The Whole Child
Building Inner Controls:
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abc's of child development
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for early care providers

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Note that when this teacher says "timeout," she does not send a child off to sit by himself. Instead she keeps him with her.

[Teacher speaking to child] "You're going to sit in timeout for a few minutes."

[Child] "No! I'm not gonna do it no more!"

[Teacher speaking to child] "I know. That's why you're going to sit in timeout so you won't do it anymore. Jamaal. Right here. Right here."

[Child] "No!"

[Teacher speaking to child] "Right here."

Here's my problem with time outs: first of all, it's real easy for a child to feel emotionally abandoned when she's sent off by herself. Besides that, we frequently become involved in secondary struggles when the child tries to sneak away and we have to catch her. Also many time-outs go on way too long, either because it's such a relief for us to have the child removed or because we forget she's there. For all these reasons, despite its short-term inconvenience, in the long run, I just feel it is more desirable and helpful to the child to keep her nearby.

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