ARRGHH! Time Out isn't working

by lexie
(Santa Rosa)

Ok, so I follow all the infromation about time outs, etc. So when my child is out of control and I tell him I am going to give him a time out, or a spanking he says ok, or if I say I am going to take away a toy he says take it away. So he likes the time outs, he will cry sometimes until I give him a time out, I am at my wits end, I am also expecting yep you guessed it another boy. I love my child with all my heart and will do any thing for him, but I am so frazzled and tired by the end of the day.

Dr Maud Answers:

Don't despair, you have an enterprising son. It seems time out is positive for your son - the aim of time out is that there is no positive interaction or play during that time, so change where the time out is - ie. not in the room with all the toys.

You can use the toys that your son obviously loves as a way to getting him to behave. Maybe remove a favorite toy if he is out of control - let him know he will get it back when he behaves. Don't be concerned that he says "take it", but be clear about what constitutes good behavior for its return - so going to bed on time for 3 nights in a row, or no fights for 2 days in a row - or whatever behaviour you want him to exhibit.

If you prefer to listen than read information, then you can hear about great ways to change your child's behavior and avoid the terrible two's with an audio course called "Talking to Toddlers" - click here. The audio course not only gives strategies for dealing with a willful two year old, but it gives strategies for communicating more effectively with all ages.

Anonymous 1 Says

You mentioned that you are expecting again. Perhaps he thinks that all of your love and attention is devoted to the new arrival. Make time each day to read a book with him, go for a walk etc. just mommy and son time. He is looking for attention, even if it is negative. Our 2 1/2 year old son has started acting out recently since we now have a 4month old at home. It is challenging and totally frustrating some days but the tantrums will decrease over time. Ignoring his behviour (when possible) is the best way to get him to cease the disruptive behaviour. Also giving him positive reinforcement helps.

Anonymous 2 Says

My brother was the same way. The thing is, your child is probably only doing that to act like he probably doesn't care. You should be more strict with him, and act like you have all the control. If he says: "Ok, give me a time out," you should say: "I WILL give you a time out." And make him stand with his nose against the wall. That can be pretty embarrassing and uncomfortable. And if he tells you to go ahead and take away his toy, simply take it away and don't get him another one until he learns to respect you. Show him that YOU are boss.

MaryAnne Says

I wonder if you tried looking at it in a different way it would work better. You shouldn't be using time out as a reward - try a different time out. If your son likes what happens in time out, use that as a carrot for good behavior.

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