One of the benefits to having just gone back to work is that I finally had time to read a parenting book I bought 5 years ago but never had time to read. It’s called Time-in Parenting by Otto Weininger. I had purchased the book when I attended an adoption conference in Ottawa five summers ago. Then it sat on my shelf – occasionally calling to me but never being picked up.
Then came the job and where people needed to sort out some logistics since I started so unexpectedly which lead to time to read. The premise of the book is that we all too often use time outs, sending our children away from us instead of staying with them and working things through. Weininger goes so far as to say that we are probably doing more damage sending our children away than we do when we hit them.
It’s a hard pill to swallow but I find it all very practical and believable. C could never do time-outs – it made everything so much worse to try to enforce a time out. We ended up doing time-in’s without even realizing there is theory to back us up. I wish I had read this book 5 years ago though because I could have told those professionals in Windsor working with us to go read this book. He is an author, a Psychologist and teaches at University of Toronto – I think he knows what he is talking about.
My favourite quote is
time-out is not a method of discipline; it is a punishment that deprives a child of the very relationship he needs at the time the punishment is given
I’m not saying that parents should feel guilty and stop doing time outs. I am saying that his premise is very sound and for many children, especially those with attachment disorders and things like PTSD, that time-ins are SO important. The idea is that you stay with your child and you contain the big feelings they are having until they begin to be able to do it on their own. Often times when we send kids to their rooms they honestly have no idea why they are really there. Time in gives both parties an opportunity to discuss, to repair relationships if necessary and to then move on about the day.
The book is a surprisingly easy read with specific examples and an FAQ section. If your current methods of discipline don’t seem to be working or you want to try something new – get this book.