Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Why ‘Time Out’ is ‘Out’!

By: LORRAINE O'CONNOR

Tuesday 26 September 2017

If you were asked to wear a jumper today that you had 10 years ago, would you? Probably not; it might be outdated, not in fashion, it doesn’t suit your figure or perhaps it doesn’t fit! A similar question - would you use time out to support a child’s behaviour today? We can say the same thing about both; they are outdated, and don’t fulfil the needs they did 10 years ago. More importantly, we are better informed and know that what was ‘fashionable’ 10 years ago, is not the current trend today.

When you hear the words time out, what words comes to mind? Time out of a situation? Out of time? Last chance?

The concept of ‘Time out’ was introduced to us in 2004 (13 years ago!) by Supernanny. She had a tough, no-nonsense approach in controlling children’s behaviour. Conveying messages that a child has a time-limit to resolve a problem, and where they don’t (or can’t, in most cases) they are removed from the situation. However, in removing the child – do they then learn these skills to solve the problem the next time? We now know, and are supported in this by Aistear and Síolta, that supportive interactions, rather than control is more effective.

Looking at time-out, it focuses on what the child cannot do, or what they possibly don’t understand due to their age. In isolating the child, not only are we ignoring their capabilities, we are also denying children of their rights. The right to play, right to expression, right to have a voice, and the right to education.

I remember several years ago, hearing a 3-year-old child angrily stating ‘ah, ah Tony – time out’, and watching the child place themselves onto the chair in the corner of the room for no explicit reason. If we take a moment to consider messages we are sending to this child through using time out. In removing him continually from the situation, we the adult, are reinforcing the message that he was wrong, more-so, showing emotions, is wrong. More so, we are sending a message, the adult knows best.

At the same time, we are placing him in front of his peers while he is experiencing huge emotions like anger, sadness, or frustration. Not forgetting, the older the child, the longer they need to stay away from their peers, believing the 4-year-old child ‘should know better’. While, we as the adult are stepping away, just at the time when the child needs us. We are placing them onto a stage for all to see, all because they cannot manage their own emotions….

Reverting to the saying ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’. We now know isolating practices do not support the child, this has been reaffirmed by the Early Years Services Regulations (2016), and Children’s First Guidelines.

 

So, what does support the child? We, as the adult need to support the child in developing self-regulation skills, in doing this, we can transform the experience into one which supports the child’s relationship skills and competence. Self-regulation involves the child managing their impulses and pausing from doing something e.g. pushing a child to get a toy. Children aren’t born with these skills—they are born with the potential to develop them. Over time, the child will develop the skills to self-register, and acknowledge the feelings they are experiencing and respond efficiently and effectively to the everyday challenges they face (Shanker, 2013). As highlighted by Aistear (2009), it reminds us of the importance of quality interactions, and the role of the adult in supporting the child’s well-being.

However, as the adult, we need to be responsive to each individual child as they are unique and will develop at their own pace. More importantly, we need to remind ourselves what we have learned from ‘time out’- the adult cannot ‘control’ the child’s behaviour however, can positively empower the child in developing relevant skills and strategies.

To find out more on supporting children in developing self-regulation skills and managing behaviour within your room, please see our nurturing well-being programme.

2 comments Comments

2 Responses

  1. Mary Coleman says:

    Can you have this write up in a printable edition for staff to read

  2. Maire Corbett says:

    Hi Mary, a great idea to share with staff and of course, there is absolutely no problem with you printing this post, or indeed any post from the Scéalta blog. We love to see posts being shared! If you’re on a laptop, as you know, just right click and hit print. If you read on a device other than a laptop, you can share to Facebook or Twitter by clicking the icons at the top of the article, or, just email the link to anyone you want to share with.

