One mom on TikTok who posts under the name Maartemami went viral after publishing a video showing off what she calls her 5-year-old son’s “calming corner.” The calming corner, she explained in the video, has become an alternative to “time-outs” which she found to not be working with her son. In the video, she explains, “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.”
The mom’s alternative plan — creating the calming corner — is one that has been backed by psychologists and parenting experts who suggest that time out’s aren’t as effective as they pertain to be. Kids, it turns out, don’t have the cognitive skills to think abstractly about their behavior, what they’ve done, and why they did that thing. In fact, the ability to do that doesn’t fully develop until kids become teenagers, meaning that it’s certainly out of the grasp of 5-year-olds.
Kids are actually far more likely to stay angry than reflect on their emotions. Spaces like the one TikTok mom Maartemami made are more likely to help kids have practical tools to calm down, allowing them to make choices for themselves, and to regulate while not being deprived of sensory objects.
Maartemami’s calming corner includes sensory toys, a chart to help her son regulate his emotions, fuzzy rugs and a general space for him to meditate or play on his own until he brings down his emotions. Add that to consequences for behavior, which the mom says she does, and that’s a great discipline plan.