Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
Current Editorial
Rocks
WHY TIME OUT DOESN’T WORK
Temper tantrums and misbehavior from children are very much like a sore throat, stuffed up nose, or a fever. All are symptoms. All have causes, and treating the symptoms does not remove the cause. When parents and teachers correctly diagnose and provide remedies that address the needs of children, the symptoms of crying or misbehavior will also disappear.

Unmet needs are uncomfortable at any age, but it is more so for children due to their dependent nature. Young children lack the ability to meet their own needs, and until a certain age, are physically unable to do a lot of self-care tasks. Their often intense outbursts stem from this frustrating dependency, coupled with their inability to tolerate frustration well. In addition, many children are unable to identify the frustrated needs that are making them upset. This makes it impossible to tell their parents what is bothering them.

This is not a difficult concept to grasp. As adults, we understand that our spouse gets really irritable on Sunday afternoon or evening, not because the family is getting on his nerves, but because he’s anticipating a tough week at work beginning tomorrow.

When we respond to our children by not meeting their needs, or worse, by isolating them in a “time out” place, not only is the child forced to endure the need that was not met but also the isolation of being forced away from the parent she wants to be with, loves, and relies on. Moreover, being alone in time out can create additional disturbing feelings that the child must endure, such as fear and worry. A frustrated child who must sit quietly and alone in time out frequently becomes angry. Although he dares not express this anger when in time out, children often express it by becoming angry and defiant sometime after being released from time out. Time out sends the message that emotions are to be repressed, sometimes resulting in unhealthy coping behaviors such as nail biting or tugging at clothes. Being unaware of true feelings can become a characteristic feature of a person’ life, reducing self-awareness and affecting her quality of life forever.

We can develop well-behaved, self-disciplined children best by responsibly and continuously meeting a child’s developmentally normal needs and drives; by demonstrating and articulating humane values in day-to-day interactions with the child; and by exposing the child to life experiences that strengthen and reinforce these values. When children are physically healthy, well-nourished, satisfactorily exercised and not tired, their basic normal physical needs are being met. Their social and emotional needs are fulfilled when they receive sufficient attention, affection, and recognition from the people she loves. It’s a tall order for us, but something that we certainly can partner together for the well being of our children.

BACK TO TOP