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

National Awards 2019(1) Budget 2020(1) United Nations(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Capable(1) Culture(2) preschool(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Children(1) Childhood(1) Advocacy(1) Awards(2) Self-regulation(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Inter-generational(2) Reflective Practice(1) Seas Suas(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) relationships(17) ECCE(6) Albert Einstein(1) E.coli(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Vietnam(1) Change(1) PIP(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Trick or treat(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Celebrations(4) Syria(1) Thanks(1) refugees(1) Potential(1) risky play(2) Window(1) bonds(1) Technology(2) dublin(2) AsIAm(1) Meet the Members(1) Children's Rights(2) Liz Kerrins(1) DCYA(4) Death(2) Smiles(1) Visual Impairment(1) books(4) TRAP(1) Community involvement(1) Empathy(1) Social Skills(1) Engagement(1) education(2) Traffic Lights(1) dining(1) Traditions(2) Jenga(1) dining experiences(1) Anxiety(2) Upcycling(1) Orla Kenny(1) Training(2) trust(3) Scéalta Blog(89) HR(1) Mo Scéal(1) UN(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Shoes(1) Supernanny(1) ReCreate(2) eating(1) Playdough(1) Impact(1) scéalta(29) Obesity(1) parents(5) Mixed age groups(2) Educator of the Year Award(3) Book Club(2) educarer(1) Workplace well-being(1) Reggio(1) Child mental health(1) Awards 2019(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Sequins(1) Home Corner(1) Afghanistan(1) Study Trip(1) Maynooth(1) Story(1) University(1) TOY Programme(1) Hand Hygiene(1) meals(3) Titles(1) Running(1) Shapes(1) christmas(8) San Miniato(4) Communicating(1) Staff Motivation(1) respect(5) Cork(1) transitions(10) Oireachtas(1) School Age Childcare(1) Halloween(2) Painting(1) Italy(1) INTO(1) GDPR(1) Kids Own(1) science week(2) Performing(1) Maria Montessori(1) Recycle(1) journey(1) Weather(1) Body Language(1) Routines(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Workforce(1) Little Buddies(1) Academic Skills(1) value(1) emotions(2) Winter(1) Stress(2) Visitors(1) Support(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Performance Management(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Japan(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Care-giving routines(1) Learning Story(1) Exercise(1) Buddy Bench(1) Storytelling(2) Annual Conference 2019(1) conversations(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) collaboration(1) Meal time(1) Valentine's Day(3) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Interactions(2) Sport(1) Infection Control(1) ears(1) MA(1) Wonder(1) listen(1) Summer(1) Aistear(110) Flowers(1) IGL(1) Builders(1) Engineering Ireland(1) reading(5) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Montessori(3) communication(4) Whole Group(1) San Minia(1) Employee(1) Role play(1) Mayo(1) EM Standing(1) Intention(1) risk assessment(1) Communications(1) The Jelly King(1) Malaguzzi(1) Limerick(1) Gratitude(1) maternity health(1) Kilkenny(1) Nutrition(1) Educators(1) Childcare(2) Scents(1) Socioemotional development(1) Art(6) Cork Institute of Technology(1) RIE philosphy(1) risk(2) UNCRC(1) Challenges(1) under 3's(3) Research Conference 2019(1) Time(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Names(1) Maths Week(1) budget(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Engineering(2) Loss(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Horizon 2020(1) NCCA(3) Confident(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Giraffe(2) Degree(1) Environment(2) National Awards 2018(2) story time(1) Competent(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) European Project(1) Santa(2) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Wrapping paper(1) Prexit(1) Spiders(1) Affordability(1) Eritrea(1) Easter(1) Cognitive development(1) Identity(5) play(31) overhear(1) Síolta(105) RTE Investigates(1) life long learning(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Family(1) Sculptures(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Favouritism(1) Maternity Leave(1) MECPI(1) Exit interview(1) curriculum(5) Touch(1) Early Years(1) Síolta QAP(1) Iraq(1) development(8) Mantra(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Workplace