Time- In instead of Time-Out


mindful parenting

There is concrete evidence of the importance of touch for your baby in utero (having a massage during your pregnancy could benefit both you and baby) your new born benefits from touch, your child, your pre-teen, your teenager and you the adult. Safe touch could remind your child that they are lovable, they are safe and they are wanted.

The way you hold your children will differ according to their ages.

My experience has been that ‘Time-In’ (consciously holding them) is more effective than ‘Time-Out’ or the naughty step. Usually the behaviour of your child  is his way of straining to communicate to you. If you look closely enough and refrain from getting distracted by  his behaviour (especially if it is negative) you could explore what he needs. For example: your child is refusing to eat his porridge in the morning and is crying uncontrollably. He could be displaying anger by throwing his spoon on the floor. You could experiment with being  mindful and wonder whether he has had a bad dream during the night. Is he missing his Daddy? He may need your support, love and guidance. When he refuses to eat his porridge and is ‘acting out’ this could be his way of trying to connect to you– You could choose to carry out ‘time-in’ with him. You could experience that when you hold him closely and rub his back he eventually seems to have enough support within him to pick up the dropped spoon, choose a clean one, sit down and finish his porridge. He could move on with his day and you can move on with yours. You have both potentially connected with each other. There is hopefully little shaming, guilt or regret from either side. If you choose ‘time out’ which is quite a common intervention – usually when you are running on empty and haven’t attended to your own needs both parties could be left feeling shame, distressed, regretful and lonely. He may go to school without any breakfast and without close contact from you.

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