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  #1  
Old 04-05-2012, 09:00 AM
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Default Is Time Out Appropriate For Sneezing W/O Covering Their Mouth?

Do you think time out is an appropriate disciplinary action for a 3 year old not covering their mouth when sneezing?

I have asked and demonstrated too many times. Today 3 yr old dcb sneezed all over the lunch table and everyone's lunches. I put him in time out.

Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:02 AM
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I wouldn't put anyone in time out for a bodily function or manners associated with it.

Sneezes come on suddenly. I am an adult and I don't always cover quickly enough.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:06 AM
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Manners such as covering when coughing or saying please and thank you are habits that need to be honed, supported and encouraged.

I would never use time out or any form of punishment for failure to use these things. VERY inappropriate in my opinion.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
Do you think time out is an appropriate disciplinary action for a 3 year old not covering their mouth when sneezing?

I have asked and demonstrated too many times. Today 3 yr old dcb sneezed all over the lunch table and everyone's lunches. I put him in time out.

Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???
I don't think a time out is appropriate. However, I would seperate him from the other kids during playtime and mealtimes until he starts covering his mouth consistantly. eating alone and playing alone will likely get old for him real quick.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemissmuffet View Post
I don't think a time out is appropriate. However, I would seperate him from the other kids during playtime and mealtimes until he starts covering his mouth consistantly. eating alone and playing alone will likely get old for him real quick.
I think that is harsh too. It's as if you are punishing a child for having a cold. Isolation for sneezing is inappropriate. More so than a time out IMO.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:11 AM
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I think that is harsh too. It's as if you are punishing a child for having a cold. Isolation for sneezing is inappropriate. More so than a time out IMO.
I don't see it as a punishment at all. The OP said this child knows how to and she feels he just isn't doing it. Like I said, after eating alone and playing alone a few times, he'll be more apt to remember.

Just my opinion. I respect what you're saying though.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for your opinions.

I would never do time out for pottying in pants, etc. This particular child just goes around and coughs and sneezes and just doesnt care. He even will do the fake cough and not cover his mouth.

All of the other kids cover their mouths, so I feel that his action is a deliberate choice of him being lazy, which was combined with me bring frustrated that he sneezed all over everyone's food, hence the time out.

I have only done the time out this particular time, but after reading everyone's responses I will reconsider ever doing it again.

...on a side note, he has sneezed 2 times since my post and he covered his mouth both times.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
Do you think time out is an appropriate disciplinary action for a 3 year old not covering their mouth when sneezing?

I have asked and demonstrated too many times. Today 3 yr old dcb sneezed all over the lunch table and everyone's lunches. I put him in time out.

Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???
Did you have to throw all the lunches out? Thats what would have made me mad!

I'm constently battling this with kids also. I get the there are germs/runny noses and such but the parents need to help us teach the kids what to do. I think my learned when I had to take the three days of straight last month. I think it opened their eyes about no sickness at childcare and no drooling, sneezing, coughing, etc. I found out that two of the families were very sick over spring break.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:15 AM
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Did you have to throw all the lunches out? Thats what would have made me mad!

I'm constently battling this with kids also. I get the there are germs/runny noses and such but the parents need to help us teach the kids what to do. I think my learned when I had to take the three days of straight last month. I think it opened their eyes about no sickness at childcare and no drooling, sneezing, coughing, etc. I found out that two of the families were very sick over spring break.
It was toward the end of lunch and they weren't eating much anyway so I just tossed the rest (Goodbye mango and avocado and organic chicken-ugh) and lunch was over. I wasnt going to serve them a new lunch just so they could not eat in again.

I am just so over all of the sickness. Ugh!
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:16 AM
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yes it is way to harsh.... I would have the child practice the sneeze into the elbow and then have the whole group practice the elbow.... then the child again and a talk about germs to the group.

but time out... heavens no.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:18 AM
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I think I would have been frustrated too, and can honestly say I might try the timeout thing too.

I hear what everyone is saying, but what would you guys commenting do in the same situation.

I don't think she was trying to make him feel bad, but when you've told a child numerous times to do something and you KNOW they KNOW what to do... What ARE you supposed to do?

Someone said separate them during activities and maybe they'll catch on? What else can she try? I personally have similar situations and I'm at a loss too
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:21 AM
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I have had a child look right at me, sneeze on someone, (very dramatically I might add) and then laugh about how "funny" he is.

So I think in certain situations, yes, I would discipline for that.

