Re-framing 'time-out' to 'time-in' with your child - Kiindred

Re-framing ‘time-out’ to ‘time-in’ with your child

by

It can be hard to find an effective discipline strategy with our children that will work. Time-out is often the recommended solution. While time-out can be effective in reducing the conflict in the moment, the message it sends our kids long-term is that we will not be with them when they are in the darkest of their thoughts and emotions. If a child is not able to regulate their emotions, being alone in those emotions will not help them either. It will also send them the message that our love is conditional. More importantly, it tells them that how they feel is bad.

Time out Vs. time in

Instead of positioning discipline as time-out, teach your children some skills to regulate prior to any disagreements. For example, when I have big feelings, talking, drawing, reading, playing with blocks or a ball can help us let off that emotional energy. Spend time explaining and workshopping how this would look when in a big feeling. Once this has been explained, tell your children sometimes we need to manage our emotions first before we can talk about our behaviour or our experience.

Re-frame time-out as time-in, so time-into the self and then time-in together to discuss what happened. A great re-frame could be “my calm down space”. Children will need help to regulate. See the calm space as a place to be with your child and teach them how to manage their emotions. Time-in tells our children that we love them unconditionally and that we are there for them, to support them when times are tough and that we want to teach them new skills to use when feeling overwhelmed so that we can learn and grow from any difficulties that arise.

Time-out

While time-out can be effective in reducing the conflict in the moment, the message it sends our kids long-term is that we will not be with them when they are in their darkest thoughts and emotions. It will send them the message that our love is conditional and it tells them that how they feel is bad.

Time-in

Instead of positioning discipline as time-out, reframe it as time-in. Time into the self and then time-in together to discuss what happened. See this as a place to be with your children and teach them how to manage their emotions. Time-in tells our children that we love them unconditionally and that we are there for them and support them.

Related Articles
5 things your toddler’s tantrum might be trying to tell you
Quick tricks to manage big emotions in your child
Understanding the 5 love languages and how to apply them

Sign up image heart

Don't miss a thing!

Stay in the loop on all things parenthood as we share tips, hacks, products, inspo & everything in between. We promise not to clutter your inbox.