A Mom Uses a “Calming Corner” for Her Son, and It’s Way More Effective Than Time-Outs

Family & kids
3 years ago

The use of time-outs on children has been a controversial topic among child psychologists. While some say it might be an ineffective way to discipline your kids, others claim that it works perfectly to regulate children’s well-being and can even help those with ADHD when parents use the method the right way. But Nikki Mullen Cruz, a creative mom on TikTok, might have created the perfect alternative environment known as “The Calming Corner.”

Bright Side wants to share this woman’s clever idea with other moms and dads out there and hopefully, it will inspire you to employ this technique in your own household.

Regular time-outs weren’t working.

It’s true that grounding only works when parents know just how to do it — they don’t work when the punishment is based on fear. Sometimes, moms and dads need to repurpose it completely, and that’s exactly what Nikki did. She goes by the username of “Maartemami” and claims that the regular “time-outs” were not effective on her son. She didn’t feel comfortable leaving him “sitting alone with big, scary emotions.”

“The Calming Corner”

What she really needed was a safe place to discipline her kid and not just an empty punishment location. That’s why she installed a small but wonderful place on the side of her sofa called “The Calming Corner.” In this place, her son could calm himself down and “manage his feelings in a healthy way.” With light colors and a fluffy carpet, this becomes a spot for reflection and peace, not suffering.

The new consequences

Nikki’s approach redefines the results of children’s indiscipline because the time-out is no longer the consequence of bad behavior. The kid can breathe, reflect, and meditate while moving from a state of anger and agitation to one of relaxation and clarity. And then, when the child is ready and calm, the consequences come. Nikki said, for instance, that she takes tech time away from her son, asks him to do extra chores, or restricts access to special toys the boy likes to play with.

Tools for all 5 senses

One of the best parts of this mom’s “Calming Corner” is the basket of tools there. With them, her son can experience all 5 senses. The list goes as follows: squishy toys (for touch), the plasma ball (for touch and sight), the color-changing light bulb (for sight), plants (for smell, sight, and touch), gum (for taste), essential oils and balms (for touch and smell), a cordless sound machine and crackling toys (for sound) and, of course, some posters to remind him how to use the space in a relaxing and effective way.

The anti-time-out approach

Her idea has become quite popular. It was visible in the comments that she inspired many people who watched the video to use the same method in their homes. It’s certainly a better alternative to making your kid look at a wall in a dark corner, and we hope more parents get motivated by her.

Do you think this technique would work on your children? Or, if you don’t have any, do you think it would’ve worked on you in the past?

Preview photo credit maartemami / TikTok


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Good idea, I never liked a timeout corner but I think that's because my dad would just put me there when he didn't want to deal with me


This is a great idea! I will try something similar when I become a mother


Good that she found a techinque that fits her parenting style!


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