Handcuffs For Toddlers: Bad Idea? You Decide
There is a buzz on the Internet I intend to start right now about the idea of handcuffing your toddler during their time-out sessions for bad behavior.
I am one of those parents who is attempting not to spank my child; instead focusing heavily on setting concrete expectations and follow-through for age-appropriate discipline, which does not include any form of hitting.
So by going the time-out route, I am ultimately saying this to my child:
“Instead of me physically punishing you by smacking you on the butt with my hand or a fly swatter or a paddle, I am going to socially separately you from the society of this house.
Sure, it will only be for about 2 minutes since you are about 2 years old, but you will despise it.
You will be separated from the people you love the most and who love you the most. You will be contained in your crib, which has bars like a prison. Your freedom will be temporarily be taken away.
I intend to punish you psychologically, which will in turn hopefully help to discipline you.”
Granted, I always explain to my son why he is being sent to what I call “Baby Alcatraz.” He has to say he is sorry to the person he hurt and/or offended.
I hug him afterwards and remind him that I love him. Then I say something like, “Okay, now let’s have a fun rest of the day.”
This past weekend, my sister, her husband, and their 13 month-old daughter came to visit us here in Nashville from two and a half hours away.
Though my son doesn’t have trouble sharing his toys in daycare, he evidently does here at the house. Because as he kept reminding his younger little cousin, the toys she was playing with were “MINE!”
He ended up pushing her down on the floor and hitting my sister really hard on the shin with a TV remote.
Needless to say, I escorted him upstairs to Baby Alcatraz. Twice within 20 minutes.
During that dramatic escapade, I thought to myself, “Why aren’t I arresting him with plastic toy handcuffs when I do this?”
Maybe it would help drive home the point that he is not permitted to use his hands to hurt other people.
Is “arresting” your toddler with play handcuffs really so horrible of an idea? Whether you spank them or put them in time-out, you’re still punishing them in the process of discipline.
I want to avoid physically striking my child, though I’m obviously okay with physically restraining him. What would be so bad about putting him behind bars and handcuffing him on the way there? Seems consistent to me.
Having to discipline your kid is weird and annoying anyway; are toy plastic handcuffs during time-out really so awful?
Stop me from buying plastic toy handcuffs to arrest to my son for time-out. Or support the absurd idea.
Top image: Plastic toy handcuffs, via Shutterstock.
Bottom image: Adorable funny baby boy, via Shutterstock.