Mum’s calming time-out alternative goes viral

Time-outs have long been the go-to for stressed parents, but there are other options. 

When it comes to discipline, it can be hard to pick something that teaches your child that they have behaved inappropriately, in a way that is constructive and helpful. The temptation is to yell and shout and send them to the ‘naughty corner’ for a timeout. But does that punishment even work? One mum has gone viral on TikTok showing parents a gentler alternative which is working for her son. 

‘Time-in’ not out

 Maarte Mami shared a video of her son spending time in his ‘calming corner’ on the TikTok app and it soon racked up hundreds of thousands of views.  

“This gives him a super comfy, safe space as an outlet to reflect, centre his mind, process his thoughts, and regulate his emotions. The calming corner allows him to do this because he can meditate, do breathing exercises, or just sit and relax and calm himself via the tools that appeal to his five senses,” she said in the voiceover accompanying the video of her son lying quietly and looking at pictures and a chart to help him navigate the emotions he’s feeling.

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The time-in corner in action. Picture: TikTok

Time-outs just weren’t working

“There are such big emotions that lead up to time-outs, it didn’t feel effective to me to leave my son to sit alone with these big, scary emotions,” she explained. 

The ability to reflect on your actions in a calm and objective way is not a skill that humans really grasp until they’re older, so it makes sense that a corner to try and focus on reducing a child’s anger would help them. 

But, that doesn’t mean that the corner is punishment, and it also doesn’t mean that Maarte doesn’t have other forms of discipline.

Want more stories like this? Check out this expert’s thought on the difference between punishment and discipline and this dad’s regrets about the way he behaved about his daughter’s haircut. 

Consequences and compromise

“Instead of time-out being the consequence, consequences became compromised tech time, extra chores, or restricting special toys,” Maarte explained. 

These consequences are faced much more calmly after her son has spent some time in the quiet corner dealing with the big emotions first. 

Commenters had some mixed thoughts on the concept, although most were in favour. 

“The next generations are gonna be so evolved, this is amazing!” wrote one woman. 

“Wow. I’m now going to do this, in fact, I’m going to set this up in my home now. UK parents have been taught the Supernanny way, we put them on time out,” wrote another. 

There were some detractors though.

“Careful not to make the time-out a reward. A child may act out for the time-out,” wrote one man. 

“I feel like I would be rewarding my child for screaming that she hates us all and smacking her brother though,” wrote another. 

What do you think of the idea? 


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