“Changing the word ‘child’ to ‘wife’ and ‘parent’ to ‘husband’ highlights the reality of what is being advocated and the paternalism in the conventional view of children.”
– Sarah Fitz-Claridge
From the archives: Posted on 8th January 1999
[Note added 2023: In this post I changed the pro-timeout text I had quoted in this 1995 post to be a husband advocating imposing time outs on your wife. Changing the word “child” to “wife” and “parent” to “husband” highlights the reality of what is being advocated and the paternalism in the conventional view of children.]
Hi…I’m a husband who uses time out with his wife… I find it very useful. it works if you use it right
Time out is not as much a punishment as it is a time to sit and think quietly, or a time to stop a bad interaction… a time to calm down.
Here are some suggestions for other husbands out there:
Only say NO to your wife when you really have to… and when you really mean it!
Make a special place for time out…like a chair or a room that locks from the outside.
Get a kitchen timer with a loud buzzer. Put it where your wife can see it, so she knows how much time she has left. This will help her to realize that it WILL come to an end.
The amount of time is important… even a short time will work.
If your wife screams cries and shouts and gets up during time out, explain that the time out begins when she sits quietly.
Keep starting over until she sits quietly.
Praise her for cooperating when she does.
Don’t talk to her or pay attention to her when she is in time out.
Do something nice with her (like a hug) when it is over.
If she does something really “wicked”, put her in time out, then talk about it calmly after the time out… to try to understand why it happened at all.
Sometimes I take “time out”… when I am “acting out”…I’ll even tell my wife I’m taking time out to calm down. It helps her understand that there is a good reason for it… and that it is not a punishment.
- ‘Tantrums’ are a response to coercion
- How about explaining to your children?
- Curious young children taking things apart