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Successful Time-Out Techniques for Parents

Do you know the components of a successful time-out? Time-out is not just “go to your room and correct your actions”. The goal of a time-out is to change your child’s behavior in a positive and nonviolent way. To accomplish this goal, parents need to learn and employ the necessary time-out techniques that stop the rebellion and correct the child’s behavior positively and effectively. Here are the most successful time-out techniques used by parents and proven to work when employed properly.

Successful Time-out Techniques for Parents

Designate a Time-Out Spot

A key component of a successful time-out is the time-out area. This is a location where your child can sit or stand and contemplate on his bad behavior away from any distractions. A good time-out area is where you are able to monitor your child and make sure he is safe. Locations like the corner of a living room or hallway, kitchen table or a portable time-out chair are acceptable time-out spots. Kid’s own bedroom or closed door rooms are not suitable locations for time-out. The key is that you should be able to watch and monitor your child during the time-out.

Time-Out should be Brief and Quiet

Keep time-out brief and quiet. A good rule of thumb for determining the required length of time-out is 1 x child’s age. A 2-year old gets 2 minutes, a 3-year old gets 3 minutes, and a 5-year old gets 5 minutes of time-out. You can always adjust the time-out period based on the severity of the case and your child’s receptiveness to the corrective action. During the time-out, your child is not allowed to talk, make noise, play games or watch TV. Time-out should be a quiet time designated for a child so he can rethink his behavior and correct his actions.

Be Consistent and Follow Through

If you’ve told your child that a specific behavior will result in time-out, make sure you follow through every time your child crosses the line. One of the important components of successful time-out strategies is consistency. As a parent, you don’t want to fall in a trap of false threats and no response. Your child needs to take you seriously. Every time your child acts up and does things that require discipline, make sure time-out is called and time-out rules are followed. If your child leaves the time-out area too soon, bring him back to the designated spot and restart the time-out.

No Humiliation and No Scolding

Explain to your child his bad behavior and why he needs to go to time-out. Stay calm and avoid any humiliation and scolding language. Yelling, criticizing and physical punishment will all have negative effects on your child’s behavior and will undo what a successful time-out strategy can accomplish. A successful time-out will shape and correct your child’s behavior without the need for punishment and destructive language.

Talk after Time-Out

One of the effective time-out techniques ignored by most parents is the talk after time-out. After each time-out, sit down with your child and talk about what went on, why you think your child’s action was wrong and how it was affecting you or others. Make sure your child understands why he was sent to time-out. Ask for his opinion and how he feels about what he has done. Acceptance and apology are signs that show your child acknowledges his bad behavior and tends to correct his actions.


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What is Time-out?



What is Time-Out?

Are you a parent who uses the word “time-out” frequently throughout the day to discipline the young kids in the house? Do you know the real meaning and the purpose of time-outs for children? If you are a mom or a dad to a toddler or a preschooler, the chances are you’re using this term on a day by day basis to handle and alleviate the out-of-control situations with your kids. Here, we want to give you more insights on the true meaning of time-out, the weight it carries and the real purpose behind it.

What is Time-out?

When was the first time you heard the term “time-out”? Most probably you’ve heard this term called in sports like football, baseball, basketball or hockey so many times. In sports, time-out is a halt in the game activity. Time-out is requested by the coach to let the team regroup, strategize and get back in the game refocused and in balance. Time-out works exactly the same way in the home as it does in the sports.

So, what is time-out?

Time-out is a call to stop the negative behavior of a child, letting him rethink, revise and regulate his actions before getting back to a normal activity. The idea behind a time-out is for a parent to remove the child from his current environment, put a pause on his bad behavior, calm the situation and let the child know a wrong action has been taken. Most parents have a designated spot for time-outs, such as a time-out chair or corner of a room or hallway. The goal is to provide a quite place free of distractions so your child can rethink his action.

What time-out isn’t

Time-out is one of the most misunderstood discipline strategies by parents. What most parents don’t know is that time-out is not a punishment for a bad conduct. Time-out is a nonviolent parental technique used to inform the child of his unpleasant behavior, divert attention from him and give him a chance to calm down and reshape his behavior. Time-out is a warning and a reminder for a child that he is doing something wrong and his actions will not be tolerated.

What is the age criteria for time-out?

To successfully employ the time-out strategies in the house, your child should be old enough to understand what is acceptable and what is not. Toddlers usually reach this stage of reasoning somewhere between the age of 2 and 3. By this age, your child has developed enough reasoning skills to understand the difference between good and bad, and why a bad action should not be tolerated. At this stage, if your child hits his little brother or beaks a glass bowl on purpose, he knows he has done something wrong by nature.