberal pacifist.  He stood up and told me to take my best shot.  I turned around and slunk into my bedroom, silent.

    But those fun times won't be for awhile.......

    I think the reason spanking is so controversial is because everyone has a different definition. 

    *long personal story time, I know you're excited*

    I was spanked very rarely as a child, only when I really needed to be told who was boss. I don't recall ever being spanked passed about the age of 6, but from what I do remember my mother's butt smacks were firm but in no way painful or abusive- a sharp sting would do. I believe she counted a set number of smacks so as to never get carried away. There's a big difference between that and the "whoopin'" that she would describe her father giving to her, often involving a belt and enough to make her fearful. I would cry for a few minutes after a spanking because seeing my normally sweet, affectionate mother upset at me made me feel like a bad child, and then a few minutes later I was fine and well behaved; I was not crying out of pain or terror. To some people, even the spanking my mother gave me would be completely off-limits. However, in my opinion it did just what it needed to. In the end behaved not because I feared a painful punishment, but because I hated seeing people I love be upset. It taught me to be more concerned about the happiness of others than my own selfish desires. For the most part, I learned to behave on my own and in my family spankings were the exception, not the rule. I do not believe spanking should be the primary form of punishment in any way. Only for major rule breaking, not little things.
    I see nothing wrong with a light slap on the bottom of a toddler who knows they're doing something wrong but continues to push boundaries on purpose. Like you said, you're getting them to pay attention to you, not harming them. Startling for a split second, not terrifying for a lifetime.

    ETA: I have no idea why I'm posting in a dads-to-be board. I don't even have a clue how I got here, lol.

    ETA:: Just remembered it was a link from the home page. Sorry for intruding, especially with such a long story. I honestly thought I was on one of my regular boards. I should pay more attention, shouldn't I?


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    dsenter123
  • No worries......great input actually.  We are not segregationalists here!!

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  • Hi!  Just browsing around here seeing what the menfolk are up to.  I don't think there is a specific age when time outs start becoming effective, it is different from kid to kid.  BUT I would like to suggest not having the time out be in the crib.  That sort of conditions the baby to think of it as a negative place and could make bedtimes difficult.  Just a friendly suggestion :-)
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    veetveet
  • My pediatrician, mother of five, recommended that we start time outs shortly before DD turned 18 months.  DD is old enough to understand us even though she can't communicate back with words yet.  We put her in time out, 1 minute per year of age, so 1.5 minutes at 18 months, when she doesn't listen to us, especially if her actions are dangerous (e.g. going near the stove after we reminded her once to stay back and tell her "danger"), hurtful (e.g. hitting), or actions she now knows are wrong but likes to test us to see what reaction she might get (e.g. throwing food).

    I sit her against the wall where I can see her.  If she moves, I put her back in the spot, tell her "time out" and restart the clock.  She doesn't go in time out more than once every couple days typically.  I don't want to over use it.  I call her the time out queen.  She really knows how to sit until I come get her!

    Based on that, 3 minutes is too long for your LO.  Do you think that the physically restrictive crib is more effective discipline than teaching them that they must remain seated on a time out spot?

  • The things I listed as reasons for a three minute timeout we consider safety issues in our house.  His isolation in his crib is hardly that.  There are plush toys in there that he instantly goes to...he cries all of 10  seconds, tops.  He actually wanted to stay in there this morning during one.  But it has worked, using the bathroom as an example of our success.  He has also not touched the stereo in some time.

    I think defining spanking is important.  I would consider a light pat on the bottom, after the age of 2, a spanking, and I have no problem with that.  A full wind up ass whipping, at any age, is entirely out of order.  That quick, light pat on the ass to get that attention, I am a big fan of that.

    Boys are a different breed.  My son is already testing his strength, and I let him know that being gentle is the best way to be.  Sometimes, he can really bring it.  There ain't no way he will ever think he can handle me...that ain't happening.  I tried that once with my old man, a hippie, liberal pacifist.  He stood up and told me to take my best shot.  I turned around and slunk into my bedroom, silent.


    But those fun times won't be for awhile.......

    Confused.
    You're teaching your child to avoid the bathroom?
    Sounds like a bad plan come time for potty training.
    What's that about?

  • ladyjenna13ladyjenna13 member
    edited February 2014
    LC122 said:
    Confused. You're teaching your child to avoid the bathroom? Sounds like a bad plan come time for potty training. What's that about?

    No, we are not.  I actually hold my son from time to time when I am taking a leak so he can watch daddy do it and gain some interest in it.  Playing with mommy's hot iron or other things in the bathroom was what I was referring to many months ago.

    Thanks, though.

    image

  • LC122 said:
    Confused. You're teaching your child to avoid the bathroom? Sounds like a bad plan come time for potty training. What's that about?

    No, we are not.  I actually hold my son from time to time when I am taking a leak so he can watch daddy do it and gain some interest in it.  Playing with mommy's hot iron or other things in the bathroom was what I was referring to many months ago.

    Thanks, though.


    Saying "No, hot!" instead of "No bathroom" may have been less confusing. I understand where she was coming from given the information she was given.
  • ladyjenna13ladyjenna13 member
    edited February 2014
    polooo27 said:
    LC122 said:
    Confused. You're teaching your child to avoid the bathroom? Sounds like a bad plan come time for potty training. What's that about?

    No, we are not.  I actually hold my son from time to time when I am taking a leak so he can watch daddy do it and gain some interest in it.  Playing with mommy's hot iron or other things in the bathroom was what I was referring to many months ago.

    Thanks, though.


    Saying "No, hot!" instead of "No bathroom" may have been less confusing. I understand where she was coming from given the information she was given.
    The boy is fine with the bathroom.  This was months ago, when he was first walking, and he was not allowed in any rooms without us. That is why we said "No bathroom" instead of hot, which we were using for the stove at that time.  He is not emotionally scared, nor is he afraid of the bathroom.  Actually, he is not afraid of anything at this point.

    image


  • LC122 said:

    Confused. You're teaching your child to avoid the bathroom? Sounds like a bad plan come time for potty training. What's that about?

    No, we are not.  I actually hold my son from time to time when I am taking a leak so he can watch daddy do it and gain some interest in it.  Playing with mommy's hot iron or other things in the bathroom was what I was referring to many months ago.

    Thanks, though.

    Ah, gotcha. Thanks.
  • We are starting to transfer timeouts from the crib to his chair in the living room.  But the crib was fine.  He has never had a problem recognizing his crib is for sleep time.  The boy can sleep!

     

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    [Deleted User]
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