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woodfieldmomma's avatar

I have a 5yr old who will fight you so hard when it comes to taking him to time out. What is a good way to get them there without having to drag them?

Asked by woodfieldmomma (41points) April 25th, 2010

My 5 yr old will fight and scream each time he has to do a time out and it is so exhausting to drag him there any ideas as too what I can do?

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23 Answers

Seek's avatar

The fighting and the dragging is attention. Negative attention, but still attention. As soon as the fight starts, hands off and walk away. Period. Say “I don’t like the screaming. Come back to me when you want to behave.” and walk away.

dpworkin's avatar

My suggestion is to stop trying and just ignore him completely (unless he’s about to do something dangerous.)

Don’t look at him, don’t answer him, don’t touch him if he grabs on to you, don’t respond to any tantruming. It takes a while, and you may have to repeat it over and over, but if you never give in, it will begin to work after a few trials. It’s called “extinction” in classic Operant Conditioning.

Don’t fail to reward him immediately upon good behavior, with an exclamation, a hug, a kiss, something to eat, whatever he loves.

Seek's avatar

@dpworkin got the right word, not me. I edited my answer.

MissAusten's avatar

Get down on his level and, as calmly as you can, state that if he does not walk himself to the timeout, the timeout will last longer. It doesn’t start until he’s there, so he’s only prolonging the punishment. If he gets you to drag him, kicking and screaming, he’s controlling you. Don’t let him pull you into it.

He’s old enough to talk to about it when he isn’t in trouble yet. Sit him down during a quiet moment and explain that when he doesn’t listen, he gets one warning before getting sent to time-out. Use a timer or clock to show him how long the time-out lasts, and explain that he makes the time-out last longer by refusing to go or refusing to stay. Remind him of the discussion when he starts to act up.

I was also going to suggest what @dpworkin and @Seek_Kolinahr say above. Ignore as much of the tantrum as you can, as long as he isn’t hurting anyone, hurting himself, or being destructive. Walk away and don’t give his screaming any attention. If you carry him to the corner, or wherever he has a time-out, and he refuses to stay there, calmly put him back as many times as it takes but don’t get drawn into a discussion or argument. Don’t hover over him and force him to stay in time-out. You’ll have to be consistent, and then you’ll see results.

Super Nanny does this very, very well. I’m sure you could look up clips (or even entire episodes) online and watch how she instructs parents on how to handle discipline problems. My five year old watches Super Nanny with me sometimes in the afternoons, and he is horrified at what he sees. All I have to do when he acts up is say, “Do we need a Naughty Corner like those kids on TV?” and he shapes up!

zophu's avatar

I recommended this video earlier to someone with a dog question. But, I think it might help you too. sad as that is…

Judi's avatar

I am so glad I get to be the fun loving grandma. It is amazing how sweet they are for me.
One thing I didn’t realize when my kids were little (but realize with my grand kids) is the power of a nap for diffusing tantrum behavior.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t have a designated place for time out. We just sit down on the floor together where ever we are, and I hold him until he calms down. Now that I’m babysitting both of my youngest grandsons, I sometimes sit there and hold them both.

MissAusten's avatar

@Judi A nap for you or a nap for the kids? ;)

Once my kids hit 3½ or so, even a short nap made them unable to sleep at bedtime and they’d be up an extra hour or two. :( I could sure still use a nap though.

netgrrl's avatar

Mine are grown now, but if the child began to fight me, I’d probably stop, let go for a moment, wait until he/she could hear me & tell the child:

“You are going to time out. If you walk with me quietly to time out, it won’t last as long. If you kick & scream, you’re still going to time-out, but I’m also going to (take away tv time, a toy, something.) But either way, you are going.”

thriftymaid's avatar

If he won’t walk to his room for time out, just pick him up and put him in his room. No conversation and certainly no yelling required. Once you have told him to go to his room for time out, you need not say anything further. He will mind you or he will be carried.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve often wondered if the difference is mostly parenting or mostly the kids. I don’t suppose there’s any way to tell, except if you watch those nanny shows, you’ll think it’s the parents.

Anyway, my son once didn’t go into timeout. I told him if he didn’t get there in ten seconds, he’d get another timeout tacked on. He still didn’t go. So I raised it to 3 timeouts. Finally, at four timeouts, he decided to go sit down. He never refused timeout again after that. In fact, I think he came to like it. It gave him an excuse to calm down in the days when he couldn’t regulate himself.

