Using ‘time out’

by | February 16, 2005 12:00 am

By MARY WHITEEmanuel County Extension Service

By MARY WHITEEmanuel County Extension Service

Time out can be an effective method to guide children’s behavior and teach them how to cooperate. It’s done by placing a child in a dull area of the home, apart from all activity for a period of time. Time out is used immediately following the unwanted behavior, every time it occurs. Following the completion of time, you talk to the child to discuss why he was placed in time and positive behavior to help him stay out of time out. There are three questions that you need to address before using time out as a methods of teaching positive behavior.

1. What is the specific behavior that I want to change? Target one behavior at a time and be specific.

2. Where is our designated “time out” space? It should not be someplace frightening.

3. What is the appropriate time in “time out” for the behavior? Approximately one minute per year of age is a good rule of thumb. Set the timer after the child is in place and quiet.

After you have answered the above questions, use this checklist to help you make the most effective use of the “time-out” method. When your child misbehaves, immediately tell the child to stop the misbehavior or that he or she would have to go to time-out.

Wait five seconds and if the child does not comply, send him or her to time-out without any lecturing or scolding.

Remain firm. Tell the child there will be additional discipline like loss of other privileges such as television time, play time, or a favorite toy if the child refuses to stay in time-out.

Require the child to stay in time-out for the entire length of the time-out that you stated in the beginning, no time off for good behavior, no interruptions for drinks, or the bathroom.

Remind the child after time-out is served that he or she must comply with the original instruction which led to the time-out in the first place.

Back up your spouse with regard to the enforcement of time-out if you are nearby.

Use time-out later on in the day if the misbehavior occurs again. The time should be increased a little each time used in a given day.

Positively reinforce the child by praising or rewarding the child for those appropriate behaviors on your target behavior list.

Remember that “time out” is not to be a punishment but a time to re-direct a child’s thoughts and behaviors. After the time is up, make sure that there is time for you to talk with the child and review why he or she is there, what behavior was not acceptable and how to handle the situation the future. Most of all, be consistent and if the situation arises again, follow through with the time out consequence. Many times, encouraging and reinforcing the good behavior will be more effective than the time out or other restrictions that can be applied. For more information on strengthening your family, call the Emanuel County Extension Office at 237-1226.

No comments yet.


The comments are closed.

© Copyright 2019 | Emanuel County Live

SIGN UP FOR MORE! Get special offers and updates from us in your inbox. Sign Up!Sign Up!