Children and Effective Discipline: Part 6


Our final tip suggests that “time-ins” are helpful for children, because they provide empathy rather than sympathy.


Tip 6: When All Else Fails, Use “Time-ins”

“Time-ins” are helpful for children school aged and younger. Time-ins are similar to a “time out” in the sense they both remove the child from a situation that is causing them distress or harm. However, instead of sitting students down at an empty table alone, feeling bad about themselves, create several spaces in the classroom where a child could go when feelings become so overwhelming.


When the time is up ask the child if he or she knows why he/she had to be separated from the group, then help the child think of better ways she/he could have solved the problem instead. At home I have a similar space in my living room. Taking the time to be alone and participate in a quiet activity allows the children to calm down without feeling guilty or punished. It de-escalates the situation.


So there you have it: classroom discipline secrets that are as effective at home. The above methods and examples help meet a child’s basic needs, provide opportunities for learning and development, and improve competence and confidence.


Negative methods of reinforcement (technically called “positive punishment”), such as spanking or time-outs, only work at first because of their shock value, and over time it become less effective.


As you try them out, keep in mind that behaviour doesn’t change overnight. Teachers should work with scores of children on a daily basis. And still, discipline is something that takes us years of studying, practicing, and reflecting to get a handle on.


As parents, it can be a lot more difficult. Give yourself a lot of grace. Get support; allow your spouse, family and friends to pitch in and always remember to take time out to recharge your batteries.


Remember, discipline teaches, it does not punish.

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