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Rubrica di Audrey オードリー

Positive Discipline

May 6, 2021

1) Time-out vs time-in

Time-out refers to a period of isolation to help your child cook down and regain control over himself. The key to effective use of time-outs is to first give the child a clear message that what he is doing needs to stop, and if he doesn't stop, then he has to go on a time-out.  When you implement a time-out, do so calmly.  If you feel you are going to explode, give yourself a few minutes to calm down first.

Time-out is best for younger children.  Older children find it too humiliating. 

An alternative is time-in.  Rather than punishing the child and banish him to another room, give him special time with you to help him express and release his feelings and regain his composure.  Research shows when a child has his emotional needs met, he generally behaves better and doesn't need to misbehave to get attention.  Of course, at the end of the time-in, you still need to address the original problem with the child.

2) Use “I-Messages”

It is a statement about something that is bothering me in which I clearly and directly explain the behavior that I don’t like, how the behavior makes me feel.

Don’t say:

“How many times do I have to tell you…”

“How many times have I said this.”

When you say this to a child, it makes him defensive.


“I feel frustrated when you do (bad behavior). Can you please (what the kid should be doing)?

3) Mutual problem solving – your primary goal in a conflict is to come to a resolution that works and feels good for you and your child - a win-win. The key to a positive conflict solution is to start with the “magic we”. 

Say “It looks like WE have a disagreement.  How do you think WE can work this out?”  The more you use the word “we”, the more you convey to the child that the two of you are on the same team and you share a goal, and that you can work together to reach the desired outcome.

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