Why This Child Psychologist Is Begging Parents To Rethink Timeouts

He must have tried it a hundred times, shut his eyes so that he wouldn’t have to look at the floundering legs, and only stopped when he began to feel a mild, dull pain there that he had never felt before. “Oh, God”, he thought, “what a strenuous career it is that I’ve chosen! Travelling day in and day out.

Drops of rain could be heard hitting the pane, which made him feel quite sad. “How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense”, he thought, but that was something he was unable to do because he was used to sleeping on his right, and in his present state couldn’t get into that position. However hard he threw himself onto his right, he always rolled back to where he was.

The timeout is a post-spanking phenomenon that came about as an alternative to corporal punishment. Pediatricians regularly pushed parents to withhold the whack and send the kid to his room. Yes, a great leap forward, but unfortunately it can create more emotional distress and not shift the behavior. Sitting in a designated space that is distraction-free, uncomfortable, and for a set amount of time (i.e., a minute for each year of the child’s age) is often not the best option. When the child is most out of control, scared, and emotionally vulnerable, we deprive our emotional support and banish them from the group? That’s not right.

Doing business like this takes much more effort than doing your own business at home, and on top of that there’s the curse of travelling, worries about making train connections, bad and irregular food, contact with different people all the time so that you can never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. It can all go to Hell!

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