Thursday, March 12, 2009

Conventional Wisdom Questioned

Playing devil's advocate here:

Sofi does like to whine.  Conventional wisdom is that we're reinforcing the whining by giving in to it - I personally don't believe we do, we're usually pretty consistent about pointing out whining, ignoring it or saying "ask in a nice way."  But if we ask a doctor or teacher what to do, they tell us, "You must not be consistent."  I have a couple friends who have troubles with whiny daughters also, who also try the standard treatment and also have little success.  I wonder - is the wisdom correct?  Maybe whining is natural as wind or rain, not a habit that we're encouraging.  Maybe whining is a symptom of another problem.  I don't know.  I just wonder.

Time outs are wonderful.  No spanking necessary.  And here I'm really playing devil's advocate, I don't actually believe this, but it does occur to me, seeing Sofi *so* mortified by time outs, that maybe they're a kind of torture even worse than corporal punishment:  a twisted psychological torture of some kind.  Just musing aloud, there.

1 comment:

Brett Douville said...

Time outs are great. However, keep in mind that what is a short time for an adult (a few minutes) might be an eternity to a toddler. I remember reading some rule of thumb that the number of minutes shouldn't be more than the child's age or something.

Also, it might be torturous for other reasons; for kids who love to be the center of attention, it might be very hard indeed. I think that's likely to be a good corrective rather than truly punishing.