Relations(3) dogs(1) Masterclass(2) Frustrations(1) Wesco(1) Learning Stories(8) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) National Holiday(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) blog(28) Laughter(1) Children's Voice(1) Investment(2) Research Seminar(1) Ceremony(1) Siolta blog(2) documentation(2) Craft(1) worries(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Appreciation(1) research(6) Infectious diseases(1) ERASMUS+(3) Event Guide(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) CPD(1) Rituals(1) Map(1) Fantasy play(1) Music(3) Twitter(1) Funding(1) College(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Confidence(1) STEM(2) social media(1) Pobal(1) Learning journals(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Time Out(1) Family wall(1) outdoor play(6) Margy Whalley(1) CCTV(1) CIT(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Through the looking glass(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Blocks(1) Independence(1) Mud kitchens(1) Bereavement(2) stories(2) Primary School(2) baby room(1) toddlers(3) Care routines(1) Buddies(1) Qualifications(1) Mental Health(3) Trade Unions(1) purpose(1) Arlene Forster(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Participation(1) Autism(3) NAEYC(1) Wilenski(1) EECERA 2016(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Lego(2) Emergent Curriculum(1) Elders(1) Brain(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Kerry(1) Health(2) planning(1) Games(1) Motor neuron disease(1) learning(16) Adoption(1) Mount Everest(1) animals(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Children and families(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Leadership(1) Party(1) environments(1) Decision Making(1) Sustainable(1) Love(2) ICBN(1) Mark Twain(1) Grief(1) Feeding(1) interacting(2) Certificate(1) Behaviour(3) Playschool(1) Plants(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) outdoors(3) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Dance(1) Early Years Educators(2) Maths Week Ireland(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Design(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Penguins(1) child-centred approach(1) Thinking(1) Trade union(1) Thank you(1) play stories(1) Treasure(1) Leargas(1) Graduate(1) Magnavacchi(1) Teamwork(1) Exploring(1) Queues(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Iceland(1) Wendy Lee(2) Professionalisation(4) Self Help Skills(1) Snacks(1) emotional environment(1) Glitter(2) Gardening(1) Photographs(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) First 5(1) Children's Research Network(1) early years research(1) Well-Being(9) role playing(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Drawing(2) Sleep(1) Patterns(1) curiosity(3) Research and Professional Learning(1) Snack Time(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Vertical grouping(1) Interests(1) Academics(1) Decisions(1) Budget 2019(2) memories(1) Magda Gerber(1) AIM(2) Snakes(1) Biting(1) Mathematicians(1) Inclusion(3) Treasure Chest(1) Self-Esteem(1) Laugh(1) Human Resources(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Leaders in Practice(1) pets(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Trigonometry(1) Mealtimes(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Creative(1) food(1) experience(1) ECEC(1) SPICE Framework(1) Arithmetic(1) mushrooms(1) Facebook(1) routine(2) Magic(1) Norway(2) Leprechauns(1) Inspirational(2) UD(1) Arts(1) Breathing(2) Our Little Seed(1) Sustainability(3) First 5 strategy(1) outdoor space(3) Growing up in Ireland(3) Sweets(1) Settling in(4) Nonverbal(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Recycling(2) Valerie Gaynor(1) Xbox(1) Light table(1) Mindfulness(2) Interaction(1) Awards 2018(3) Graduation(1) science(3) Irish(1) Relaxation(1) Plastic(1) early childhood educator(1) babies(7) Engineers Week(2) Yoga(1) Universal Design(2) New Appointments(1) Consent(1) friendships(1) Maths(4) feisty(1) Exclusion(1) Budget 2018(1) Administrative Burden(1) Belonging(3) Online(1) Positivity(1) listening(1) community(5) Line-ups(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Tuscan Approach(2) linc(1) Policy(2) Imagination(3) supportive environments(2) Celebrate(1) Pen green(1) Quality(4) Creativity(4) Maynooth University(1) Fabric(1) Diversity(1) grandchild(1) educating(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine