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Old 07-10-2007, 12:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Collected Comfort Corner Comments

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Title: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: ELTAZ on March 13, 2006, 09:38:42 PM
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Okay, so I read the Time Outs sticky, and I understand why some are against them. And I read the Comfort Corner sticky, and I understand how that could be so totally awesome. But I can't quite get my brain wrapped all the way around it. Could you please help me?

I started doing Time Outs as a replacement for spankings. So, yes, it's a punishment. BUT it's also a time period for her to cool off, be distracted, regain herself, and realize I'm serious when I say no (ie: hitting me or a friend, etc. - really bad behavior). Sometimes I do have to threaten a Time Out if she won't listen to me and stop a behavior (ie: kicking me while I'm changing her diaper)... often the threat works and she'll stop the behavior, and sometimes it doesn't so we have to do the TO. After the TO, things are really good and it seems like it works very well. But I do agree with what is said in the Time Out sticky, so I'm wondering if maybe I should try to do a comfort corner.

The only thing about a Comfort Corner that would be different from my TO (as far as I can tell) is that the TO is currently her going to her room, and I lock the door so she can't come out - and we do that for 2 minutes, by which time she has normally calmed down. B/c the TO is in her room, she has all her toys, her blankie, her teddy bears, etc. Sometimes she'll just play after she throws a small fit, sometimes she doesn't throw a fit at all, sometimes she throws a fit for most of the time.

Anyways, if I were to do a Comfort Corner, how would I get my strong-willed spirited almost-3-y/o to actually stay in it? I don't mind if she just goes there to calm down and just for however long she needs to calm down... but knowing my kiddo, I can't imagine how I could get her to go to it willingly when she needs the break and to get her to stay in it while she throws an initial fit over the discipline.

Any thoughts to share with me? I could definitely use the wisdom.

Sometimes I do remove myself from the situation - and I tell her I'm taking "a break". I was telling her that I was taking a "time out", but DH pointed out that she was thinking that *I* had misbehaved and was being punished (which isn't what I want her thinking when I give myself a time out!). Also, DH suggested we do the TO in a more punitive place (the laundry room), so she realizes she's being punished. He doesn't "get" the comfort corner aspect of my TO's.

So... any advice?

Thanks in advance! And I'm so sorry to ask this, as I'm sure it's something you get A LOT!

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: Fern on March 13, 2006, 09:47:32 PM
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I don't have any very good advice, but I did want to share that I was SHOCKED the first time I told my dd to sit somewhere, and she did. My dd is very spirited and has a wild temper when she's very upset, but most of the time if we tell her to sit somewhere she will stay there -- she might cry but she does stay.

Also, I did find that if she is very upset I have to employ the "Bear Hug" technique. That actually works better for both of us than a time out (and we haven't come up with a formal comfort corner because she finds nothing comforting about being told to stay somewhere). It takes longer than the one minute per age time out rule, but we end it loving each other and I feel very compassionate toward her and she is calm, whereas sometimes time outs don't feel like that, especially if she is very angry. Or if I am.

We still do punitive time outs sometimes, like if she has stolen a toy, refuses to give it back, is asked to go cool down, and then throws the toy at one of her brothers on the way to her cool down. Then she goes to her room. But really, in most cases a quick cool down on the steps does the job. I'm sure someone else will have much better ideas for you.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: DogwoodMama on March 14, 2006, 07:38:22 AM
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Why couldn't you sit in the comfort corner with your dd? If you are thinking about how to get her to *stay* there I'm not sure how it is much different than a TO.

Also, I'm curious why she is kicking you during a diaper change? Do you change her standing up or laying down? I used to have issues with my dd struggling with changes, but now that she gets to choose whether to stand up or lay down, and where to do it, etc. she doesn't fight it and is very cooperative. I'm just wondering if some of the battles you are experiencing could be dealt with in other ways... if my dd was fighting diaper changes, I wouldn't think about the CC, etc., more about, OK, what isn't working with how we are approaching this.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: MarynMunchkins on March 14, 2006, 07:50:25 AM
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You go with them to the CC. Reading a book usually works to get mine to calm down.

