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Have you tried putting the TOYS in time out?

Changing the behavior of a toddler can be a challenge, but this has been working (maybe because it's new, LOL). Rather than admonish my child for HIS offending actions, (throwing toys, squirting water outside the tub with toys, tearing books, etc.) I now put the "offending TOY" in time out.

When he squirted me with a bath toy last week, I said, "Uh-oh, Whale! No Squirting! Bye Bye, Whale!" & put it in the mesh bag for toys. When DS wanted it back, I just "explained", "Nope, the whale squirted water on the floor, so he's in time out. Bye Bye, Whale." Happily, no other toys repeated the behavior, YAY!

When he tore a book page out (new behavior, but has done it 4 times) I took the book away & said, "That book CAN'T be torn! It's going to time out, so it's safe. Time out, book."

Toys that aren't put away go in "time out" (out of reach) until the next day. Now, all I have to say is, Does that "x" need a time out? (Yay!)


Asked by doodlebopfan at 12:41 PM on Jul. 17, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (15)
  • I did this a lot when the twins were younger. I never actually said the toy was going to time out, but if they were fighting over a toy or using a toy to hurt one another or be destructive I would take it and put it away. My wording was usually more like, "Uh Oh. It's sad you can't share _________. Now it must go away" or "Uh Oh. It's so sad you can't play nice with __________. Now it must go away". I still use this technique for minor things like splashing me with a bath toy, but if they are fighting or hitting I take the toy and put the child(ren) in their room.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:13 AM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Sounds great, if it works go for it. Maybe something that is catching.

    Answer by my2kids312 at 12:44 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • LOL LO LL ROFL< Om good lord, that was the funniest ! ! Heck I may have done that but I'd forgotten, how hilarious but it works.

    Answer by coffeeyum at 12:49 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Yep, my youngest is 10 years old and his Nitendo is currently in time out, LOL. It still works past the toddler/preschool years.

    Answer by mom2boys1997 at 12:52 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Yep, did that for years. It is the only form of discipline that worked for my son. I still take his video games, phone, etc. away when they are demanding too much of his

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 1:01 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • it works great! when my girls fight over a toy or act up using one.. time out it goes. I can't honestly say I have had to put any one toy in time out more than twice (besides their favorites that they sleep with). I love it though.. best idea ever!

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 1:15 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I do the same thing in a sense but I believe that the behavior still needs to be adressed. There needs to be a connection made with why the toys need to be in time out and how the toys can come out of time out.

    Answer by NikkiMomof2grls at 12:48 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • Actual real life, though.... well ---- not that in reality. The child may calm down for a moment but i wonder if it isn't going to say that parents are push-overs.

    Answer by coffeeyum at 12:51 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I get that the behavior needs to be addressed, but addressing it passively rather than directly is working at least for now. Our son isn't extremely verbal and "reasoning" does not work with him. Children have different personalities and different things work for different kids. I'm tired of "drama" and choose to "pick my battles". We have plenty of opportunity to practice, LOL!

    PS-Our son was adopted thru foster care and we do things a little differently because of that. Thanks for the input. I'm just more than a little excited to be having some drama-free days and I now feel "in control" because of the good behavior. Whatever it takes...

    Just wanted to share the idea with others who struggle. (Or is it just me???) :)

    Comment by doodlebopfan (original poster) at 1:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I was a special education teacher for awhile. I used this type of thing with my students until one day I had a student stab another student with a pair of scissors and then calmly bring the scissors to me saying they needed to be locked up while his classmate is dripping blood. The student tried to blame the scissors, me, the boy who he attacked....It was everyone and everything else's fault but his own.

    Kids need to understand that things happen because of their choices. They need to accept responsibility for their actions. You and I know it was the child doing the behavior that caused an issue. That child learned to blame other things for his actions.

    That aside, it's a FABULOUS technique and one that I will use if I know my daughter understands.

    Answer by CAMKsMom at 1:17 PM on Jul. 17, 2010