Talking Time Out

When we lived in Dallas we had a 45 minute commute to school twice a week for our kids. We carpooled with another family and so you can imagine that somewhere in that hour and a half there would be some sort of strife.

The bad thing about driving in the car is that when you have any kind of disobedience from your kids you either have to lean over the seat and give them a good talking to or you have to say, "You better hope that we don't have to pull this car over." You can't really put them in their "time out seat." They're already there! There are just not a lot of ways to discipline without having to take desperate measures.

My husband was kind of irritated with the kids for their bickering so he invented "Talking Time Out." Time out has always worked to some degree with our kids, especially our son who is very rule abiding. But this really worked. Basically, when they are bickering or using course language in the car they get "talking time out" for however many minutes we determine.

Let me tell you this has redirected our kids more times in the car and made riding with them much more enjoyable. So for those long holiday trips, try "talking time out" to help make great positive memories!!

It works for our family! Is there anything else that you have found to keep car rides sane? Leave a comment and share! To find out more great holiday ideas, check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.


Heather@Mommymonk said...

Ok, I'm game, except i'm sure one smart alec will be saying every couple of seconds, "can I talk now?" "How about now?" if you know what I mean~

John Mark said...

Yes. I'll confirm that this absolutely works wonders for our family. And Heather above is right - at first our kids did that, but it's an easy fix. If you said a concrete time (say 2 min) and they're asking before that time is up just extend the length of talking timeout each time they break the rule.

"Oops. I'm sorry, but because you just talked you have an extra 30 seconds in talking time out now."

On occasion the car has got so quiet that I get lost in my own thoughts and actually forget about talking timeout.

I've noticed that the length of talking timeout isn't that big of a deal - one or two minutes has been plenty for our kids.

El Shaddai Ranch said...

Thanks for this tip - it'll come in handy next week when we drive 12 hours! Other things we do to keep the sanity in the van: Adventures in Odyssey tapes, singing along to a crazy kids CD like Billy Jonas, and of course, the DVD player : )

C said...

So funny. We ALSO have always had "talking time outs" and call them that! Great minds think alike. :)

Mamabug said...

We have "no talking timeouts" as well. We extend it a minute every time they talk. It helps me chill out and they remember to stop the whining. It works on our 2y/o as well.

Sharinskishe said...

I love love this!!! My kids are getting better but there are times that a little silence would be a touch of heaven! Thanks for such a great idea. I linked here from my today's post because I think others need to read this idea. Thanks again and Have a Happy New Year!