Best Discipline? Time Out.

by |

Just a few minutes by herself in the corner can work wonders for getting better behavior.

Della stood in the corner, face to the wall, one of her little legs wiggling. She peeked over to her her mom who was cooking dinner at the stove, but when she started scaling the wall and leaving the corner area, her mom stopped her.

“Uh-uh, Della,” Brandy, her mom said. “You’re in Time Out for two more minutes, get back.”

Time Out provides a solid way for correcting young kids who have misbehaved and it can be used with children as young as 2. By using Time Out you eliminate ineffective parent reactions like spanking or yelling.

Time Out.

Prepare a time out chair or designate a corner in a room for the spot — it can be any place where your child will be cut off from interaction with others. Use a timer to count down your child’s time there, usually one minute per year of age.


When you want your child to mind, ask her in a firm, but pleasant voice and give her five seconds to do what you’ve asked. If she doesn’t, make direct eye contact with her and say “If you do not do what I ask, then you’re going to time-out.” After your warning, if she still doesn’t do what you asked, calmly say, “You have not done what I asked, so you have to go to Time Out.” Without anger, take her to her designated time-out place, ignoring any protests or promises she may make, and say, “You stay in Time Out until I say you can come out.” She must now stay there until she has fulfilled your set time (usually one minute per year of age).

Tips to Make it work.

• Time Out does not begin until your child is quiet.

• If your child leaves Time Out, put her back and warn: “If you leave Time Out again, I am going to take away one of your toys (or eliminate TV or video time). If she gets up again, put her back in the chair without warning, and tell her what the consequences are.

• Modify to suit your child’s temperament/age. Some children will be remorseful right away. Others will show defiance. Remember, your aim is to get desirable behavior.

• Remember, it is always better to support and encourage good behavior instead of trying to eliminate bad behaviors.

• Time Out can be used anytime, anywhere. Before going out, go over the rules that you expect your child to follow and give a warning about what will happen if she misbehaves while you’re out.

• Be consistent! Do what you say you’re going to do and follow through or the entire plan will NOT work.


Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

NCT ldrbrd 1118
YMCA bball ldrbrd 0818

Leave a Reply using Facebook