Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Time In: An Alternate to Time Out

The idea of positive time out, or "Time In," is based on the understanding that children do better when they feel better. Time In can help children learn many life skills, like the importance of taking time to calm down until they can think and act more clearly. Time In is a form of positive reinforcement through a connected style of parenting, rather than withdrawing parental attention when a child is misbehaving.
Children are usually experiencing intense emotions when they are misbehaving. During this time, they need to be actively parented in order to learn how to process their emotions and move past them in a healthy way.  Rather then taking this much needed parental attention away, Time In is time together to build relationships, communication, and trust.

During a Time In, the parent and child work together to work through the situation. This is a time of physical touch and eye contact where the parent can teach the child a variety of calming techniques and then move on to discuss the emotions behind the behavior and how the child can better handle these emotions the next time they feel them.

It is important to have a designated place for Time In to happen. This area is often a designated cuddle or comfort corner. A comfort corner may include blankets, pillows, books, a notepad and pencil, calm down bottles, or any other items that bring your child comfort. This area should be private, but not isolated. Again, this is an opportunity to assist your child in dealing with their emotions and teaching them the skills they need to regroup and focus.

Time in should be a positive experience for both the parent and child where a deeper relationship of trust is built. It gives children needed one-on-one time with their parent where they can express their emotions and learn how to healthily deal with them, while still feeling accepted and loved by their parent. This in turn helps children to know that feeling emotions is healthy and normal.

Be sure to introduce this concept to your children before implementing it.  That way they will have an expectation of what the purpose of Time In is and how it will be used.

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