Please Explain “Time Out” to Me!
Laurie Zelinger, Ph.D. and Fred Zelinger, Ph.D
Loving Healing Press
5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
9781615994151, $17.95 PB, $5.95 Kindle, 34pp
9781615994168, $27.95, HC, 34pp, www.amazon.com
‘Please Explain ‘Time Out’ To Me : Story for Children and Do-It-Yourself Manual for Parents” is both a teaching story for children and a do-it-yourself manual for parents.
Part of a psychological/behavioral series for kids and parents, Please Explain ‘Time Out’ To Me speaks directly to its audience from the main character, a kid named Jackson. Jackson has a younger brother and an older stepsister and two parents. He is familiar with the use of time out for bad behavior both at school and at home. He explains that is usually a very well behaved kid. But sometimes he just gets mad and loses control of himself. Then he gets to sit in time out, not a pleasant place, but a neutral zone where he can contemplate what he did and how it affects others as well as himself. When he regains control, his timeout is usually over. He is given ideas for how to contain his frustration that do not harm or annoy others.
One of his tools is a special Frustration Fixer box that he made with his Dad. In this box are many objects to help Jackson get a handle on his behavior. These include bubbles to blow to help in self calming, a kazoo to buzz out his anger, hard gum to chew, a stretchy band to pull, a picture of him smiling to remind him he’ll feel better later, a bongo drum to hit, joke book, something squishy to squeeze, a soft cloth smelling of lavender, a pad and pencil to write things down, a toy lion to growl at, a Transformer to remind him that he can change, and tissues in case he cries. Anyone can make their own Frustration Fixer box with things that are helpful to them, with a parent’s help.
Please Explain ‘Time Out’ to Me also has a very helpful section titled Parent Guide to Effective Behavioral Management, which defines different approaches to help manage behavior, including positive reinforcement (four stars), negative punishment (3 stars), negative reinforcement (no stars), and positive punishment (no stars), and natural consequences. Further tips are given in sections headed Walk the Walk and Tricky Situations.
Time Out is carefully defined in 5 essential steps: “1. In advance and as a family, identify why, when, how and where Time Out will be implemented. 2. if a rule has been broken that cannot be corrected by discussion, swiftly move or carry your child to the Time Out Chair. 3. When one child is in Time Out, the whole world doesn’t have to stop. 4. When Time Out is over, you should go about your business without any further discussion with this child. 5. After a few seconds have elapsed, you can approach your child and discuss what went wrong…”
In addition to this helpful discussion, there is a glossary of term with a recap diagram illustrating the different forms of reinforcement. Please Explain ‘Time Out’ To Me is a very effective tool for teaching behavior management to children and parents, with cheerful colored illustrations.