But if it happened to fast for him to catch, and it was truly an accident, then he didn't deserve a time out.
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2012, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JenNJ View Post
I think that is harsh too. It's as if you are punishing a child for having a cold. Isolation for sneezing is inappropriate. More so than a time out IMO.
What if next time he sneezes at the beginning of lunch and all the food is ruined? All because she's worried he will feel "bad".

I think this is the perfect time to isolate him. He's old enough to know to cover his mouth when he sneezes, coughs, whatever... He's old enough to sit alone and understand, "you're sitting alone because you need to prove to me that you can cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough."

Let's say a parent walks in during meal time (not his parent) and sees this guy sneeze all over everyone and their food...

She has to think about the other kids.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by itlw8 View Post
yes it is way to harsh.... I would have the child practice the sneeze into the elbow and then have the whole group practice the elbow.... then the child again and a talk about germs to the group.

but time out... heavens no.
I have been having them practice that way and reminding them for a few months now, hence the frustration.

I am open to any other suggestions
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2012, 09:37 AM
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Can I suggest that maybe he is noticing that it bothers you so much and he sees it gets you frustrated? Some kids hone (sp?) in on catching adults off guard and dont even really realize it. One of the hardest lessons I learned in caring for children. Dont let their actions effect you. Let their actions effect them.

I understand that not everyone will agree with me and has different philosophies but this is what I would have done. I would have him eat his lunch on a lunch mat on the floor. (they are just towels) At the lunch table we have to respect the lunch manners or you dont get to join us at the table. Not a punishment, just a place where he can practice his table manners himself. Once he has mastered them (like sitting on your bottom, holding cups with both hands, eating with your mouth closed, using your fork, covering your mouth to cough or sneeze) you can join the rest of us at the table.

At first some of them think that the lunch mats are cool and ask to use one. I say sure go for it! Once they realize they aren't part of the group down there around the corner from us. They realize its not so fun and rejoin us.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by melskids View Post
I have had a child look right at me, sneeze on someone, (very dramatically I might add) and then laugh about how "funny" he is.

So I think in certain situations, yes, I would discipline for that.

But if it happened to fast for him to catch, and it was truly an accident, then he didn't deserve a time out.
I witnessed the entire thing and I can almost guarantee it wasn't an accident. He had time to cover his mouth for sure. I do not discipline kids for accidents of any kind. Laziness, carelessness, and purposeful disregard- yes. But accidents, no.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:33 AM
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I would not have.

But, I don't do time out at all.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemissmuffet View Post
I don't think a time out is appropriate. However, I would seperate him from the other kids during playtime and mealtimes until he starts covering his mouth consistantly. eating alone and playing alone will likely get old for him real quick.
This is what do too. I understand your frustration though.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:05 AM
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As frustrating as it is, I would NEVER give a time out for something like that.
I believe if you asked your licensor or the child's parents if it they thought is was okay, they would say no as well.

I would just keep reminding, reminding, reminding. Three is still very young and manners are still hit and miss - ESPECIALLY with a bodily function that just happens suddenly.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:30 AM
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A time out for sneezing even when it was deliberate, and all over everyone's food, is a little over the top dont you think?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CheekyChick View Post
As frustrating as it is, I would NEVER give a time out for something like that.
I believe if you asked your licensor or the child's parents if it they thought is was okay, they would say no as well.

I would just keep reminding, reminding, reminding. Three is still very young and manners are still hit and miss - ESPECIALLY with a bodily function that just happens suddenly.
Exactly this!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:43 AM
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A time out for sneezing even when it was deliberate, and all over everyone's food, is a little over the top dont you think?
The time out was not for sneezing. It was for not following the rules, despite months of working with the child. I was unsure if it was over the top- that's why I am asking the panel of experts on the forum

I want to add that if the child were incapable of covering his mouth, then, after the time out, he would have not been able to cover his mouth for subsequent sneezes. Since the time out today, he has covered his mouth 100% of the time. This tells me that 1. He knows he is supposed to cover his mouth. 2. He is mentally and physically capable of doing it. 3. He was making the choice not to do it before.

