Family & Parenting Guide

How ‘Time-out’ works with children


Children often misbehave and sometimes you have to be very strict to make them behave properly. In such situations, the method of time-out can be used to discipline your child without even raising your voice or your hand. Time-out generally involves the way through which you punish your child by removing him or her temporarily from the stuffs he or she enjoys doing. This is just like the two minutes penalty time a hockey player receives if they misbehave while playing and during which they are not allowed to play the game and are allowed only to watch it.

The location of the time-out area

You can use different location for each time-out according to your convenience.  A small or adult-sized chair, a bench, couch or a footstep should be there in that area and make sure that it is free from any kind of dangerous objects and is well-lit. Also, choose the area in such a way that they won’t be able to watch TV or play with anything while sitting there.

The duration of a time-out

The time limit for a time-out must be two quiet minutes if your child is two or three years old. However, they may not agree with you and express their opinion very loudly by throwing a tantrum, crying or even by throwing stuffs around the house. So, you will have to be a little patient and wait until they are calm to start the time-out minutes. Moreover, it is very necessary for you to remain calm during the entire process as children do not take anything seriously, especially punishments, if it is said without being calm or with a smiling face.

Misbehaving while in the chair during the time-out

If your child starts to misbehave during the time-out, then it is very important for you to maintain absolute silence towards your child. Don’t say anything even if your child starts to cry, spit, rip their clothes, scream or say anything. Just keep on maintaining your silence and ignore him or her until they start to behave properly again. They do this to gain your attention, as a child hates it when their parents ignore them and that is why they constantly wants your attention even if it is not necessary. However, during the process of ignoring them, make sure that they are unable to harm themselves and are out of reach from any harmful objects.

Some of the important pints to remember while implementing the time-out process:

  • Choose properly the time-out areas beforehand.
  • Explain the time-process to your child.
  • Do not refrain from using time-out every time your child misbehaves.
  • Be specific while explaining to your child the reason for doing time-out.
  • Ignore your child completely during time-out.
  • Do not allow your child to leave the chair during time-out.
  • Once the time is up, your child should be quiet and calm before leaving the time-out zone.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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