Outward Processing children solve problems by talking about them. Whether it’s a problem with friends, a problem with siblings, or simply not getting their way, Outward Processors sort through difficult emotions by discussing them. Sometimes those discussions lead to meltdowns and outbursts but nonetheless, with Outward Processing children emotions are going to come out verbally.
So what happens when you send an Outward Processing child to time-out? You force them to solve their problems internally.
Time-out was invented in 1958 by a man named Arthur Staats. Staats used it with his own children, found it to be effective, and wrote a book called Learning, Language and Cognition where he introduced his idea. He defined time-out as a way for children to calm down, think about what they’ve done, and come up with a better solution. Essentially, time-out was for problem solving.
What he didn’t include and what most people don’t consider is how children solve problems in the first place. Are children really sitting in time-out thinking about what they’ve done or are they stewing about what just happened? It all depends on the child. Inward Processors, maybe. Outward Processors, not likely.
If time-out is working for your child, that’s great, keep using it. If your child won’t stay in time-out and is an Outward Processor, try a different approach. Try talking about it. You can still remove your child from the situation but go with him or her. Talk about what just happened and how to solve the problem together. For an Outward Processing child, this is a much better scenario.
For more information about Outward Processors click here.