Usually I have the patience to keep on with the same demonstration and training how to do it right, but after week after week of rotovirus, Hand Foot and Mouth, the Flu, and weekly snotty noses and colds, not to mention how much I teach them about germs, sanitation, etc, I gave into my frustration and he got a time out today. Future meals are now spared, and the kids will be in better health since he gets it. After thinking the situation through though, for this particular child, I think I did the right thing. One short time out stopped the behavior. We are all healthier now for it. He's a bright kid- he gets it. If he were only average or below I would hesitate, but he knows how to behave.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:02 PM
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I would not time out or this! Too harsh and probably not effective. Juicy sneezes are disgusting but not punishment worthy.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
The time out was not for sneezing. It was for not following the rules, despite months of working with the child. I was unsure if it was over the top- that's why I am asking the panel of experts on the forum

I want to add that if the child were incapable of covering his mouth, then, after the time out, he would have not been able to cover his mouth for subsequent sneezes. Since the time out today, he has covered his mouth 100% of the time. This tells me that 1. He knows he is supposed to cover his mouth. 2. He is mentally and physically capable of doing it. 3. He was making the choice not to do it before.

Usually I have the patience to keep on with the same demonstration and training how to do it right, but after week after week of rotovirus, Hand Foot and Mouth, the Flu, and weekly snotty noses and colds, not to mention how much I teach them about germs, sanitation, etc, I gave into my frustration and he got a time out today. Future meals are now spared, and the kids will be in better health since he gets it. After thinking the situation through though, for this particular child, I think I did the right thing. One short time out stopped the behavior. We are all healthier now for it. He's a bright kid- he gets it. If he were only average or below I would hesitate, but he knows how to behave.
I think in this situation you were right.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
The time out was not for sneezing. It was for not following the rules, despite months of working with the child. I was unsure if it was over the top- that's why I am asking the panel of experts on the forum

I want to add that if the child were incapable of covering his mouth, then, after the time out, he would have not been able to cover his mouth for subsequent sneezes. Since the time out today, he has covered his mouth 100% of the time. This tells me that 1. He knows he is supposed to cover his mouth. 2. He is mentally and physically capable of doing it. 3. He was making the choice not to do it before.

Usually I have the patience to keep on with the same demonstration and training how to do it right, but after week after week of rotovirus, Hand Foot and Mouth, the Flu, and weekly snotty noses and colds, not to mention how much I teach them about germs, sanitation, etc, I gave into my frustration and he got a time out today. Future meals are now spared, and the kids will be in better health since he gets it. After thinking the situation through though, for this particular child, I think I did the right thing. One short time out stopped the behavior. We are all healthier now for it. He's a bright kid- he gets it. If he were only average or below I would hesitate, but he knows how to behave.
Ok I understand what you are saying, but I think being excused from the table and not being allowed to finish lunch due to bad manners would have been more appropriate.

Children do not think like adults do, yet. That is why they need the constant reminding. And even as adults we dont always cover our mouths.

As for all the illnesses, by the time the symptoms have shown up everyone has already been exposed to the illness, so there really isnt anything we can do about it.

Time outs should only be used for correcting bad behaviour like hitting swearing, ect.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:24 PM
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I would not time out or this! Too harsh and probably not effective. Juicy sneezes are disgusting but not punishment worthy.
She wasn't punishing him for sneezing! He didn't cover his mouth and sprayed the table.

At some point even a three year old, who is capable of covering their mouth, has to take responsibility for their decision. She said he did it on purpose AND that he hasn't NOT covered his mouth when sneezing since.

I think time out worked.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:28 PM
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She wasn't punishing him for sneezing! He didn't cover his mouth and sprayed the table.

At some point even a three year old, who is capable of covering their mouth, has to take responsibility for their decision. She said he did it on purpose AND that he hasn't NOT covered his mouth when sneezing since.

I think time out worked.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:41 PM
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She wasn't punishing him for sneezing! He didn't cover his mouth and sprayed the table.

At some point even a three year old, who is capable of covering their mouth, has to take responsibility for their decision. She said he did it on purpose AND that he hasn't NOT covered his mouth when sneezing since.

I think time out worked.
Well Im curious to find out what mom thinks about this.

If my child told me that their DC provider put him in a time out for sneezing on everyone's food, even though disgusting, i would be p!$$ed.

Being excused, I would understand.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:44 PM
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I think you did the right thing, it worked!!! I don't see where a time out is harsh punishment as long as it is done for an appropriate time and they know why they are on time out. Other wise it isn't going to work.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SunshineMama View Post
Do you think time out is an appropriate disciplinary action for a 3 year old not covering their mouth when sneezing?

I have asked and demonstrated too many times. Today 3 yr old dcb sneezed all over the lunch table and everyone's lunches. I put him in time out.

Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???
I don't mean to nitpick at you, but just wanted to point out that this is actually a "reaction" not a response.

