This is what qualifies as discipline in our kinder and gentler society these days…
Let’s assume just for a moment that precious little Sally or darling little Johnny is being a real pain in the ass. As most any parent or teacher will tell you, there could be an infinite number of reasons that they have broken from the pack. Maybe they aren’t getting enough attention or maybe they think it’s cool or something. Either way, they’ve decided to act up and disturb those around them by either engaging in verbal abuse or actually hitting or threatening another kid or adult. Sometimes these little apples of your eye might even smash things for no apparent reason other than they didn’t get their way.
Lordy, what’s a parent or teacher to do?
Call a “time out”. That’s where you drag little Sally or little Johnny away from the goings on and let them have some time to themselves so their little minds can ruminate on just how bad they’ve been behaving. Ideally, the (and I’m not making this up), “time out area” should be within eye and earshot of what’s going on so that they can see just what they’re missing and reflect upon how poorly they’re treating others in their group.
Each offense that a child commits should have a length of time associated with it in which the blessed children can ponder their behavior. For instance, if little Johnny decides to spray paint the cat, that might land him a full fifteen minutes in the dreaded “time out area”. On the other hand, should little Sally start calling her brother names, that might warrant only five. In either case, there is no time off for good behavior.
Again, I’m not making this up, since some kids apparently have difficulty with the concept of time, a kitchen timer should be used so that when the bell goes off they can spring like a boxer from their corner and return to the fun stuff.
While in “time out”, junior should not be able to talk to anyone, not even themselves. Grumbling and mumbling are forbidden behaviors. They can’t have any toys, television, music, video games or food for the length of their sentence. Should they violate these rules, they can expect a stiffer one.
Naturally the little darlings might put up a struggle when their faced with the prospect of a time out. In order to avoid it,they might rant, they might rave, they might have to be dragged off kicking and screaming to the dreaded “time out area”. ”YOU DON”T LOVE ME! and "I HATE YOU!” are just two of the favorite ploys they might use in order to shift the blame from them to you. Just how is the authority figure to cope with that?
Well, the books says you should count all the way to three and if little Johnny or Sally still decides they don’t want to face the music, they should be threatened with an extended stay. If that doesn’t work, you’re supposed to deprive them of life and limb by threatening to take away one of their favorite things. Oh, the horror these kids face!
Then again, there’s always Option Two
Often, the mere threat of that is enough to turn them back into the little angels that we know they all are.
(Note: this was written tongue in cheek. For those kids diagnosed with ADD or ADHD it's a whole 'nuther story.)