When you make it a time and place that she can go and gain control of her emotions without fear of punishment, she'll want to go there. It will take a while, but eventually they choose to go on their own.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: palil on March 15, 2006, 11:38:27 PM
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Quote:
I started doing Time Outs as a replacement for spankings. So, yes, it's a punishment. BUT it's also a time period for her to cool off, be distracted, regain herself, and realize I'm serious when I say no
My initial thought is that you're trying to mix 2 completely different mindframes. Punishment involves trying to "make a point", show her that you're serious, "teach her a lesson", etc. by offering an unpleasant experience in return for undesirable behavior--thus your dh's point about putting her in a less fun room. If you go that route, you'll have to up the ante (e.g. make the punishment more miserable) as many times as she does... plus one. (and if you have a very spirited youngster on your hands, that can get pretty extreme. I've been there, done that)

The CC is more about teaching them a productive and proactive way to deal with their big feelings.. Think of it as "coaching" them and *comforting* them through the cascade of upset until they calm down enough to come back to the problem and handle it more constructively. It's not only about the moment at hand, but also about teaching them to identify and address their emotions before they project them onto other people or situations.

TBH, I had a really hard time making CC "work" for me for a long, long time. (I just recently re-instated one for my 4 and 2yo). I was coming from such an extremely punitive paradigm, and I couldn't seem to use it without making it a punishment or feeling it was ineffective. It helped me to just think in terms of helping my boys "take a break" from the upsetting situation by transferring them to a totally different activity (preferrably something soothing). They often refused and protested at first, but within a few minutes they were calmed down and we could communicate about whatever was causing a problem.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: ELTAZ on March 16, 2006, 12:15:09 AM
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Okay... so how would the comfort corner differ from this?:

When my dd is just out of control and I can tell that a big hug and some comforting will help her calm down, so I do that instead of punishing for the misbehavior. For example, I'll pick her up, give her a hug, go to the couch and rock with her, and in a calming voice say something like "I can tell that you're upset right now. [insert some other reflecting things] I'm right here for you. Calm down, it's okay." (or something along that line) And the breather really helps her know that I'm understanding her, and it helps her calm down and get a grip.

So, is that the same thing as a comfort corner, but the CC just allows her to do the self-calming?

P.S. You just never need to punish??? (This isn't the best example, but just one I could think of quickly) What if you NEED to change that diaper RIGHT now and you've been chasing her around for 10 minutes trying to get it done, and now you seriously do need to do it b/c you're going to be late to her dr appt, so you give her the choice of where to lay down (bedroom or living room), and she chooses, and you're in the middle of it and she's kicking you and wont' stop? I mean, a comfort corner wouldn't really work then, would it? She's doing the kicking and smiling b/c she knows it's "teasing" me. How would going to somewhere to cool down really work for that situation?

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: MarynMunchkins on March 16, 2006, 05:45:00 AM
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Yes, it's the same thing. In that case, you just choose to be the CC for her. Which, frankly, is what I do almost all the time for my 2 yo.

In the diaper example, I'd put my feet on their shoulders and change their diaper. I'm bigger and diapers changes aren't negotiable. I'd make every effort to be as playful and goofy as possible to distract them, but the diaper would get changed. I don't need my kids to be happy and compliant abotu everything. They can be as mad as they want - life still happens.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: palil on March 16, 2006, 06:07:43 AM
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Quote:
I'll pick her up, give her a hug, go to the couch and rock with her, and in a calming voice say something like "I can tell that you're upset right now. [insert some other reflecting things] I'm right here for you. Calm down, it's okay." (or something along that line) And the breather really helps her know that I'm understanding her, and it helps her calm down and get a grip.
That's the basic idea.

