What Is Time-Out?

For children, time passes much more slowly than it does to adults, and this makes time-out very necessary. During time-out your youngster is made to sit or stand alone at a particular place for a predetermined period. Time-out is especially useful when such misbehavior as destroying property, hitting or antagonizing others physically or verbally is involved. It can also be very effective in the situation where you have given your youngster an instruction and he has refused to comply. When that happens, immediately lead your child to your time-out location. Always give a reason for instating the punishment but make in short. Resist any temptation to interrogate or lecture the youngster, and accept no argument.

The Location of time-out should be dull but safe place that is in no way scary. Never use a closet or a dark room, which will only activate a child’s fears and be a source of nightmares. For your little one it might be a hall way or a quiet room where you can watch him out of the corner of your eye. Even a chair at the other end of the room is also sufficient.

For an older youngster, use a laundry room, a staircase, or any uninteresting spot. Do not place your youngster from where he can glimpse the TV or gaze out of the window. Try to remove anything from the scene that his anger might lead him to throw or damage. If he kicks the wall ignore him as long as the time-out lasts. In fact, studiously turn your back on all of his attempts to get your attention, so long as he stays where he is supposed to be.

If your child is quite young you must escort him to the spot where the time-out is going to occur and have him sit down. Make him clear why he must stay there. A child who rebels against time-out should be escorted back to the spot as many times as necessary to convince him that you have no intention of relenting.  Should he persists, impose another consequence. For example you can tell him that as he can’t stay in time-out, he will have to go to bed half an hour earlier tonight. And be sure to follow through.

geeta krishnan