Plugged In: The child discipline debate

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Most child experts will tell you spanking is bad for your children.

And now there is growing debate about whether time-outs do more harm than good for some children.

According to a survey published a decade ago, 70-percent of parents used time-outs for children aged 19 to 35 months.

A 2012 report from The American Academy of Pediatrics found that in preschool children, the time-out increased parental compliance from 25 to 80-percent.

In a recent Time magazine article, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, stirred up controversy when he said the time-out method of discipline is often messed up and administered as a punishment when parents are angry.

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,” Siegel wrote. “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.”

Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University, does recommend using time-outs for children older than 4.

He told Parents magazine, “They realize that the time-out is not about losing a parent’s love. It’s about losing the privilege of mom’s or dad’s company because of something they did that was wrong.”

Dean Pearson wrote a book about child discipline called “Is Anybody in Charge? A Guide for Managing Children and Teaching Them Self-Control.” According to Yahoo, he recommends one minute of time-out per year of your child’s age.

Do you think time-outs are an effective form of discipline? What works for you? Comment on our Facebook post below. Todd Meany might read your comments during Plugged In from 6:30 – 9 a.m. on Fox 8 News in the Morning.








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