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Time Out
Too Long?


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#1 GenWhy

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:25 PM

I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what is and isn't appropriate for time out? My 3 nearly 4 year old DS started kindy 3 weeks ago. He goes 2 days a week. I have been informed that he has been put in time out on a few occasions and have sent a note asking the teacher why he is being placed in time out (as in, what is he doing that warrants punishment). I spoke to the teacher after school today and she just said he's not listening. I explained that I was trying to understand what this meant (is he running around being silly and ignoring requests to settle down? Is he not putting his lunchbox away? Theres a number of things that "not listening" could relate to and I'm trying to work out if it's a specific instance etc so I can try to address it).

The teacher repeated that he "just doesn't listen" and if he doesn't listen he is placed in time out. Further attempts t clarify were not very successful - she stated he doesn't do what she asks so he gets 10 minutes in time out. I asked her again about how many minutes and she said it is TEN minutes per offence.

Personally I know my DS would struggle to sit still for more than 3 minutes. Ten is a huge ask! I said that this concerned me and I thought time out was supposed to be a minute per age of the child. She basically said that this was the behaviour management policy and if I didn't like it I could speak to the Principal.

So what do you think? Is 10 minutes in time out a bit overboard? Or should i expect my 3 yr old kindy child to sit still in time out for that long? Also should I be able to clarify further exactly what "not listening" means?

#2 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

Yeah if you don't know what he is doing when he's "not listening" how are you supposed to address it, usually when my lot aren't listening it's because they are being a bit silly and not paying attention to those around them, a quick "turn on your listening ears" usually gets them cooperative.

10 minutes also sounds too long for me at that age, my twins turn 4 on Sunday and I think the longest we do time out for is 5 minutes.

If you are not happy with the way the teacher is handling your DS then I would make an appointment with the principal AND the teacher so that you can all come up with a solution that suits everyone  original.gif  



#3 Funwith3

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:16 PM

Your kinder sounds more like a prison!

What constitutes as time out? Is he being sent to sit somewhere totally on his own, or is it more like he has to sit away from the rest of the kids on the floor while a story is being read? I think that would make a difference. Time out as in a totally other room is not on. Not at kinder. Kinder is supposed to be caring and nurturing, not punishing.

And if the teacher couldn't even give you an example of what warrants time out......well, I'd be furious.

#4 GenWhy

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:52 AM

He is being sent to sit on a chair facing a wall to "think" about what he's done wrong. I'm feeling extremely sad for him. Since school started he has not been enjoying it and has been asking to stay home.

I want him to behave but I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall whenever I try to speak with the teacher. I simply don't understand what "not listening" actually involves. I think a meeting with the principal and the teacher will be requested. I really can't understand the logic of putting a 3 or 4 year old in time out for that long. It's not a technique that has been used at school before for my 5 or 6 year old.

To the PP, yes, it's starting to feel like a prison rather than kindy. I got a note home today chastising me for sending a cut orange to school as "they make a mess". WTF?

#5 PurpleWitch

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

Sounds awful sad.gif

#6 countrylivingmum

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:22 AM

How on earth are you ment to address the problem if you don't know the details?!?!? I agree with pp I would ask to see the principle and explain you want to sort this out but the teacher isn't giving enough info for you do so.

Genwhy- if I was you I would send my child with an orange at least once a week ph34r.gif  laugh.gif .I thought they are trying to encourage healthy eating these days ?

Edited by countrylivingmum, 21 February 2013 - 01:23 AM.


#7 GenWhy

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:31 AM

Yeah I thought healthy eating was recommended. Last week I was told off for sending gluten and msg free crackers and a few pieces of cheese (along with a sandwich and fruit salad). Apparently "crackers aren't allowed" either.

#8 Feral Cancerian

Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:48 AM

Is he doing two full days ie. six hours? That's a long haul for a kid who's not even four yet. I think they're too harsh to expect constant listening throughout a long day.

