Welcome back! In this post I plan to cover a basic Time-Out Method that parents can use to control unwanted behaviors in their children. As I said before, there have been many variations of the time-out technique developed over the years. This is just a basic method that will work wonders in most cases if used effectively.
To begin, parents need to pick a chair that will soon become the dreaded "time out chair." I have also heard from several parents who prefer the standing time out and have a certain spot chosen for the child to stand when he or she breaks a rule. Either way will work if used correctly. Let's say you have decided to use the chair technique. The general rule of thumb is one minute for every year of the child's age. Two minutes for a two year old, five minutes for a five year old, and so on. If your child has never been put in time out, it is best to start with less time for the first week or so. Maybe just one minute no matter the child's age.
Over a week or two you can add time until the child is expected to sit for the full time, but never more than one minute for every year of his or her age. Also remember to stay calm and not allow yourself to get frustrated when giving the time out as a consequence. Most importantly, don't engage the child in an argument while in the chair-time-out is time to think about what he or she did to get there, not continue arguing with mom or dad. Following the time-out, provided the child has calmed down, you can then talk about his or her poor choice and ways to make better decisions in the future.
I would love to answer any questions or hear from parents about how time outs have worked (or not) for your child. Let me know what you think!