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How to Use Time-Out Effectively With Children

Sep 11, 2008
When it comes to disciplining your child, many parents have no idea what to do. You might yell and threaten or take away a toy, and nothing seems to work. Being consistent with punishments for children is very important. When used consistently, time-outs for children can be a very effective form of punishment. Here are some tips to get it right:

Time-Out Guidelines to Follow

* Choose a time-out area in your home that is easily accessible and where the child can be monitored by you at all times such as a chair in the corner of the dining room or another room. Make sure it is free of toys, television, music or other stimuli.

* Children should be placed in time-out for short periods of time. Generally it is according to their age. For example if they are 2-5 years old, they should be placed in time out for 2-5 minutes.

* Use a timer to help you keep track.

* Explain to children ahead of time what the time-out procedure is and what actions will get them placed in time-out.

* Make sure you stay calm throughout the time-out procedure.

Procedures for Time-Out

* When a child is misbehaving, state to them that they need to go to time-out and for what.

* Set the timer

* If child talks, plays with toys, or breaks the rules, reset timer.

* When you retrieve child from time-out, look them in the eye and tell them what they did wrong.

If Your Child Refuses to Go to Time-Out

Some children can be particularly difficult and may refuse to go to time-out. All children are different but try some of these techniques to see what works best for your child.

* Count to three and if child is not in time-out area, then double their time there.

* Use a reward chart for time-out compliance. When chart is filled, the child will receive a special treat for learning how to go to time-out.

* Take other things away such as toys, TV time, or an activity until child does time-out.

Advantages of Time-Out

* There is no physical punishment involved.

* Parents don't have to yell and scream.

* It increases the probability that parents are going to be consistent about what is going to be punished, when and how.

* The child learns to accept his own responsibility for undesirable behavior. The parents are not punishing the child; rather the child is punishing himself. The child should be repeatedly told that the parents did not put him or her in time-out but that the child put himself in time-out.

* The child more readily learns to discriminate which behaviors are acceptable and which are unacceptable.

* The child begins to learn more self-control.

* By keeping a written record of time-outs parents can see if the procedure is reducing the targeted behavior. Also, reward can be tied to only receiving a certain amount of time-outs in a day or a smaller time period.

When used consistently, time-outs for children can be a very effective form of punishment.
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our great selection of kids furniture (including our popular toy boxes for kids) and classic toys. Visit www.TheMagicalRockingHorse.com today!
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