Cincinnati Family Magazine

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January 28, 2023

Best Discipline? Time Out.

The best discipline technique is found in Time Out. It works wonders for little kids.

Time Out provides an excellent way for getting your kids to behave the way you need them to and it can be used with children as young as 2. By using Time Out you can eliminate ineffective parent reactions like spanking or yelling.

Here’s how:

Prepare a time out chair or designate a corner in a room for the spot — it can be any place where your child will be isolated from interaction with others. Use a timer to count down your child’s punishment time, which is usually one minute per year of age.

Time Out in action:

When you want your child to mind, ask him in a firm, but pleasant voice and give him five seconds to do what you have asked. If he does not, then make direct eye contact with him and say “If you do not do what I ask, then you are going to time-out.” After your warning, if he still doesn’t do what you have asked, then say, “You have not done what I asked, so you have to go to your time-out chair.” Do not yell or get angry. Calmly take him to his time-out place, ignoring any protests or promises he may make, and say, “You stay in your time-out chair until I tell you to get up.” He must now stay in time out until he has been quiet for the punishment time you have set for him (usually one minute per year of age).

Tips for making Time Out successful:

• Time out does not begin until your child is quiet.

• If your child leaves the time-out place, put him back and warn: “If you get out of Time Out again, I am going to discipline you (by removing some desired activity/possession, etc.)”. If he gets up again, just put him back in the chair without warning him again and apply the discipline technique.

• Modify to suit your child’s temperament.

• Remember, it is always better to support and encourage good behavior instead of trying to eliminate bad behaviors.

• Time out can also be used when you are going out with your kids. Before going out, go over the rules that you expect your child to follow. Also, give a warning about what will happen if he misbehaves while you’re out.


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