Psychologists first suggested that parents punish their kids’ unacceptable behaviour with “time-out” some 50 years ago. Now it seems a growing number of authorities, including parents, are saying this discipline strategy is misguided and old-fashioned.
A full-time working mom on TikTok has shed light on this issue by sharing a clip in which she shows how she’s put an end to time-outs with her 5-year-old son. She says that there are such big emotions that lead up to time-outs, it didn’t feel effective to her to leave her son to sit alone with these big, scary emotions.
Instead, she has created a “calming corner” where he can take breaks. She shows how she has set up the corner in an area at the side of a couch where he can learn to “manage emotions and feelings first in a healthy way, and deal with consequences after.”
She elaborates that “the calming corner allows him to do this because he can meditate, do breathing exercises, or just sit and relax and calm himself via the tools that appeal to the five senses.”
The tools she’s provided him include squishy toys, a plasma bulb, plants, essential oils, chewing gum, and a cordless sound machine.
However, she does point out that this doesn’t mean he gets away with bad behaviour. She says he knows the consequences could be less screen time, extra chores or restrictions on special toys.
Watch the video below:
@maartemamiExplore alternatives such as this to the traditional “timeout”##mom ##mentalhealth ##calm ##peace ##kids ##timeout ##tiktokpartner ##learnontiktok ##love
TikTok commentators have responded with interest in the mom’s novel approach, reaching out for more details about how she’s gone about introducing the “calming corner”.
In a follow up post , she reveals that she started changing her parenting style about three years ago. She says she didn’t introduce the corner in any formal way because they’d already begun talking about the importance of acknowledging his emotions and how he is feeling so that he can get back to being centred and to his “strong mind”.
Judging from her experience, as well as people’s concerns about how little time-out, or self-isolation, is actually benefiting kids, this “time-off” space might just be a healthier way to go. At the very least, we think it’s worth a try!
Content editor and writer on Living & Loving, Sonya has over 25 years experience in the media industry. She edited Living & Loving magazine for six-and-a-half years and is the former editor of Longevity magazine. She’s won numerous media industry awards and is passionate about the health and wellbeing of moms and children.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.