By: Isabella Carson
There are many different ways that parents choose to discipline their children. Some give them a stern talking-to, others take away toys and electronics, and a good majority of parents give time-out breaks. Time-outs are a subject of debate as some feel that they are the best way to get a child to calm down while others feel that it makes the child feel neglected and is doing more harm than good. Dr. Sears, a “parenting guru” states that the point of time-out is to have the child sit down and take a break from bad behavior. It is supposed to be a time of reflection for them and for the child to realize that what they were doing was not appropriate.
A study from The American Academy of Pediatrics showed that time-outs were effective a good portion of the time and taught the child to listen to their parents more and curbed bad behavior. It is more effective for younger children but worked some of the time for older children as well. This is a successful method of discipline if it is used correctly. However if a parent is using time-outs too much or using them when they are frustrated even though the child is behaving it can cause confusion for the child and make them think that their parents do not want them around.
Those who think that time-outs are not a reasonable form of discipline state that it makes the child feel that their parents are only going to want them around when they are being good. When a parent puts a child in a corner or in their room for misbehaving the child will learn that any time they are less than perfect they will be forced to be by themselves. This can be damaging and as they get older they may think that their parents will only be there for them if they are on their best behavior but won’t want anything to do with them if they mess up. Discipline is supposed to be a teaching moment they say, not punishment.
Parents who use time-outs say that they can be very effective but everyone has a different method that they use. Some will make their children sit in a chair in the room with them, tell them what they did wrong to get them in that chair, and then apologize. Some will put them in time-out for the same number of minutes as their age. Others will put them in their rooms. The parents who choose not to use time-outs enforce other types of disciplinary action that works for them.