TikTok Mum Goes Viral With Alternative Time-Out Method

A TikTok user has created a calming corner as an alternative solution to a traditional naughty step because she felt time-outs were an outdated disciplinary strategy and weren’t effective with her five-year-old son, and it has everyone talking. 

One mum who posts under the name Maarte Mami on the popular social media networking site has gone viral with almost two million views after publishing a positive parenting video of what she calls “the calming corner”. 

In the short clip, she illustrates that time-outs weren’t sufficient for her boy and that she felt leaving her son to sit alone with big scary emotions didn’t sit right with her. “There are such big emotions that lead up to time-outs, it didn’t feel effective to me to leave my son to sit alone with these big, scary emotions,” she explains. 

With the help of Generation Mindful’s Time-In Toolkit, she created a safe space on the side of her sofa to allow him to take breaks and manage his emotions in a healthy manner before dealing with consequences for his behaviour. 


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♬ original sound - maartemami

It “gives him a super comfy, safe space as an outlet to reflect, centre his mind, process his thoughts and regulate his emotions” and “he can meditate, do breathing exercises, or just sit and relax and calm himself via the tools that appeal to his five senses,” she explains.

In the calming corner, she has an array of sensory toys for him to use. These include squishy balls, a plasma ball for touch and sight, a colour changing light bulb, plants to smell, gum for taste, essential oils and balms for touch and smell, crackling toys for sound and posters to remind him how to utilise the calming corner and maximise his time there. 

Once he has healthily processed his emotions and feelings, she deals with the consequences of his actions, whatever it may have been. If he misbehaves, technology times are compromised, he’s given extra chores or sometimes she “restricts his special toys” instead of time-out. 

Since the post went live two weeks ago, people from across the world have been applauding her approach to parenting with one saying, “This is fascinating. I think the next generation is going to have a very healthy ability to communicate and process emotions.”

While another wrote,

“People will say this is too much, but this is how you raise well rounded emotionally stable humans. Thank you for giving him the tools he needs to grow.”

The team here, at Family Friendly HQ, love the whole concept. Children don’t have the ability to reflect on their actions calmly or objectively; it is a skill we don’t tend to grasp until much later in life, so for us, it makes complete sense. 

What do you think of this alternative time-out method?

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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