Episode 36: Time-outs vs. Self Calming Breaks

by | December 20, 2019

Episode 36: Time-outs vs. Self Calming Breaks

by | December 20, 2019

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Episode 36: Time-outs vs. Self Calming Breaks


On today’s episode, Wendy & Terry discuss the why & the how behind taking a break from using time-outs in our households, and instead, teaching & modeling how to implement self-calming breaks. Time-outs are a forced isolation that do not actually teach a child how to calm themselves down. Self calming breaks give kids practical tools to take care of their needs in healthy & appropriate ways. They’re all about coaching our kiddos to feel their emotions and deal with them from a place of integrity.

Specifically, Wendy & Terry touch on three elements of this idea that will offer practical tools & encouragement when it comes making the switch from time-outs to self-calming breaks:

  1. The difference between external control vs. intrinsic motivation
    • We want our kids to learn how to control themselves instead of controlling their behavior through fear, force, bribery & rewards
    • Time-outs don’t teach kids how to calm down, they just force them to do it
    • As parents, we have the opportunity to empower our kids to calm themselves down & learn to take care of themselves on their own
  2. How to implement self-calming breaks in our homes & take a break from time-outs
    1. During a relaxed time, teach your kids that they are learning! They are learning how to feel & how to get their needs met.
      • First, talk about what each of the 5 main emotions feel like – happy, sad, scared, hurt, mad
      • Then, explain that sometimes they may not know what to do when their emotions feel big
      • Finally, remind them that they may need help communicating in order to get their needs met
    2. Create a calming chart or kit for everyone in the family with a list or actual items that help each member of the family calm down & take care of him/herself
      • Kids should be in charge of what goes into their calming kit (within reason!)
    3. If you receive push-back, give your kiddo a choice – “Do you want to grab your calming bag on your own, or would you like me to come with you?”
  3. The importance of modeling
    • Kids will learn better if you show them first – they won’t always listen to what you say, but they will always watch what you do
    • Remember that positive, sustainable change takes time

Mentioned in this Episode:


5 Positive Parenting Tips to Help Gain Cooperation & Dissolve Power Struggles with Integrity

Topics covered will include:  

  • How to gently guide your kids towards action, even when they don’t want to move or do what’s asked of them
  • Ways to see kids who push back a lot as incredible blessings & future leaders 
  • The importance of paradigm shifting with thoughts & beliefs about power seeking misbehavior 
  • How to implement a Pause Button or Heart Connector to ignite creativity & model self-control 

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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at [email protected] or connect with me over on Facebook @freshstartfamily & Instagram @freshstartwendy.


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