Banning the Time Out Corner in Pre-School

I heard the most ridiculous new rule the other day. I mean why not bring in another rule so we can try and deal with the end results rather than the cause of things. Australia seems to be so good at doing this.

They are banning the time out corner in pre-school and will be fining anyone who dares to teach a young child right from wrong and help them to learn that there are consequences, good or bad, for everything we do.

For some reason, someone sitting up in their ivory tower, with probably no practical experience being a parent or a teacher, thinks that the best way for a child to succeed in life is to not have any discipline, to be mollycoddled, and to be fed excuses their whole life as to why they can’t pull their heads in and behave as decent, moral citizens.

It’s not my fault…I was born this way…. He told me to do it…. my mum said something bad to me last night….I’ve got anxiety, ADHD or as one student said to another trying to give a stream of excuses “No one cares about your HDTV problem!!”

I hear the excuses all day long from kid’s mouths at school. They are offered excuses instead of consequences all day long and their behaviour spirals downward out of control.

They are rude, disrespectful, don’t know how to solve a problem, be responsible or accountable and they complain all day long. Nothing is fair and everyone is picking on them.

Students are now telling teachers to fuck off, they are fighting each other on the playground and think it is cool. They don’t receive any consequences for their behaviour so they think that  it is okay to keep doing the same thing. The lunatics are beginning to run the asylum.

I was fed up before I even heard about this ridiculous new rule. Imagine how bad schools and our society will become now when children as young as two aren’t allowed to be taught how to behave? What will their learned behaviour be now?

That they can, be, do and say whatever they like. They can bite children, they can shout at adults, and call their friends names.

banning the time out corner in preschools

Photo: Brandon Christopher Warren

And eventually the cry is “You can’t tell me what to do, I know my rights!!” Oh wait a minute, they already do that. All these rights, but no responsibilities to go with them.

All because we fear isolating them for 10 minutes will result in them become mass murderers when they are adults, because their self esteem will be destroyed. All of this has come about because of a weak judicial system and immoral lawyers who are paid to make sure their clients aren’t accountable with pleas of insanity, duress, and diminished responsibility.

What a load of BS. You can discipline a child and you can love them at the same time.

I have always achieved results with the students I’ve taught because I make sure they are responsible and accountable for their actions. I don’t listen to their nonesense stories and I hold them to a higher expectation.

I spend the majority of my time praising, uplifting and encouraging them. But if they start acting the fool and forgetting to behave, they know there will be consequences and I will be disappointed in them, because I expect better and they know I think they are better. I do the same with my child.

As adults we have a moral responsibility to raise our students as decent human beings. There are many parents that don’t do a great job of this so our schools need to be the place that can help them out.

What hope do they have in life if they don’t know how to be responsible, accountable, to work hard and to be kind and respectful?

If children don’t know how to function properly amongst the group then you remove them for a short time. You don’t call them naughty or bad.

You simply say

“Right now, you are forgetting how to, listen, be respectful … I want you to take some time out over there and think about your actions. Think about how you should be behaving. Right now you have made a wrong choice. But that is okay because you can just as easily make a better choice. When you are ready to do that then we would love to have you join us again.”

I  had a student the other day who I had never met before. As soon as I walked in the room, she decided she wanted to have an attitude with me. She was incredibly rude and disprespectful. I pulled her aside to the “Time Out” door.

“Would you like to explain to me why are you choosing to be so rude and disrespectful? I have never met you before. I’ve been nice and kind to you. I don’t understand. Why would you do that? Do you understand that if you are rude to people then they are not going to help you or want to be nice in return.”

“I can’t help it. I was born like this.”

“Excuse me? Who told you that? Who ever has told you that has lied to you?”

“I’ve always been like this. I can’t help it.”

“That is the biggest lie you can ever tell yourself. You can change it. No one is the same as what they were when they are a baby. If you keep believing that then you will never make a different choice and things won’t improve for you. All it is is a choice. You can choose to be nice or you can choose to be nasty.”

After talking a litle more to her about this she went back to her desk and was lovely and polite to me for the rest of the day. I corrected her behaviour, empowered her to know she can choose to be better and that I thought she could be, made her aware that her bad choices can be easily forgotten and we can start again if she just makes a better choice.

What would have happened if I just said “Oh you poor thing and let her continue on with that excuse that she was being fed.” Would this have helped her to have a happy successful life?

I am not parenting or teaching for today, I am parenting and teaching for these children’s future.

In our society cildren are being fed so many of these excuses that they have no idea that they do have control over their behaviour and they can make better choices. We label them constantly ADHD, Anxiety, ADD, OCD,  OMGLOL. These children don’t know what these mean. If you let them think this cripples their ability to choose then they will keep acting the fool and blame it on their label. Let’s stop dis-empowering our children.

