Time Out! Getting The Most Out Of This Popular Discipline Tactic -Part 2 of a 2-Part Series

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”’Editor’s Note: Part 1 of this article was posted last Wednesday. It covered topics such as Understanding Time-Out, Time-Out for Parents, Length of Time-Out, Time-Out Area, and Applying Time-Out Correctly”’

“Suzanne Gelb Image”


”Preparing for Time-Out”

Before you start implementing time-out or if you’ve used it before and are revising your approach, have a family meeting where you briefly explain to your child how time-out works.


? Specify the misbehaviors that will result in time-out.
? Describe where your child will be during time-out and how long it will last.
? Emphasize that any misconduct during time-out, such as making noises or leaving the time-out area ahead of time, will result in time-out starting over.
? Explain that time-out starts when your child is quiet and ends when you say, “Time-out is over.”
? Have your child repeat the process back to you to make sure he or she understands it.
? Identify the timer you will use during time-out. Run the timer for 2 minutes so your child gets to know what time-out is like while sitting quietly at the family meeting.

”Sending your Child to Time-Out”

If your child misbehaves, immediately give a brief warning that the behavior must stop or a time-out will follow. For example, when Pam, age 5, shifts from playing with her stuffed animals on the sofa to jumping on the sofa, her mom should calmly say, “Pam, stop jumping on the sofa. If you do that again you’ll get a time-out.”

If Pam continues to jump, her mom should say, “Time-out. I’ve told you not to jump on the sofa.”


? Give only one pre-time-out warning and be prepared to follow through.
? When sending your child to time-out, don