Quote:
So, is that the same thing as a comfort corner, but the CC just allows her to do the self-calming?
the CC doesn't *have* to be "self" calmimg. As has been mentioned, a lot of moms go there with their kids. But, yes, kids can start to identify it as a place they can safely go when they need to regroup, and learn to make it their own tool for calming down and such. ( just remembered... my FIL got upset about something this weekend and ds asked if he needed to go to the CC )

Quote:
P.S. You just never need to punish???
Punishing assumes that kids have to suffer (by our hand) in order to learn. If it's possible to learn without suffering, then.... no, there is never a *need* to punish. There is always a different way to approach a situation... we just have to find the creativity, patience, and perspective that we need to pursue it. (and it took me a long time and many "but what about this?" posts to come to that conclusion, so I understand where you're coming from. )

Quote:
She's doing the kicking and smiling b/c she knows it's "teasing" me.
Is she being malicious, or just trying to play? What you described sounded like a (very familiar to me ) scenario where mom is rushing and maybe getting stressed and the child is feeling the tension and trying to release it by engaging mom in play--even if it's not an "approved" type of play. The best ways I've found to deal with resistance to diaper changes (or turning every change into a game a chase) are:

Stay calm and matter-of-fact. Work as quickly as possible.
Change dipes while child is standing if possible--give them freedom where possible (like you mentioned with giving choices) but skip the choices if circumstances don't allow for it.
Talk cheerfully about something (anything) to keep their attention diverted
If you know you have a runner, have a hand on them before you announce your plan to change.
Like Mary said... just get it done. It's a fact of life.

Both of my older boys went through a stage where they didn't like to have dipes changed. It's very normal and won't last forever, although with some kids it is more intense. My oldest started taking his dirty dipes off and "running away" (crawling) when he was 7 months old! He has always been a runner... it took me a long time to learn that he is emotional VERY sensitive, extremely extroverted, and that he does those things to engage with people. Negative attention is better than no attention. Unfortunately, we treated it as a matter of discipline, let ourselves become frustrated/offended by it, punished ds, and it became a miserable, ongoing affair. With my 2nd ds, we just dealt with it calmly, did our best to distract him, and let the stage pass on by... and it did--very quickly.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: DogwoodMama on March 16, 2006, 07:45:46 AM
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I agree- I would not add "punishment" to address resisting the diaper change. We had a period of time a couple of months ago where my dd REALLY fought diaper changes, and it was just driving me batty and really upset me- I called my dh in tears several times that week. The dynamic was we were "testing the waters" for potty-training, and she was ambivalent about it. She wanted to be naked and have "potty time" where she could sit on the potty but then she would get upset and ask for a diaper... and then right after she asked for a diaper she would literally FIGHT me to try to get it on her. I was really upset b/c I didn't actually *want* a diaper on it unless she wanted it- I didn't *want* to force a diaper on her, kwim? This went on for a few frustrating days until she decided to "take control" of the situation and developed an elaborate diaper-changing routine that included her wetting the wipes herself (we use cloth wipes), choosing whether to stand or lay down, or what diaper, etc. If I had "punished" her I would have likely deprived her of opportunity to take more control over diaper-changing, which is sort of our in-between step to potty training.

But if I had punished her, it would likely still be a battle going on today. There were a few times where I had to "make it happen," get a diaper on her against her will, but I basically did what Mary described above, just held her down and distracted her. But this didn't happen very often, honestly.

I wanted to add, I haven't started using a CC at all with my dd... she is so young (28 months) that I just pick her up and basically do what you do. But I will be interested to see how things change as we add a sibling and that dynamic to our family as she matures... she might come to appreciate a "place" where she can visit with me to regroup and deal with those big feelings she will likely have.

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Title: Re: Time Outs vs Comfort Corner vs. ?
Post by: ELTAZ on April 01, 2006, 11:56:43 PM
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I just wanted to thank you all for your comments. If I don't reply, it's probably b/c I'm cogitating!!!

I've been mulling this over in my head a lot lately. And I'm feeling like I have a better grasp on it. We haven't done a time-out in a week or so (knock on wood)... so I think I'm doing a better job of handling things. I have REALLY been reminding myself of this:

Quote:
the child is feeling the tension and trying to release it by engaging mom in play--even if it's not an "approved" type of play.
That has really been helping me keep a perspective... though it doesn't always ease my stress!

I am working on Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline, and have bought some other fun books that have been recommended (Playful Parenting, Your 3 Year Old, etc., etc., etc.). So, I think they will help me fully grasp all of this gentle, non-punitive "stuff" I'm not wrapping my brain around yet.

Thank you all, so much!!
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