Sure a lot of these are very real conditions, if perhaps a little too readily diagnosed and medicated these days. But you let your children know that these are challenges they have to face in their life, but they can work around them. It doesn’t give them excuses to behave inappropriately.

My daughter was sick today and started to behave rudely. I could have easily said, “Oh she is just sick and tired.” And of course I’d love to be able to do that. But, the mother that wants my child to be a decent, accountable person knows that I have to let my daughter know the truth.

“I know you are feeling sick and tired right now, and that is a horrible way to feel. But, that doesn’t give you an excuse to be nasty and unkind. You know better than that.”

I still get across my love and compassion for her, but at the same time let her know that she cannot let excuses get in the way of her being a respectful and kind person. There are no excuses.

If it means we have to send our children to time out for a little while for some space and quiet time to think through their actions, then this is what we do. As long as we let them know that they are not naughty or bad, that they can make a better choice and all will be okay then time out is a viable consequence.

posted in: Daily Life

  • Jen

    Great post!! My husband and I talk about this issue all the time… wait until these kids have to get a job and a BOSS!! The world is going mad 😮

    Following you back from the Weekend Blog Hop 🙂

    Jen- True Life: SAHM


    • Caz

      The world is going mad. I shudder at the thought of what it will be like when all these kids become adults. It will probably stop working as they won’t be able to do anything. They will have no responsibilities and everyone will be waiting around for someone else to do it.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  • Courtney

    Reading this is made me smile that someone else out there feels EXACTLY how i do on this issue. I expect good behaviour from my children, I have high expectations and when other people make comments on their manners or their good behaviour i feel my hard work is all worth it. I have the time to teach them how to be good little human beings, and i kinda feel it is my responsibility to ensure that they are the best they can be and that includes being well mannered, respectful and responsible for their actions.
    I found you vis bloggy moms, I’m in australia too.


    • Caz

      Yes. Courtney totally hear where you are coming from. We are the same with Kalyra. We have always had people comment to us about her wonderful manners and you feel such gratitude as you know what hard work it is to get them to understand that this is the best way to behave. So many parents don’t want to do this as it is too hard. They would rather leave it up to TV and other poor outside influences instead. Manners and respect go so so far. Thanks for finding me and leaving a comment. I really appreciate hearing your opinion.


  • Andrea

    Agree with you completely! John’s mother works at his old high school in Perth and she told us the other day that some students were throwing rocks at one of the teachers (who we actually know). Rocks! At a teacher…couldn’t believe it. They were suspended, of course, but that doesn’t quell our wonders about how kids get to be high school age and could even consider doing such a thing. Quite scary if you ask me.


    • Caz

      The fact that they are actually throwing the rocks at the teachers show that this country and our youth have gone mad. Why are so many of our youth behaving like this and thinking it is okay? Instead of the government making more stupid laws to strip the teachers of rights and the ability to discipline, why don’t they do something about the degeneration of our youth’s ability to be respectful and kind? The politicians are too busy arguing and callng each other names. What hope do we have when these are the leaders of our country. And take a look at our other role models for our children…. violent, abusive football players. Boy, don’t get me started on that one. I can’t stand walking around the playground seeing our boys mimic the foolish antics of these football players. It is that scary and worrying to me Andrea that Craig and I no longer want to raise our children here. Heartbreaking


  • Mia

    I’m fourteen and have ADHD (Inattentive type), depression, and anxiety. So, I have difficulty paying attention. My teachers that know will make up excuses like, ‘it’s okay, turn your homework in tommorrow,’. And I AM grateful, but it ticks me off. WHY SHOULD I BE TREATED ANY DIFFERENTLY? So my brain wanders more than most people’s. I should still be held accountable. When I get to be older, what happens if I become a surgeon and kill someone. Is there family supposed to say, ‘It’s okay. You can try again tommorrow’? OR a lawyer, what if I have a client that gets sent to prison. Is he/she supposed to say, ‘Oh well, it’s okay. You can get my trial right next time’?


    • Caz

      Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts and your story Mia. I love what you have to say and I think you are spot on. It is wonderful to hear these words from someone who suffers from these conditions and who does not want to use it as an excuse. You have so much power within you and you will go so very far.

      There is a student I teach who tells me every day all the conditions he has, very similar to yours, and how that is a reason why he can’t do anything. As I say to him, “you need to change your story. If you continue to label yourself like this and give you that story, that excuse, then you will never overcome it and you will not be able to move forward in your life. Change your story. Tell yourself you have these challenges, but you can work to overcome them. You can try and do your best every day.”

      I wished more adults thought like you Mia, they may be able to do more to help our children overcome challenges and learn how to be responsible and accountable despite them. All the best for you and please keep me updated with how you are going and working towards making your dreams a reality. I think you definitely have what it takes. I really admire you


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