Posted by Rowena on August 05, 2003 at 18:45:45:
In Reply to: Toddler Discipline? posted by Debbie on August 05, 2003 at 17:31:03:
Although the recommended age to begin "Time Out" is around 2 years, I think it would be worth using this method with your little man now. Time Out is not used to actually punish the child. The aim of Time Out is to remove the child from the situation (that they find so frustrating) and allow them time to calm and regain their composure. It's not punishment so much as breathing space.
You're right at 20 months you can't expect him to control his emotions and that's why you would provide Time Out for him. At first you would provide some opportunity for him to regain control by telling him how you want him to behave and if he just can't do it you would provide Time Out to help him to regain his composure. After which time (when he's more capable of listening) you can then tell him again how you want him to behave in that situation.
At 20 months it will be many, many months (closer to 3 years old) before your spirited little boy learns to control his frustrations in an appropriate manner. The fact that you cannot see much of a change in his behavior from using Time Out at this stage does not mean it's not serving the intended purpose. While you patiently wait for him to mature and gain these skills, you will do much to help him by providing a positive role model of behavior (which I know you would) and patiently using Time Out to provide much needed breathing space.