Timeout technique has been used by parents and educators as a combination of operant conditioning and other method. Timeout is a set of procedure to reduce inappropriate behavior where access to reinforcement is denied from the student for a predetermined period of time (Knoster et al,2007). According to Gredler (page 91), time out is a brief period of removal of the individual from a setting that provides positive reinforcement.
There has been a discussion many years regarding the use of timeout as one of the discipline techniques. In research studies conducted over the years, parents and educators believe that timeout is an effective way in reducing aggression and misbehavior and it’s less injurious as this doesn’t involve physical abuse (Best Start Resource Centre, 2014).
Although studies and research indicating effective use of timeout, it still elicit controversy in discipline technique. Recent article in Time.com by Siegel and Bryson pointed out the negative effects of timeout in children’s neuroplasticity and worsened behavior problem rather than reduce it.
Parents can use alternative strategy of time-in as a combination strategy to address misbehavior. Time In is a set of process that gives guidance and builds connection with the child to address misbehavior. Time In involves positive interaction and giving feedback by setting aside time to address children’s misbehavior to find the best solution. It is fundamental to believe that children’s opinions, ideas and thoughts are important and will be valued.
Bransford and Stein (1993) develop the IDEAL approach to problem solving that can be integrated in Time In strategy to improve cognitive and problem solving skills. The IDEAL framework is a procedure to identify and understand different parts of problem solving. They are:
The first approach is to identify potential problems and treat them as opportunities.When problem treated as opportunities, children will perceive problem in a positive way and it will increase the possibility of creative action to improve the situation. Look for the underlying need behind the misbehavior and acknowledge that need and their feelings.
The second aspect is to define goals in problem situation. When children realize they were alternatives goals to solve problems, they will begin the equilibration process of assimilating information that is relevant on different strategies.
The third component is to explore. It often involves reanalysis of the goals to explore different strategies for solving a problem.
Once strategy is selected, the next component of problem solving is to anticipate. Anticipate possible outcomes and act based on strategy are important for flaws after the idea is put into practice.
- Look Back
The final component is to look at the outcomes of the strategies and learn from it. Children may fail to apply the strategy therefore they need to examine their performance and consider other options to solve the problem.
The alternative strategy of time-in by involving the children in the process will be the best option in handling misbehaving children.