Making Time-Out a Glittering Success
One of the nicer things about being part of the Romp n’ Roll community is the opportunity to collect fantastic ideas from other mothers and fathers. And I recently heard a great one regarding time-out.
Putting your little one in time-out may be appropriate, but it also can be problematical. If you tell her she will be in there for five minutes that really doesn’t mean anything to her. She doesn’t have a watch, and even if she can see a clock, she can’t tell time. And without a solid sense of the duration of her sentence, five minutes may seem like an eternity to her. As a result, she may get extremely fidgety and perhaps even furious before the time-out is finished, which may result in a behavior problem even worse than the one that got her in there in the first place.
So here’s a tip. Get a clean, empty soda bottle. Fill it with water, dump a handful of glitter into it, then secure the top. When the time out starts, shake the bottle vigorously. Tell your child that the time-out will be over when all the glitter settles at the bottom of the bottle
Not only will this give her a sense of the time, watching the glitter settle actually can be rather soothing. Furthermore, she will learn that if she messes with the bottle that will merely extend the length of her sentence.
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.