Was that parenting? Or was that my kid? He’s a gentle, loving, pretty calm kid now. But then, so are his parents. The kids play and chase each other and my daughter complains about her baby brother, but she is not the teenage terror people warn of, and she is really quite nice to her brother. She just cooked him dinner (since I was sitting on my ass writing to fluther—in my defense, I just made a strawberry-rhubarb pie with my son’s help).

So parenting? Genes? Personality? Education? I wish there was a way we could tell, especially if it’s parenting because then we could all take classes and do a better job.

zophu's avatar

@wundayatta Kids are the parenting. No behavior short of ticks are more heavily effected by anything besides the environment. And a child’s environment is the responsibility of the parent. It seems like you’re doing a better job than most :)

Rant begins here:
It sickens me when people segregate their perceptions of the child from the parents. Yes, there are other factors in the child’s life, but if we should hold anything sacred it is the responsibility of the parents for their children. But then, if that were the case, governments wouldn’t be able to justify the fact that most parents are forced to spend the majority of their waking lives away from their kids. So they can obediently work, and so that the kids can be conditioned to do the same when their time comes.

Jill_E's avatar

Our 5 year old kiddo hates 5 minute timeout as well. If he screams or throws toys from the timeout spot…I would say do you want six minute timeout. To give him a choice. And usually it is no…and if he throws etc after warning. It is six minute timeout.

After time out..I would go down sit down to his level so our eyes meet and asked him why he was in timeout..He would say why and say sorry. (learned from Supernanny) And a hug afterwards.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

If it were me I would look the child in the eye and tell them, “We can eitehr do this the easy way or the hard way, If you fight me again there will be a hard way and you wont like it.”

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

Same here. We did tried all the tips from experts and regular people. Nothing would work. So we stopped the time outs. Now he loses privileges. This works better.

dpworkin's avatar

Kids like to have limits. The precise way you set them isn’t so terribly important, as long as it is not physically or emotionally abusive.

netgrrl's avatar

I think there’s a lot of different options out there. Parents pick the ones that work best for them. Consistency is the most important thing, no matter what.

Judi's avatar

My 4 yo grandsons still need their happy nappy

SuperMouse's avatar

I tend to avoid time outs all together. I know that most parenting coaches would disagree with that, but they just never quite did it for me. Using @YARNLADY‘s approach, the kid gets the attention he is craving. It my not be yelling or screaming, but his bad behavior did get the adult’s undivided attention – in my book that is no good. I am not one for having to drag the kid over and stand and watch to make sure they stay. I am also not a great advocate of dragging them over again and again until the time is up, but it goes on and on because it starts over every time I take them back.

I am a big believer in logical consequences related to whatever it is the child has done wrong. Won’t clean your room? I’ll do it for you and get rid of the toys. Refuse to get dressed? Go to school in your pajamas although this backfired on me once when it happened with my middle son. I took him out in his jammies after her refused to get dressed, so many people commented on how cute he looked in them he didn’t want to get dressed for a couple of weeks after that!.

P.S. I am soooo going to send this to skfinkel to get her input, in my book her parenting advice is the best on Fluther.

skfinkel's avatar

You don’t say what bad behavior he is getting a time-out for—and that would be my first question. You also don’t say how often you use time-outs, although I might infer from your question that you use them frequently—that would be my second question—how often do you use this type of punishment?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The whole point of time-out is to give the child (and sometimes the parent) a chance to get their behavior under control. It should be preceded with a warning, and the choice of either correcting/stopping the behavior or going taking a time-out. It should be reiterated to the child that they have chosen time-out by inappropriate behavior. And then ask him to tell you why he’s in time out. If he cannot answer, remind him that he has chosen time out because you asked him not to hit his brother (or whatever the offense is) and he continued to do it. Tell him it is wrong to do whatever he did, and it is wrong not to mind you.

YARNLADY's avatar

We also have go to your room, when it is necessary, and I forcefully take him to his room and shut the door for three to five minutes. He is usually playing quietly alone by then, and continues to play after I open the door.

talljasperman's avatar

Ask him why he does not want to go? I always behaved with my mom because I trusted her and she treated me fairly…I’ve never been grounded…or put in time outs…its hard to disrespect someone you truly love….and think is cool

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