The Break-How do you deal with a 2 year- old, who does not want to sit for meals or just settle down?

The Break

The break and time-out are different in that in timeout the child must ‘serve a sentence’ for a crime’ they’ve committed. And the parent’s role is to keep the child in the place of time-out until the time is up. In The Break responsibility for change is moved to the child The break focuses on heart change, not only behavior change. After the child does wrong you send them on a mission to change their heart(repentance).

The focus here is on the heart of the child, length of time is determined by the child. A break is not a consequence but part of a training process. Children learn to take a break for them to settle down and think things through. For example- what they did wrong and how they should have behaved. This is a good practice even for adults(parents). It’s not wise to continue working with a child when their temper is rising and the parent’s temper is rising. In the break, the child has the responsibility to make changes and come back to the parent. When the child comes back, the attitude of the parent is to show a desire for the child to return. Let me give an example here: Your daughter gets up over and over again. Let’s say her name is Shirley.

The Break

You say,

” Shirley, you’re 2 years old. And you’re becoming a big girl. Very soon you’ will be going to kindergarten. You need to learn discipline. Go take a break, and come back when you are ready to listen and settle down.”

Little Shirley goes and comes back. You ask her,

” Are you ready to listen?”

This is where Postive Conclusion comes in

Let’s say she says “Yes”. Ask her what she did wrong. Maybe she says, “I kept on standing up”. You then say,

” And what were you supposed to do?”.

Maybe says,” sit down” or” Sit down and let you know if I need something”. You then show her affirmation and love and tell her,

” Alright, let’s do this again. Shirley, settle down.” Before you start the process of The Break for the very first time, you explain it to her and how it works. This process works as long as the parent is committed to it.

What is A Positive Conclusion? Dr. Scotty Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN in Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual, say:

A positive Conclusion is a discussion you have with your child after the consequence to clarify the offense, make a plan for next time, and offer encouragement to do the right thing.

They continue by saying it offers hope to the child because at times a child is repetitively corrected then they become discouraged. It helps the child have thoughts of a positive future. They encourage parents to practice Positive Conclusion each time they discipline their child. Because children learn by repetition. At the end of each session show love, forgiveness and acceptance to the child.

Heart-based approach to parenting


A heart-based approach to parenting is very effective. what-is-the-heart? God is interested in the heart because it is the central processing unit of a person. That’s where real and lasting change takes place. When the heart is functions right so is the child. When the heart is working correctly, it enables children to mature and respond to life in productive ways. This approach focuses on the heart of the child and the parent. When the parent is prayerfully looking at the issues pertaining to the heart of the child, they also see where they have deficiencies as a parent.

What else about heart-based parenting

It also focuses on moral and spiritual development thereby increasing motivation, specifically internal motivation. The approach of majoring on children’s behavior without looking at deeper issues of the heart motivates externally. Children learn to do in order to get something from the parent or to avoid punishment. This approach does not provide long-lasting results and does not build character. Because it appeals to the selfish part of the child. A child might have wrong thinking patterns or some deep heart issue but because they have learned to obey, the parents think the child is alright. Most of those problems show up later in life.

This effective parenting approach emphasizes the journey, not the destination. I was thinking to myself that at any particular moment we are on a journey but destinations come here and there. And even when we are at a particular destination, we are still on a journey. Hence, it is very important to focus on the journey. Joyce Meyer says enjoying where you are on the way to where you are going(Paraphrase). External motivation suppresses initiative, decreases creativity thereby robbing one of the satisfaction of achievement. Internal motivation does the total opposite. No parent is perfect and you’re not a bad parent. You just need to tweak how you do things so your job has lasting change. As a parent, I can tell you this from experience, you also see where you miss it. That is if you look at yourself objectively.

Children learn by observing too

If your children tell you stuff about you that needs change, don’t get the temptation to react immediately. Even if what they say arouse anger. You want to be careful on what you say to your children. For children might not tell you, that they give importance to parents’ words. They might not say it in the right matter or the right time and place. But ponder and pray about it. By reacting like that you are teaching them the right way to respond.

Pray for your children too. You might say, pray for what? Pray for them so that they are open to your guidance. Pray for yourself so you see your children as God sees them. God gives you the ability to change in places you need to change. As children are changing, we are changing too. Moving from strength to strength. Grace to Grace. Glory to glory.