Timeouts, Ignoring Tantrums Both Hailed As Effective Parenting In New Study

Timeouts and ignoring child tantrums were both hailed as effective parenting techniques in a new study from researchers at Oklahoma State University (OSU).

The study team interviewed 102 mothers of children from the ages of 18 months to 30 months in age. The moms “provided detailed descriptions of five times they had to discipline their toddlers for hitting, whining or defiance, and found that toddlers need both reasoning and punishments,” reports Yahoo! Parenting.

Ericka Souter, a parenting expert and editor at Mom.me, heralded the study as proof that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to raising children.

“The first thing to remember from this study is there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to discipline your kid. Every kid is different. It’s about knowing your kid,” she said in comments to Good Morning America on Friday. “The second great thing is that we’re hearing that timeouts can be a good thing and we should utilize them when it’s appropriate.”

Gone from the study was talk on the effectiveness at harsher approaches to discipline. There was no discussion of spanking, which is largely derided by the scholarly community, even though many parents swear by it.

There was also no talk of yelling at the child, which is what one restaurant owner in Maine recently decided to do after she said a toddler had thrown a fit for more than 45 minutes in her packed eatery.

The mother of the child, Tara Carson, was largely derided for her refusal to take the child out and what many deemed her oblivious nature to the ruckus that her child was causing in the establishment.

Carson criticized the restaurant owner, stating that she “could have come over politely and told us our baby was disruptive.”

She continued, “She should not have thrown things or yelled or cursed…. I want to raise my daughter to be good on airplanes and in restaurants and other public places. She is a normal toddler who is funny and curious and well-behaved. Is she perfect? No. Am I a perfect parent? Certainly not. But I do know that these things happen. Babies cry and sometimes moms make the call between a tantrum in the loud diner or going out into the rain. As parents, we sometimes rely on the kindness and empathy of strangers, who know we’re doing the best we can…. It’s compassion I try to model for my daughter. I wish others would do the same.”

What do you think about discipline styles, readers? Are timeouts better than ignoring tantrums, and when does a punishment cross the line to abuse — spanking or something more severe? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via ShutterStock]