Time-outs or Temperamental Parenting?

Time-out is basically a disciplining strategy that can be employed by parents. Here, the child is asked to spend a few moments, usually 4 to 7 minutes, alone in a room. He is asked not to play or talk but rather think about what he/she has done wrong and why the punishment is being handed out.

This is a form of self-realisation and a mild disciplining tool. Time-outs can be very effective as a non-violent and not-too-harsh punishment. The fear of hurting the child is eliminated. The concept is based on evoking the feelings of guilt to make the child realise his mistake.

Temperamental Parenting?
Many parents have realised that time-outs don’t work for their child. This is because of different individual temperaments. Temperament-based parenting doesn’t insist upon using time-outs. Every child is unique and has a different personality. Temperamental parenting is able to solve some child-related problems that time-outs don’t seem to.

Stuck with Time-outs?
Repetitive behavioural pattern isn’t solved by using repetitive time-outs. These can easily frustrate a parent as they occur often and a similar punishment, i.e. using a time-out doesn’t solve the problem. If a child consistently fails to bring home the things needed to do an assignment, the parents are left feeling helpless. A repetitive time-out pattern could make the child lose confidence in the parent’s capabilities.

Temperament-based Parenting Strategies
Temperament-based strategy encourages the parents to develop a plan which is communicated to the child. The plan includes a signal or verbal reminder as the primary step. In cases of non-compliance, taking away a privilege from the child is recommended. If the misbehaviour still continues more privileges including allowances and playtime are taken away.

Main Principles of Temperamental Parenting
• Temperament also involves the intrinsic parts of a child’s behaviour pattern.
• Many temperament responses are obvious because they manifest due to a child’s behaviour.
• Temperament is more apparent in circumstances that involve a sudden change or stress. Challenging situations elicit more honest temperamental responses.
• Task persistence is nothing else but a child’s tendency to stick with a task until it’s done.
• Negative reaction is because of the child’s inability to make suitable judgements.
• Temperament doesn’t change easily and quickly.
• Approach and withdrawal are the child’s first reaction to new situations.