Time-out alternatives

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on more effective discipline alternatives to time-outs
Alternatives to Time-Out for Discipline
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Time-out alternatives

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Instead of timeouts for a young child, what's much more effective is to do three things. The first thing is, to address the feelings behind the behavior. Maybe the child is hitting because they are frustrated or angry. So address the feelings. "You are so mad, aren't you?" Validate the experience, the feelings. The second thing is to address the behavior. "Hitting hurts. That's not okay. I want you to be gentle and use your words." Say what you do want them to do. The third thing is, move on to something else. The longer you sit and talk about it, they are not really hearing you anyway. It's much better to address the feeling, address the behavior, and move on and say, "Hey, let's go see how many birds are in our backyard." Move on to something else and get their attention focused on something positive.

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Psychotherapist and Author, shares advice for parents on more effective discipline alternatives to time-outs

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Tina Payne Bryson, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, is a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia, California, where she sees children and adolescents, as well as provides parenting consultations. She is the school counselor at St. Marks Episcopal School in Altadena, CA, and a Developmental Consultant to Camp Chippewa for Boys. She speaks to parents, educators, and clinicians all across the country. Dr. Bryson earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Her best-selling book The Whole-Brain Child (co-authored with Dr. Dan Siegel) gives parents practical ways to transform difficult moments into opportunities for children to thrive.  Dr. Bryson has written for a large number of publications, most recently the PBS series “This Emotional Life.”  She lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.  

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