Easiest book review ever. Parents should be benevolent dictators.
I could stop there but what fun would that be?
I summarized the first half of the book here. The second half of “Beyond Time Out” focuses more on older children so I glanced through it thinking “yeah, one day I’ll need to know this but I may as well skip it now since I’ll forget it by the time I need to know it”.
I’ll add “Beyond Time Out” to the Amazon Wish List. When Penelope can complete full sentences.
I can’t help but wonder if the book is a reaction to so much of the parental fluff the authors discuss.
Here are a few quotes.
Remember that a large part of helping your kids get along well in life is getting them adjusted to the reality that life is generally not on their terms.
The core script used when climbing the ladder:
You know I only say things two times, and this is the second reminder I am giving you. A third time means you’re going to your room.
On asking children “why did you do that”:
Young children are not self-reflective, and they have no idea why they do things.
This applies to some adults too.
Your child will never treat you with more respect than you give to him. (authors emphasis)
The author also makes an interesting point for not making your child say “I’m sorry”. What are you going to do, make them? She believes parents are setting themselves for a guaranteed power struggle. You, the parent, want to be the one holding the reigns. As He-Man would say “I HAVE THE POWER”.
As the law of the instrument states “When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail”. This came to mind repeatedly as I read/skimmed the contents.
So many scenarios are presented in the book yet the outcome is always the same. On the one hand I initially was thrilled the author included so many parental scenes. After a chapter or two I grew weary. The surprise was gone. “Step 1 – tell them to stop, Step 2 – tell them you mean it and you’re not going to say it again, Step 3 – take action, Step 4 – time out, Step 5 – parent hold. I realize this may sound like a complaint, but it’s not. It’s effective. I found myself reading and saying “yeah, here the dad is going to do step 1 – 4 but step 5 will not be necessary”.
If the author’s steps are taken without expressed and heartfelt love you can count on the child writing a book when they are older with a title such as
“Ladder of the Automaton” (sci-fi)
“How I Survived the Steps” or
“The Corner-Where Dreams Go To Die” (self-help)
“Broken Ladders” (fiction).
It’s easy to forget about affection when you’re so focused on discipline.
I think you get the point.
“So how about it Jeremy, how’s it going for you with that ladder?”
So far so good. I’ll give you two examples.
Penelope loves her feet. Not sure why, but she loves em’. Likes to grab them, put them close to her face, take her shoes off in the car so she can gaze at them. That’s fine. However when she’s at the dinner table she likes to put them on the table. Not cool. Enter the Ladder.
We were eating dinner and she put her foot up on the table. I took the first step and told her (not asked!) to take her foot off the table. She did it again. Immediately. Step 2 “You know I only say things twice…” Penelope begins shaking her head ‘no’ “…take your foot off the table.” and down it goes.
Flash forward about 5 minutes and her little piggies make another appearance. I get up, go behind her, take off her bib, and unstrap her from her high chair. “Ok, take my hand. You’re going to your room.” Crying ensues. As the chair is moved into the corner and she is placed in it the cries turn into wailing. After a moment or so I close the door to her room. A few minutes later she is quiet, calm, and when I tell her she can join us she come out and is cheerful.
Penelope loves chairs, which is great. As long as her bottom is the part touching the chair cushion. Penelope likes to kneel or even stand on chairs though. One day baby, one day you can do that. But today (nor the next few years) ain’t that day.
So you can probably guess what I did at this point. I told her to sit down. She didn’t. I told her I only say things twice and she needed to sit down, her bottom on the chair. I didn’t even need to take another step up the ladder. She sat and remained seated.
Does this mean I will NEVER have to use the ladder when she gets in a chair. H E Double Hockey Stick no! (We’ve taken to spelling everything around the house, why not here?) Jenn and I may have to do it for the same things several times a day.
Note to future Penelope: The things you’re doing are completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Honestly, if you were “perfect” and never defied us I would be very concerned. Your mother and I think you are amazing.