Some time ago, I got a note in Daniel’s diary to say he had scratched a friend at school. I was absolutely horrified. Yes, I am dramatic. Also I am mildly aware that children around this age do these things. I would just hate to be the parent, the parent of that kid, the one that you feel the need to protect your child from. I guess that fear is probably what’s been driving my “over-sensitivity” to the topic. That was until we started implementing a Time-Out corner!
Daniel’s school teacher informed me of the change in behaviour not too long ago, and we got together to discuss a way forward. Although there was nothing to be seriously worried about – I wanted our efforts to be consistent at home with what was happening at school. His teacher, (Shame she probably thinks I am the most psychotic mom on the planet, but she is so patient with me.) explained their “time-out” technique to us, and how they never use the word naughty because studies show that children are discouraged from good behaviour with this.
Off we went armed with some really valuable advice and a happy heart. The technique is basically just that when he acts out and gets upset, and hits out of frustration, that we remind him that we don’t fight with friends. Friends in the case include family, mommy, daddy or whomever. In a calm voice, we reinforce that we love our friends (for example) and ask him to give hugs. If he hasn’t calmed by this point I will ask him if he needs to go for a Time-Out. To which his reply is always “no”. If he continues though, we place him in an area in sight but out of the way, and he stays there. I count to 10 and then ask him to come give some love. I then reaffirm that we don’t fight, hit or whatever and he agrees.
Sounds really simple right? Well it works like a bomb. So well, that after a week his general fighting at home has really lessened. I don’t even have to put him in Time-Out much, the warning is enough to calm him most times. Although I don’t often get super angry with him, when he intentionally hurts me – it drives me batty. To a point where I have shouted at him, which really doesn’t help because he gets scared and instead of calming he gets more tense, in my experience.
I’m hoping to hear back from the teachers soon and have some good news. Although it definitely wont happen overnight – the progress is worth celebrating!