Guidelines for time-out
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 or she has done. Time-outs are useful for aggressive and harmful behaviors in toddlers and preschool-aged children.
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 for time-out:
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 or her in very clear statements.
If the child does not go to time-out on his or her own, lead him or 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 or her to resume normal activities.
Treat the child normally after time-out. Do not lecture again on the behavior.