Instead of “Timeouts”, Try a “Hold Everything”

Never punitive.  Never diminutive.

Purpose: Re-establish Calm, Cooperation, Harmony

For everyone.

Please go read this and this (you’ll see how they align)

In our house, we do not spank, nor do we incorporate isolation, refusal, ignoring, or “timeouts”.

Our daughter doesn’t just do whatever she wants either; when her preferences are damaging, interfering, or otherwise not in her best interest, we intercept.

If behaviors, attitudes, or actions become a concern, the first thing we use is assessment of why (what is the cause) they became a concern.  Then we employ understanding, followed by patience and compassion.  If necessary, we use a Hold Everything (this means the grownups too), and then we activate our resolution and/or solution superpowers.


I want to introduce you to what our house calls PAWS.

  • (Pause – to recreate harmony and re-establish calm and cooperation.  Pause to remember to respect, to honor, to approve, to admire… Pause to stop anger response, frustration, impatience, aggravation. Pause to remember the most important thing in whatever has caused the need to pause in the first place – the life on center stage – child, adult, dog, turtle.)


Perspective (a spontaneous shift in viewing portal, not only in complexity and understanding, but in physical height and life experience)

Attention (purposed focus)

Wait (observe. reflect. observe)

Solve (resolve and grow)

Think on that for a few.

7 thoughts on “Instead of “Timeouts”, Try a “Hold Everything”

  1. Very Nvc!


    2010/09/16 at 1:37 am | In reply to Angie.
    We’re learning. Been doing it a few months. I carry my cheat sheets to help me. I thi.k you’d be impressed with nvc and find all your answers there. It is amazing… I’m able to meet my needs, kids and even not judge my parents although I still feel the need to give a judgment a lot… it’s a process and worth it for the kids and me.


    I combined them because the css is indenting too far and I don’t want to edit the code right now. 😉

    • Can you clarify… There are a couple of categories I can place most scenarios and behaviors into that might help answer this, but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re seeking.

    • Generally, we both stop; she follows my example.

      If it infuriates her further (when I ask her to pause), then I know that either hunger or fatigue are involved. If she pauses with me and we explore the situation together, I know she was frustrated by her inability to assert her power/ability/decisions over whatever is at question.

      Insolence. Outright disobedience… What of these?

      First, a wise person once said that obedience is a gift, compliance is a necessity. My daughter (and those who have been a part of our family over the years) knows that her obedience to our request is her choice. She knows the results of her choices too. If I ask her to obey me and pick up her toys, and she chooses to, she knows ahead of time why it’s important. She doesn’t do it to please me, she does it because she made a conclusion that it was a good idea on her own. This provides for her own self growth, her self-esteem to flourish, and her need for order (which she has in abundance) to be satisfied.

      If I tell my daughter she must hold my hand to cross the street, she knows this is a requirement, and she knows exactly why I have made this a standing expectation of compliance. She knows about cars, she knows how big and fast they are, and she knows that it’s my job to make sure she’s safe. If she forgets to comply, I intercept. I take her hand and we cross together. If she refuses to take my hand, there is a simple and natural consequence, neither of us cross the street. If I must go across the street and she continues to refuse to take my hand, she does not come with me, she is returned to the house/car with Papa/etc. She forfeits the opportunity to join me. She knows this is what will happen if she chooses to refuse to comply with this requirement, and she is allowed to make the choice to refuse, but the result/consequence remains.

      We don’t have insolence in our house because, well simply, if obedience isn’t forced, and punitive measures don’t exist, there is no such thing as insolence. We don’t punish, we allow the natural course of things (known as consequences or results) to occur. They teach much more effectively than any punishment I can dream up. Not only does trying to come up with a punishment cause me to have to stop upholding my daughter, but shift into a state of mind of causing her harm/hurt/embarrassment – something damaging, even a little, but it makes me feel like I didn’t do a good enough job of teaching her in the first place or I wouldn’t be thinking I need to teach her now, reactively.

      I wrote a post on disobedience and discussed the simple fact that IT doesn’t happen in our house either. Neither does non-compliance, because where a choice to refuse to comply occurs, I pause, allow natural consequence to follow, and then revisit the situation with patience and perspective (hers) after talking with her and encouraging her to really talk about her thoughts and feelings surrounding her choice.

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