Timeouts are definitely the go-to form of discipline for Alysia Reiner, known for playing Natalie “Fig” Figueroa on Orange Is the New Black. But in her case, she turned the tables on 7-year-old daughter Livia Charles.
“I have actually given myself a timeout, when she did throw a tantrum,” Reiner, 45, shared on the newest edition of PEOPLE’s Mom Talk. “I was like, ‘Okay, I’m no longer able to be a good mom.’ “
She adds, “My husband [David Alan Basche] was off working, and I’d be like, ‘I’m going into the bathroom for three minutes to calm myself down because I can’t parent effectively right now.’ “
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
And how did Livia react to such a sudden shift in her mom’s demeanor?
“[It] scared the daylights out of her,” Reiner adds. “Which was really interesting. She calmed herself down because she was like, ‘Wh-what’s Mom doing?’ “
“Silence is deadly,” adds Reiner’s OITNB costar Selenis Leyva, 43.
Another trick to making sure Reiner’s disciplining techniques have been effective is that she doesn’t bluff.
“One of the biggest things I learned early is you can’t ever have an empty threat — you always have to follow through,” Reiner says. “So if you say, ‘If you do that again, we’re leaving this restaurant,’ you have to be ready to leave the restaurant. And if you’re not, don’t ever say it.”
She continues, “Because the minute they don’t believe you, it’s over.”
— Jen Juneau