#9 Just Another Cat

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:47 AM

If you can't even understand what he's in trouble for, how is he supposed too???

I agree that 10 minutes is too long for a 4 year old.

#10 Carmen02

Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:19 AM

that is to long for a 4yr old, to be honest my 8yr old would have trouble! If your not happy with the teacher's response do go higher, not listening is not a good enough reason.

#11 fionah

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:09 AM

That's way too much.
When we used FDC the carer would get the kids to sit quietly in a corner or sit next to her. Only for a few minutes and it had to be for a good reason, not just a vague "not listening" excuse.

Ray takes a sliced orange to school every other day. This is our second term at this school and I haven't seen a single healthy eating encouragement, if they asked me not to send an orange, I would very promptly join the P&C and ruffle some feathers.

Fi

Edited: damned auto correct...

Edited by fionah, 21 February 2013 - 07:11 AM.


#12 Mrs Manager

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

Are you sure this Kindy is right for you? TBH they sound terrible!  

"not Listening" is too vague for you to address

10 mins is too long for his age

I would ask the principle for more information on these matters at the very least. The teacher sounds like she doesn't care

#13 Jess1308

Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

My son starts 3 yr old kinder next year and no way could he sit for 10 min, I think its excessive. I also agree with some of the other responses if she can't articulate what exactly the context is of him 'not listening' how are you and he supposed to work on fixing it?

#14 Cat People

Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

I would change schools if you can OP.

I thought DayCares/Kindy had moved away from Time-out, especially the face-the-wall kind.

ds starting school at 3 and they implement (as a very last resort) a 'thinking/quiet' table.  So you sit until you feel you are able to join the class again - could be 30 seconds, ten minutes, whatever you feel you need.   If the child is upset, a teacher/Aide will stay with them.  It's not a 'shaming' tool but rather just a chance to gather your thoughts, relax.  You can read a book or some other calming activity.

And I agree the vague "not listening" excuse is ridiculous.

#15 Feralishous

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 21/02/2013, 04:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Definitely too long. i don't think time out has a place in a preschool setting at all. There are other ways to discipline a child, which don't involve exclusion.

agreed. I wouldn't be happy with time out as a behaviour management technique at all.

#16 GenWhy

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:34 AM

DS goes for 3 full days one week and 2 full days the next week. He's in a split kindy/pre-primary class. His teacher has a diploma from TAFE to be a teacher and this is her second year of teaching. She's young, very abrupt and I think has her back up because I have already spoken to her twice about other issues. She's told a mutual acquaintance that if I keep taking issue with the school I'll be treated as the whinging parent and therefore will be ignored. Nice.

Changing schools is not an option unfortunately. It's the only school for 200km.

#17 A-ZMum

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

QUOTE (GenWhy @ 21/02/2013, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She's told a mutual acquaintance that if I keep taking issue with the school I'll be treated as the whinging parent and therefore will be ignored. Nice.


Umm, what??  That's totally inappropriate!  She needs an attitude change.  I'd definitely be getting an interview with the teacher and principal.

#18 DonnaNobelHasBeenS

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (GenWhy @ 21/02/2013, 07:34 AM)
15345330[/url]']
DS goes for 3 full days one week and 2 full days the next week. He's in a split kindy/pre-primary class. His teacher has a diploma from TAFE to be a teacher and this is her second year of teaching. She's young, very abrupt and I think has her back up because I have already spoken to her twice about other issues. She's told a mutual acquaintance that if I keep taking issue with the school I'll be treated as the whinging parent and therefore will be ignored. Nice.

Changing schools is not an option unfortunately. It's the only school for 200km.


That is simply not on. I was a Nanny for a large variety of ages and this has never happened to my school aged kids. She ounces like a right charmer!!!!! I think it's time to forget reasoning with her and go straight o the principal or your gild will think tht this overbearing behavior is normal or school teachers.
Hope things get sorted soon.


#19 Therese

Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

QUOTE (GenWhy @ 21/02/2013, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DS goes for 3 full days one week and 2 full days the next week. He's in a split kindy/pre-primary class. His teacher has a diploma from TAFE to be a teacher and this is her second year of teaching. She's young, very abrupt and I think has her back up because I have already spoken to her twice about other issues. She's told a mutual acquaintance that if I keep taking issue with the school I'll be treated as the whinging parent and therefore will be ignored. Nice.

Changing schools is not an option unfortunately. It's the only school for 200km.


I would not be happy with her using time out like that and I definitely would not be happy about her talking about me to another person. That is incredibly unprofessional and I would be letting her manager (the principal)  know about it.

#20 LovenFire

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Definitely take this up with the Principal OP, and make sure you tell the Principal of what your mutual acquaintance said.  I would also be a bit concerned of her retaliating by cracking down further on your son and would alert the principal to this too.  Especially as your child already is saying he is unhappy.  

Ten minutes is far too long for a vague issue like "not listening".     Being put in a chair and told to face the corner to think about what he's done wrong - what is he meant to think about????  I think every bit of parenting advice that I have read which advocates a similar type of discipline states that you must tell your child clearly what they are being put there for - otherwise it makes no sense to the child.

OP, if you haven't already made an appt to see the Principal, I would do so stat.  


#21 GenWhy

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the replies. I have kept DS home today. He had a tantrum at the school gate and said he wants to stay home. I took him to the door of his classroom and his whole demeanor changed. He just looked so sad. I told the teacher I thought about it and I'm not happy with the behaviour management policy. I also said I will ask to make an appt with the Principal about it. Her response was "fine. DS was probably going to be sent home today anyway". Apparently if they get more than 3 time outs a day they are sent to the principal's office and a parent is summoned to collect them. Glad to hear she was already thinking DS would be in time out 3 times! This school is seriously making me wonder why I'm living here.

#22 *LucyE*

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

QUOTE
She's told a mutual acquaintance that if I keep taking issue with the school I'll be treated as the whinging parent and therefore will be ignored.

That is sooooo not on!

I would be making an appointment with the principal pronto.

I'm not a fan of time out in the first place, but 10 mins is too long for a 3 year old, the teacher can't articulate why and doesn't seem to have any other strategies in place.  I would remind them that 'discipline' means 'to teach' and that punitive punishments like 10 mins of time out does not teach a 3 year old anything.

Then there's the issue of the teacher discussing you to another person, let alone her attitude.  Not professional and maybe she needs some 'discipline'.

#23 SemiRuralGirl

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:05 PM

There are numerous things about this scenario that are seriously disturbing IMO.
I personally would not be leaving my children in the care of a person like that. It sounds terrible. Not making a mess???!!! They are THREE! WTH?!
If he's not listening, then as a teacher of three year olds, she should have techniques to work with that. I am having visions of this woman with a cane standing at the front of the room lording over the children commanding / yelling at them to do as they're told.
Who can learn in that environment?
And the comments to a third party. I'm sorry, are we back in high school?
Gah. The whole thing makes me sick.
Get. Out. Of. There.
FAST.


#24 Cat People

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE (GenWhy @ 21/02/2013, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I told the teacher I thought about it and I'm not happy with the behaviour management policy. I also said I will ask to make an appt with the Principal about it. Her response was "fine. DS was probably going to be sent home today anyway". Apparently if they get more than 3 time outs a day they are sent to the principal's office and a parent is summoned to collect them. Glad to hear she was already thinking DS would be in time out 3 times!



Wow what a seriously poor attitude she has!  Good luck.

#25 SemiRuralGirl

Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Oh and to answer the original question, 10 minutes is ridiculous for time out. I too am not a fan of time out in general, especially not at that age in a kinder setting - there are so many better options such as separation, distraction, diversion.
If they were going to use time out, one minute per age is the generally accepted time.
Boo to this bully teacher.




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