My grandson is a normal, very active 2 1/2 year old. He just acquired a baby sister, and is potty training. My son and his wife do not spank, but are frustrated in their attempts to control his behavior (climbing on tables, jumping on the sofa, screaming, defiance, etc.). They have tried time-outs, which include sitting with his back against the wall, and solitary (in his room with the door closed until he is through screaming). Time-outs often aggravate the situation. He will scream in Mommy or Daddy's face, and say, "NO!" When he does this, they squirt water in his face. He hates this. I hate this. It seems ego-crushing and abusive. What are good resources for parents to understand what is going on in his little brain, and what are some better alternatives when time-out seems counter-productive?
In a general sense, time out for misbehavior (particularly when the misbehavior is in the form of non-compliance with parental directions) is a sound approach. But, of course, the devil is in the details, in this instance the details about how the time out is executed. Squirting water in the boy's face is not a sensible approach. I'd recommend his parents read Lynn Clark's book titled S.O.S.: Help for Parents - it's an excellent manual for managing childhood behavior.
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