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Monday, 08 Oct 2018

Timeout and Timein with children | How to Discipline Your Child Effectively

By Private Therapy Clinic

In this video Child Clinical Psychologist Tamara Licht Musso from Private Therapy Clinic Discusses how to discipline your child effectively. The famous “timeout” is a well know strategy used with children, but how do you use it effectively? Research how found that the “timein” is more effective than the time out. In this video Tamara talk about how to be with your child throughout trying to discipline them and why this strategy is far more effective.

Timein allows you child time to calm down from their anger and then you can start a dialogue with your child to help communicate with them. This strategy helps validate what your child is thinking and feeling which will help build their self esteem. Timein offers your child a safe place to grow and to start to verbalise at a very young age what they were feeling at a particular time. Tamara is also part of our child therapy service which we operate here at Private Therapy Clinic.

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Tamara Licht. I work for Private Therapy Clinic. I’m a child clinical psychologist. And my main role is to work with families, parents and children.

As parents, we’ve all heard about the famous timeout. We have all probably used timeout at some point, and we have all probably find out that at some point, it’s quite difficult, it’s quite draining and it’s quite challenging. And most of the time, if, indeed, it does help to regulate a child’s emotion, it doesn’t really provide a safe space for you and your child to reconnect.

Nowadays, we’ve come with a new technique, something that we have worked with in the clinic with a lot of clients and something that most research points that is a more healthy and empathetic way of connecting with your child. That’s what we call the time in. So whereas when we are doing the timeout technique, we normally point to a behavior that we are noticing that our child is doing and that we are not happy about. We take the child, and we remove this child completely from the situation. We might even sometimes remove them from the space that they are interacting at so we might send them to the room. Or if they are in school, we might send thvem to another different room. Time in is a complete different setting.

What we want to do with time in is you take your child, you go with your child to a safe place and you remain with your child. So the main thing to keep in mind here is we’re not sending this child away. We’re not sending this child with his emotions, with his thoughts, with his worries away and leaving them by themselves with that monster in their head. What we’re doing here is we’re remaining with our child. We’re remaining with their emotions, with their thoughts, with their worries. Basically, that’s what we have to do – just remain.

Time in is not about questioning your child. It’s not about even touching your child. It’s about being with your child at that point in time.

What are the benefits of time in versus time out? One, you start using time in, probably you’ll find that it’s a little bit more difficult if your child is having a huge tantrum and you want to really very badly be there with them, it might be very difficult for you to notice that your child is going through a lot of emotional distress so going for the time out totally seems like the best idea. “I don’t want to see my child in distress. I don’t know how to deal with my child become in distress so let me just send my child away.” Again, it’s going to be challenging but long term, time in is the way to go. When you have time in, sitting with your child, just sitting with them, looking at them in the eye will overall reduce the amount of time it takes for your child to calm down from that tantrum, to calm down from that anger. And it will allow you to, at that point, establish what we call a more verbal assertive communication with your child.

At the end of the day, what we want is to try to understand “What was my child actually thinking that led him to behave in this way?” But if we are actually saying “Here, you go with your tantrum somewhere else”, we’re saying to the child “I don’t really care about what you were thinking. I don’t really care about what you were feeling at that point. I just want you to go somewhere else.” By dismissing our child’s thoughts and emotions, we’re basically dismissing our child. And that can create a huge loss and a huge hurt to their self-confidence.

As parents, what we want to do is to try to create a healthy, strong personality in our children. And the best way to do that is by validating what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling. This doesn’t mean that we’re saying that what they’re doing is the best thing. They might be hurting their little brother. They might be throwing things at someone in school. We’re not validating the behavior. We’re validating their fault and their emotion at a certain point in time. The only way to validate that is by showing them that we want them to be with us, that we want to keep them safe and that there are other ways of working what they were thinking and what they were doing, there are healthier. That will get them to actually connect at a different level with their peers and with other family members.

So now that we know a little bit more about the difference between time in and time out, you might be wondering “Where do I start? How much of time in do I need? How long will it take my child to settle down?” There is no exact answer. I think it depends on the situation that you’re facing. It depends on the emotional capacity that you, as a parent, have and that your child has.

What we do know is that by offering a time in versus a time out, you’re offering a safe place for your child to grow and explore emotions and for them to actually communicate verbally at a very young age what is it that they were thinking at a certain point in time whereas the timeout will normally be a way of avoiding communication taking place in the first place. What you’re doing with the time in is inviting them to have that conversation with you when they are ready.

So now that we know the difference about time in and time out and if you’re still wondering “How do I start this process? Is it the right technique to use with my child?”, if you want to further discuss a little bit about this technique, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Private Therapy Clinic and schedule your free 15-minute phone conversation.


For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.

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