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Timeout Timed Out

, , , , | Learning | February 28, 2018

(My baby sister is taking beginner ballet classes; she is four years old. There is a large age gap between us, so usually I’m the one who drops her off there and picks her up an hour and a half later. The teacher believes that people shouldn’t be watching the class, as it distracts the kids from learning. My sister loves dancing, so she does well until we have to pull her out because of this encounter.)

Teacher: “I had to put [Sister] in timeout today; she was being really bad!”

Me: “Oh, really? What did she do?”

(As I grab my sister’s hand, I notice she looks as if she has been crying for a long time.)

Teacher: “She pushed another girl today.”

Me: “How long did she have to stay?”

Teacher: “The majority of the class. She didn’t seem to learn her lesson.”

Me: “And how long did she cry?”

Teacher: “I couldn’t move her until she learned her lesson!”

Me: “And? Did she apologize, at least? I’m not sure why she would be there for so long.”

Teacher: “I mean, she did say sorry after she pushed her, but she needed to learn!”

Me: “So, leaving her alone, and letting her cry this entire class, was her ‘learning her lesson’?! She’s four years old, she apologized, and she has been crying this entire time, and you left her there all class long?! Not only was this a wasted class for us, you needlessly punished her for so long, even when she apologized!”

Teacher: “She needed to learn her lesson!”

Me: “The only thing I’ve learned today is that you don’t know how to handle a child. We’re not coming back once I tell my parents.”

(We got her out of that class, and have since admitted her into another dance school. I’m not saying that my sister didn’t do anything wrong, but keeping her in timeout while she cried her eyes out, after she had apologized, is ridiculous. We give her timeouts, too, sometimes, but never for so long!)

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