I'm not going to give you a hard time, and I don't want you to feel bad, but I wouldn't recommend discipline/punishment for sneezing. I understand your frustration over the matter, but sometimes we forget that kids are just kids. Even my 8 yr old forgets sometimes. Actually even I have sneezes that come on and for whatever reason I don't cover my mouth (hands full, comes on too fast, etc). Regardless of if it was on purpose or not.

I think pp was right, Excusing from the table is a better option than timeout.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:46 PM
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Default You did the best that you could in the moment...

I think that you handled it the only way you could in the moment.

I'm surprised how everyone is so quick to judge.

Like you, I practice manners with the kids and when you know your DCK as well as we do (caring for them 8+ hours a day) you KNOW when they are being deliberate about an action.

Is a TO the 'right' thing to do? Maybe yes or maybe no...every child and situation is different. Maybe this child just wanted to see what your limit was?

Children are very smart and I feel many adults under estimate their intelligence. Sometimes not having enough or any expectations. Children can and will soar to new heights if you let them!

You're doing the best that you can and you questioning the TO may be your way of processing it. Give yourself a pat on the back and move on! You still have many more hours in the day of sneezing and coughing ahead of you! LOL.

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Old 04-05-2012, 12:55 PM
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I think that you handled it the only way you could in the moment.

I'm surprised how everyone is so quick to judge.

Like you, I practice manners with the kids and when you know your DCK as well as we do (caring for them 8+ hours a day) you KNOW when they are being deliberate about an action.

Is a TO the 'right' thing to do? Maybe yes or maybe no...every child and situation is different. Maybe this child just wanted to see what your limit was?

Children are very smart and I feel many adults under estimate their intelligence. Sometimes not having enough or any expectations. Children can and will soar to new heights if you let them!

You're doing the best that you can and you questioning the TO may be your way of processing it. Give yourself a pat on the back and move on! You still have many more hours in the day of sneezing and coughing ahead of you! LOL.

I agree. I think some people commenting are losing sight of the actual reason for the punishment. And yes VERY quick to judge.

She didn't put him in time out for the PHYSICAL ACT OF SNEEZING.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:56 PM
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Well Im curious to find out what mom thinks about this.

If my child told me that their DC provider put him in a time out for sneezing on everyone's food, even though disgusting, i would be p!$$ed.

Being excused, I would understand.
They put their kids in cold showers for touching their diapers... (which I think is VERY wrong). They are on board for time outs.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:04 PM
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They put their kids in cold showers for touching their diapers... (which I think is VERY wrong). They are on board for time outs.
I think as a parent if I came to pick up ds and heard what had happened I'd be pretty embarrassed. Isn't it mostly our job (as parents) to teach our kids manners?! Us as daycare providers obviously have a lot more time to drill it in their heads, but still... It starts at home. If I had done the same thing as OP and the dcp was mad at me for it, I'd be surprised, and embarrassed for the dcP.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:08 PM
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I agree. I think some people commenting are losing sight of the actual reason for the punishment. And yes VERY quick to judge.

She didn't put him in time out for the PHYSICAL ACT OF SNEEZING.

I also want to clarify that I realize she didn't discipline for the act of sneezing itself. But either way you look at it, dck sneezed, got time out. It just sounds bad.

I think the provider did what she needed to at that moment. Who knows if her day was as crazy as mine, or whether her day was going well. The full moon sure threw off ALLLLLLL of us over here.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:19 PM
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Im am not judging, not saying she is a horrible person, just stating my opinion.

I also would be upset for my child sneezing all over the place, BUT " I" think the punishment was wrong.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:09 PM
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Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???
Oh. Ok. I get it. This is one one those threads were the op titles her question "Is it appropriate to" blah, blah, blah and asks for "thoughts???" ....but then when she is offered "thoughts" that do not agree with her actions she gets riled up.

Got it.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:07 AM
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Do you think time out is an appropriate disciplinary action for a 3 year old not covering their mouth when sneezing?

I have asked and demonstrated too many times. Today 3 yr old dcb sneezed all over the lunch table and everyone's lunches. I put him in time out.

Now I am wondering if that was appropriate or just a response to me being so frustrated with all of the sickness going on. He understands that he has to, I think he is just choosing not to. Thoughts???

I have read several of the replies and what I would say is your "Mistake" is lableing it a Time out. I am not sure what your actions were following that (if you infact made it a "punishment") however but based on how concerned you were about doing this - that you are generally a kind hearted provider.

