Does ‘time out’ work on Caribbean kids?

If you have ever watched the hugely popular series Supernanny, then you probably remember just out of control some of the children featured could get. They are entitled, rude, and sometimes even violent.

The typical Caribbean parent would shake their head in disbelief at the shenanigans the children were allowed to get away with.

As many nations do not promote or advocate corporal punishment as a form of discipline for bad behaviour, those parents often rely on taking away of toys and electronic devices or ‘time out’ which totally flabbergasts many from the Caribbean. Whether you agree is one thing but have you ever considered if ‘timeouts’ could actually work here?

A ‘time out’ is a form of child behavourial modification technique in which a child is put in a specific place, usually a corner, where there are no distractions or things to stimulate them. They are made to sit or stand still for a period of time until the parent or guardian decides they have done enough. Some experts advise the time spent should be relevant to their age, meaning a four-year-old should spend no more than four minutes and a six-year-old up to six minutes or so.    

But would a time out work on Caribbean children? It depends. If they were introduced to it from early, then they will be socialised to accept it. Also, if they are raised in an environment where parents calmly outline why punishment is being given before it is done, they are more likely to accept the consequences of their actions. Just sticking a child in a corner and expecting them to comply will not cut it.

It is also important to note that no punishment will work on all children, so know the child be cognisant of the age child that you are dealing with since ‘time out’ loses its effectiveness the older they get.