All moms and dads know that parenting feels less a science than an art. Parenting styles have evolved over time, and the strict disciplinary mode favored by parents generations ago has now given way to a more connective, gentle approach. In a piece for Time magazine, Daniel Siegel and Tina Bryson, authors of a new book on parenting, argue that the tried-and-true method that many parents rely on today – the time-out – might actually be emotionally harmful to a child.
“On top of everything, time-outs are usually ineffective in accomplishing the goals of discipline: to change behavior and build skills. Parents may think that time-outs cause children to calm down and reflect on their behavior. But instead, time-outs frequently make children angrier and more disregulated, leaving them even less able to control themselves or think about what they’ve done, and more focused on how mean their parents are to have punished them,” Siegel and Bryson write.
What are the alternatives to time outs? For parents who have used time outs, have they been effective?
Tina Bryson, co-author of the new book, “No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind” (Bantam, 2014). She’s a psychotherapist at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates in Arcadia.