"Excusing" him from the table while he tended to the sneeze and then keeping him "Isolated" as one should do with a communicable illness is not only imo the right action to take to prevent the spread of illness but necessary in keeping the other children from eating contaminated food.
With that being said I have a statement in my illness policy that if a child can not take care (cover, wipe, wash) of him/herself during a cold then they need to be kept home until well enough to participate. This is a well child care and children who need constant assistance with sneezing or runny noses may not attend. This way you not only protect your child from reinfection after passing this along - you protect your provider from becoming ill as well.
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  #39  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Live and Learn View Post
Oh. Ok. I get it. This is one one those threads were the op titles her question "Is it appropriate to" blah, blah, blah and asks for "thoughts???" ....but then when she is offered "thoughts" that do not agree with her actions she gets riled up.

Got it.
Wait.... what? I am not riled up at all- what are you talking about? Please provide an example. I asked a question and engaged in an online discussion with everyone. What is the point of your comment, other than to attempt to "rile up" everyone. Not nice.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:50 AM
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Wait.... what? I am not riled up at all- what are you talking about? Please provide an example. I asked a question and engaged in an online discussion with everyone. What is the point of your comment, other than to attempt to "rile up" everyone. Not nice.
Yep, agreed not sure where that comment came from. Oh well!

Anyways... Did you mention it to the dcps at pickup? If so what did they say?
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:32 AM
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If the child already knew what was expected of him and has demonstrated it properly time after time and then sneezes all over one of his friends and laughs... then yeah, perhaps not a time out but one of sorts. Move him to a space where he cannot slime someone and definitely have a little PowWow with him one on one about why we cover our mouths when we sneeze.

I do the old "Look at my face, I'm not laughing.. that was not funny at all."
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:32 AM
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Yep, agreed not sure where that comment came from. Oh well!

Anyways... Did you mention it to the dcps at pickup? If so what did they say?
I did not mention it at pick up, only because the behavior was corrected and it was a non-issue. I try to focus on only the positives, unless there is an ongoing behavior that I am having difficulty with. We will see today if he remembers from yesterday! (Fingers crossed)
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:43 AM
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I did not mention it at pick up, only because the behavior was corrected and it was a non-issue. I try to focus on only the positives, unless there is an ongoing behavior that I am having difficulty with. We will see today if he remembers from yesterday! (Fingers crossed)
Good job! I hope the problem is fixed for good too! It sounds like you've had a lot of crappy stuff goin around your place

I know how that is and it's no fun! It seems once the illness gets in, it's hard to get it out!

Good luck
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  #44  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:19 AM
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I don't think a time out is appropriate. However, I would seperate him from the other kids during playtime and mealtimes until he starts covering his mouth consistantly. eating alone and playing alone will likely get old for him real quick.
Putting a child aside on their own is exclusionary time out and thus still time out. I agree with having a child sit on their own for issues of table manners or hygiene ie coughing & sneezing, however, call it what it is.
When a child is excluded from the group but allowed to remain in the vicinity of the group it is still a form of time out. If you do not address the issue of sneezing, coughing, passing gas and all other "cute" things children think of at the table, they grow to be teens who continue to do the same behavior.
My group made up a song this week about "eating poop" started by a little girl 5 who has parents that let her do anything she likes.
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  #45  
Old 04-09-2012, 07:17 PM
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Putting a child aside on their own is exclusionary time out and thus still time out. I agree with having a child sit on their own for issues of table manners or hygiene ie coughing & sneezing, however, call it what it is.
When a child is excluded from the group but allowed to remain in the vicinity of the group it is still a form of time out. If you do not address the issue of sneezing, coughing, passing gas and all other "cute" things children think of at the table, they grow to be teens who continue to do the same behavior.
My group made up a song this week about "eating poop" started by a little girl 5 who has parents that let her do anything she likes.
Good point.

Update: he sneezed 2 times today and covered his mouth both times, with his inner elbow, just like he was taught. The time out is a distant memory now, an good manners and clean lunch plates are in!
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  #46  
Old 04-09-2012, 08:42 PM
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Honey, I think you did what you needed to do to drive the point home that his manners where being called out not that he sneezed. He did it on purpose and was looking for a reaction and well he got one. Now he knows better. You did what you needed to do to show him that is not how we behave at the lunch table. For me...mine are all in booster seats by them selves on other sides of the tables so they can't reach, touch, or throw food at each other. They can make eye contact and talk to each other but nothing else. There has been many many times that a child will disturb the lunch process and that shows me they are finished and not hungry... they are cleaned up hands washed and ready for nap. Even if they hadn't finished. They learn pretty quickly how to behave or they go hungry and I have no problems telling the parents this.
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