kids

Time Ins Instead of Time Outs

I love this latest article in TIME magazine drawn from the new book out this month by Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Bryson, No Drama Discipline. Who would have thought that time outs could change the way your child's brain wires itself? And in a detrimental way at that.

Some ways of parenting have become antiquated over the last couple decades due to the extensive research that is going on in neuroscience and parenting styles. Staying up to date with what has changed and shifted in our belief system is critical in raising a child who will have to contend with society long after we adults are gone to help them walk through life. One of my favorite sayings is that we're not raising children, we are raising adults. 

Dr. Siegel and Tina's newest book is a must read for any parent or parent to be. Check it out on amazon.com by clicking here. This book is also available on audiobook for all you busy parents out there.

 

 

Read the full article below:

"In a brain scan, relational pain—that caused by isolation during punishment—can look the same as physical abuse. Is alone in the corner the best place for your child? 

Time-out is the most popular discipline technique used by parents and the one most often recommended by pediatricians and child development experts. But is it good for kids? Is it effective? Not according to the implications of the latest research on relationships and the developing brain.

Studies in neuroplasticity—the brain’s adaptability—have proved that repeated experiences actuallychange the physical structure of the brain. Since discipline-related interactions between children and caregivers comprise a large amount of childhood experiences, it becomes vital that parents thoughtfully consider how they respond when kids misbehave. Discipline is about teaching – not about punishment – and finding ways to teach children appropriate behavior is essential for healthy development.

So what about time-outs? In most cases, the primary experience a time-out offers a child is isolation. Even when presented in a patient and loving manner, time-outs teach them that when they make a mistake, or when they are having a hard time, they will be forced to be by themselves—a lesson that is often experienced, particularly by young children, as rejection. Further, it communicates to kids, “I’m only interested in being with you and being there for you when you’ve got it all together.”

The problem is, children have a profound need for connection. Decades of research in attachment demonstrate that particularly in times of distress, we need to be near and be soothed by the people who care for us. But when children lose emotional control, parents often put them in their room or by themselves in the “naughty chair,” meaning that in this moment of emotional distress they have to suffer alone.

When children are overtaxed emotionally, they sometimes misbehave; their intense emotions and the demands of the situation trump their internal resources. The expression of a need or a big feeling therefore results in aggressive, disrespectful, or uncooperative behavior—which is simply proof that children haven’t built certain self-regulation skills yet. Misbehavior is often a cry for help calming down, and a bid for connection.

When the parental response is to isolate the child, an instinctual psychological need of the child goes unmet. In fact, brain imaging shows that the experience of relational pain—like that caused by rejection—looks very similar to the experience of physical pain in terms of brain activity.

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 dysregulated, 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.

When children concentrate on their horrible luck to have such a mean, unfair mom or dad, they miss out on an opportunity to build insight, empathy, and problem-solving skills. Putting them in time-out deprives them of an opportunity to build skills that other types of discipline could focus on. Setting clear limits while emphasizing collaboration, conversation, and respect gives kids a chance to practice being active, empathic decision makers who are empowered to figure things out on their own.

Next time the need for discipline arises, parents might consider a “time-in”: forging a loving connection, such as sitting with the child and talking or comforting. Some time to calm down can be extremely valuable for children, teaching them how to pause and reflect on their behavior. Especially for younger children, such reflection is created in relationship, not in isolation. And all of this will make parenting a whole lot more effective and rewarding in the long run."

From TIME Magazine online: http://time.com/3404701/discipline-time-out-is-not-good/

Where did the love go? ...I’m not feeling the way I’m supposed to.

First off, I want to say that 'supposed to' is a very strong phrase. If this phrase ends up in your thoughts or perceptions, it's usually a good indicator that what follows it may not be a part of your authentic feelings about what you as an individual believe in. 

This article makes some excellent points about the fact that there are several myths on which we as modern day society base our expectations of ourselves and our partners in a marriage or long-term romantic commitment. The most striking of these myths is that oftentimes, two people think that if they love each other, they shouldn't fight. 

The reality is that any two people who spend enough time together will eventually find themselves in some sort of conflict. This reality has no bounds as far as which two people you consider. This could be with a family member, a lover, or a child. Just because there is conflict doesn't mean that the love has come and gone.

Conflict is a very natural and without it, we wouldn't have a forum to exchange differing ideas. Note that there are a plethora of ways in which conflict can be had productively and kindly. There is never a good time to go ballistic on anyone. Learning to manage conflict and to repair the possibly ruptured connection afterwards are key.

As you can read more about in this article, Dr. John Gottman's research found that a whopping 69% of the ongoing problems in marriage are unresolvable. This statistic may be comforting to many people. It means that the majority of couples are having the same difficulties you are – about money, sex, in-laws, kids, whatever. Stick with it, and you will find that choosing to move through time with a fellow flawed human, learning and growing with somebody you love and trust is, despite all the difficulty, is what really makes us happy at the end of the day.

For more great insight, check out the full article by clicking here.