What's Time-Out For Anyway? Part II: How to successfully teach kids "Time-Out". by Susie E. Caron © 4/12/15
What's Time-Out For Anyway?
Part II How to successfully teach kids "time-out".
by Susie E. Caron © 4/12/15
This is the 2nd part of my article about “time-out.” Last week I explained "How & why to use time-out with your kids." This week, in part 2, I’ll describe how you can easily teach young children to use time-out and feel really successful in this use of this wonderful training tool.
How to teach ‘time-out’ to kids.
It is best to teach children how to use time-out when they are very little. You can even begin around age 2, but you must be prepared to be very patient and weather some crying protests. If you are patient, loving and unmoved by attempts to get you to give in, you will establish this practice. Then you will be ready to more easily help your children to learn valuable lessons as they grow.
Personal Tools (mindset) you will need:
First you must be very patient. Act as though you have ‘all the time in the world’ to help your child accomplish this task. (It's is best, therefore, to make sure you begin on a day you are not in a hurry.)
Second, you must be totally resolved that your child will stay in time-out for whatever length of time is appropriate. In early ages, that will mean only 2 or 3 minutes then a hug and all done. As the child grows up a little, you can expect your child to calm down first before being released. If the child needs more time to calm down, you can use a timer and reset it for a few more minutes just to allow cooling down. Remain calm and 'matter of fact' about it all.
Third, and this is critical. When your child comes out of time-out, Do Not try to talk with your child about the infraction or problem. (See 4th below) Instead you welcome him or her with open arms back into the family and activities. In fact you may want to have something ready to do with your child for that time. (Don’t make it 'wonderful' like going to ‘Disney’, or you may accidentally cause your child to want to go to time-out more often. Instead make it something simple like helping you bake, or doing a puzzle together, that you just happened to take out.
Fourth, at some other time during this day or next, chat with your child about what happened that caused him or her to have to go to time-out. Don’t ask “why”, because kids cannot readily answer that. Instead ask questions like “What do you think was the reason you sat in time-out today?” and “What do you think you can do differently or better, next time.”
Fifth, Now tell your child “Thank you, for talking with me about this. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s up to everyone to learn to do better too. I’m glad you and I can talk because I believe in you to be the very best you that you can be.”
Here I will summarize the main messages you want your child to understand:
1. If you do something to hurt yourself, others, or objects, you will have to loose your fun while you spend it in time-out.
2. In time out your job is to think about what you can do differently and calm yourself down.
3. When you come out of time out you can return to having fun.
4. You and I will talk later about what you learned that you can do differently.
5. I will thank you because I believe in you to always be the best you that you can be. Always.
That's it. With these tools you can be well on your way to help your kids learn how to behave better, think about better choices and calm themselves down. Isn't that something we all need to learn?
What do you think about the use of 'time-out'? What would you add, or subtract from what I wrote? Let me know in your comments below.
Also thank you for sharing this with your friends on social media.
Twee’ means you and me.
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!