Friday, December 29, 2006

Time Out

How many times have I seen a visiting team's coach call a time out
when his team is reeling and the crowd is in a frenzy? The stop in
action breaks up the other team's momentum and gives his guys a chance
to regroup.

That's what we're going for when we put Jada in time out. Now that
she's older, we're going to start expecting more from her in terms of
her behavior and her obedience. So while our first response to
misbehavior is to remove her from the scene of the crime (distraction,
after all, is usually enough to get her to stop doing something she's
not supposed to be doing) and our second response is to pull her aside
and lecture her on what she's done wrong, our third response now is to
call a time out.

So far it seems to be working, in that she hates the isolation. Even
if we only isolate her for a couple of minutes, with her shrieking it
can feel like a much stiffer punishment. We're going to try to place
a timer nearby her "penalty box" (sorry for all the sports analogies)
so that she understands that we're coming back to get her not because
she's cried loud enough but because the timer's gone off and she's
served her sentence.

This month, we've gotten a chance to talk to a handful of parents who
have kids that are a few years older than Jada, and they have all told
us kids get worse and worse at listening to their parents. So
hopefully, like a savvy coach, some well-placed time outs will help
Jada to learn how to behave well and listen to her parents.

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