Forgetting About a Time Out

opinion 1
My question is: Has anyone else ever forgotten a child in time out? I am currently a nanny for 4 little girls ages 2, 4, 7, and 11 and sometimes I get so preoccupied with the other 3 kids that I forget that I have put them there! Like today for example, the 7 year old pushed the 4 year old and I sent her to time out and forgot she was there while I was keeping an eye on the 2 and 4 year old and helping the 11 year old with her homework! They all know that they have to stay put until I come and get them so she stayed in the corner for about 20 minutes (instead of 7) until I finally realized that she was still in time out. Does this ever happen to anyone else? This is only about the third time it has happened but still I feel really bad about it and was wondering how I can better remember. Is there anything I should do for the 7 year old to make it up to her? lol


Schnoodled said...

I have. Unless the girl noticed that it was a rather long time out I say leave it be. No point to make it up to her if she wasn't even hurt by it.

Maybe from now on, set a timer for the time out. Let the kids know that even if they hear the timer, they have to wait for you to come to release them before leaving time out. This method works well for me.

workingMom said...

I agree: get a stand-alone oven timer with a loud bell, and use it for every time out. Then you don't have to keep track of the timing for the time-out while you are preoccupied with the other children, and the bell will alert you all when the time-out is over.

Jenny said...

Instead of sending her to her room I would put the child on a chair or somewhere nearby where you can see and set a timer.

Susannah said...

If you want to keep up with time outs. I suggest you put her in a place you can see her and set some sort of timer ( your phone, the microwave etc)

You may consider trying a different method of discipline with her.

MamaLaywer said...

20 minutes is NOTHING. But as others said, why aren't you using a timer? On your cell phone, on the microwave oven, etc.

Laura said...

I'm a lifeguard at a popular recreation center pool and I used to forget kids in time-out a lot. But keeping them near you is absolutely essential. Sending children to their rooms is often not a punishment because they'll just play with their toys or read books. Put her in a chair near you with nothing to do. THAT is a time-out.

If you don't have a clock to look at frequently, you should absolutely be using a timer. But there is no reason to "make it up to her." She wasn't harmed by being in time-out longer.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I don't think you need to make anything up to her. You are human and make mistakes just like everyone else.

I agree that using a timer would be best. Man, you watch four kids?? No wonder you forgot the "time-out" child!! You have your hands full OP.

N is for Nanny said...

Much like PPs, we use a kitchen timer for timeouts, which gets reset if the kid gets up/plays/etc - basically timeout is an "opportunity" to regain composure and think and practice self control. I can reset the timer without having to say anything, which allows me to not engage the kid during their timeout. Our standards were introduced when timeout was, so my kids know our expectations and consequences.

I would not mention to the kid that it was a longer timeout. In any family, every member has to wait at times. This was one of her turns. I would note it to yourself for the future (set your cell phone for a vibrating alarm if you don't want to use a timer) but would not bring it up to the kids or do any sort of "making up" to 7. You definitely don't want them doubting your ability to manage their consequences.

Nanny J said...

I worked for a family who used to send their daughter's to the corner of the room, nose touching, standing up.

Kids hate it but hey man it works! I wouldn't go that far with kids on my own though, I usually have a special seat reserved for alone time, it may be in a corner facing away but I don't think I would make any child's nose touch the wall without being told to do so by the parent (which I was at that time!).

Back to my original point, I have DEFINITELY forgotten children in time out and eventually they come out and I realize my mistake. I of course reprimand for leaving the time out seat, but also apologize because obviously they were forgotten and realized this.

I've had kids fall asleep in time out before because I've forgotten them for 20 minutes.

OP, don't feel too bad. Maybe reward a good behavior in the future with a special treat of some sort (without the other siblings realizing this, if possible, to create less dramatic results).

Phoenix said...

that is really funny. My cousin one time forgot her child at WalMart. That wasn't as funny because that was scary but people forget kids all the time. Just don't do it on a hot day and leave one in the car. that's not funny