Time-Outs for Babies?

Time Out ChairScene: Finn, my older son, is building a castle with blocks. Rowan, the baby, is hovering. He's inching toward the castle and I can see he's looking for trouble.

"No," I say, as Rowan picks up a block. I know exactly what he's about to do. As his arm moves into throwing position, I say, "Rowan, I'm giving you a message. If you throw that block, you will have a time-out."

He looks at me with a devilish grin and launches. It's a direct hit. The castle tumbles. Finn freaks out. I pick up Rowan to carry him to the time-out chair and he tries to wiggle away. "That was not okay, Ro. We don't throw blocks." He disagrees and WHACK! He smacks me in the face.

Here we go.

Advertisement

I realize that a baby as young as 12 months or even 18 months is probably too young to really understand the consequences of their behavior. But I don't think any age is too young to try and illustrate that you can't hit someone, even if I'm not sure I'm doing it right.

So I walk him to the time-out chair. I sit him down, get down to his level, look him in the eyes, and give him a simple a message: You can't hit mommy. That hurts my body.

Of course, Rowan thinks this is fun: He's got all the attention. He makes a break for it, I catch him. I repeat myself, he laughs. I figure I've given it my best shot and I let him go. Until the next time.

Because there is always a next time. If he throws toys, I make him pick them up. If he hits me, I think it's best to remove him from the situation, even if only for a minute, so he understands something will happen if he makes that choice.

Do you think it's possible to discipline a baby? What would you do if your baby hit you or a sibling?

 

Image via amazon.com

Read More >

You May Also Like

From Our Partners