Time-out is a type of discipline that is used to stop a child from
performing a bad behavior "isolating" the child for a period of time.
Time-out helps establish that the parent is in charge, and allows the
child to think about what he/she has done. Time-outs are useful for
aggressive and harmful behaviors in toddlers and preschool-aged
Where should a time-out occur?
The place for time-out to occur should be chosen ahead of time, not
at the time of the behavior. The following are some examples of places
- crib or play pen
- chairs or corners of the room
- a designated room
How long should a time-out last?
- A general guideline is one minute for each year of the child's age. For example, 3-year-olds get three minutes of time-out.
- A maximum length of time for time-out should be no more than five minutes.
Placing your child in time-out:
- The reason the child is being sent to time-out should be explained to him/her in very clear statements.
- If the child does not go to time-out on his/her own, lead him/her there.
- Do not spank or yell on the way to time-out.
- As a parent, you decide when time-out is over, not the child. If the child "escapes" during time-out, restart the clock.
- Tell your child time-out is over and allow him/her to resume normal activities.
- Treat the child normally after time-out. Do not lecture again on the behavior.