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  • Writer's pictureGail The Parenting Coach

Are Time Outs Hurtful or Helpful?

Often I get asked what I think about time-outs and I usually respond by saying, yes, take a time-out whenever you feel that you need one.

Take a time-out to take care of you.

Take a time-out when you’re triggered and upset.

Take a time-out to calm down until your calm enough to respond to your child rather than react.

Take a time-out to prevent saying something or doing something that you might later regret.

Take a time-out to pause and breathe.

Yes, take a time-out to gather your thoughts in an effort to say what you mean and mean what you say.

When parents model taking helpful healthy time outs, children learn to do the same, and then hopefully one day they learn to recognize, on their own, when and how to take a time-out.

However, when your child is young and the one upset, and he hasn’t yet learned how to regulate his own emotions, I would suggest taking a time-in with your child.

Take the time-in to show him or her…

· That he isn’t alone with those upsetting, big scary emotions

· That you’re with him and will help him own and feel those scary feelings

· That you are with him to help him learn to self-regulate and organize those emotions

· That you will be there to meet his needs and show him this too shall pass

· That you are listening and seeking to understand what he’s going through

· What empathy feels like and looks like

· That you love him even when he may not act the way you want him too

Take a time-out. Take a time-in.

Take the time to be with yourself.

Take the time to be with your children so they learn to feel, own, regulate and express emotions in healthy ways.

Take the time, you and your relationships are worth it.



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