Boy sitting sadHappy Birthday, you’re another year older!

What does that mean?

Does it mean your child is automatically able to use her intellect in a more logical way

Does it mean since she’s walking, talking and potty trained she’s really more adult like?

Does it mean she’s capable of truly “reflecting” on her behavior?

Does it mean that timeout will work the way you hoped it would?
IMHO, the answer is no.

Even after a birthday timeout will still feel like separation and abandonment to a young child. Even after a birthday timeout will still cause a child to react emotionally, not think logically. So what can you do?

Instructional discipline teaches a child at her age appropriate level, not yours. Instructional discipline stops her from feeling like she’s been abandoned emotionally.

Instructional discipline calmly and firmly teaches her about behavior in a way that allows her to understand and emotionally accept the outcome.

Shifting the way you change your child’s behavior allows you to maintain, not disrupt, your relationship by staying connected even when correcting.


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