My Secret To "Time-Out" Success

I will put a troll in time out like a mo-fo.
My daughter recently turned three, and can I just say "DAMN. Three can be hard." Between her saying she is "scared" of everything, to just flat out bolting away from me in defiance, and a lovely array of other toddler behaviors (um, hey mom, I just trashed your plants!) sometimes I feel like I am living in someone else's version of a joke. Or maybe they call that "parenting a spirited child?" Whatever. It's obnoxious, but she's awfully cute and I'm attached.

Lately, I feel it is my societal duty to really crack down because at three years old, she's old enough to know what I am saying, and pretty capable of obeying the rules (most of the time), it just that she...doesn't? So we had to start really being sticklers. Pay now or pay later, amiright?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am ALWAYS in awe of parents whose children stay in timeout. I tried to put The Bird in her room last year for bad behavior and she bested me by--get this--peeing on her bed.  Oh the horror. For me, time out just. Doesn't. Work. After some trial and error and changed bed sheets, I found something that works. You know what it is? Putting her TOYS in time-out.


I don't like to bribe her to do help me clean up. And I don't have that much patience. So when I am trying to get her to do something, or I need her to understand the seriousness of something I am saying, and she's not listening, I simply say, "I'm going to count to three and if you don't do it, I'm going to put your toy in timeout." There is usually a toy somewhere near me (or in her hand) and them being in time out drives her up the wall.

And if she doesn't listen still? More toy time outs. Side note: I have never had to put more than one toy in time out, it's just a contingency plan.)

It's been a couple of weeks of using toy time out and cracking down on nonsense behavior and not listening, and I am happy to report that things are improving all the time. So, if time out doesn't work for you, either,  put your game face on, grab that toy and put it out of reach!!