Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

“Time-out” is the best discipline available for the irrational behaviors of young children. It’s especially helpful for behaviors that can’t be ignored, such as harmful or disruptive behaviors. “Time-out” means isolating your child in a boring place for a few minutes. “Time-out” has the advantage of providing a cooling off period for both you and your child. The best place for a “time-out” is anywhere out of the mainstream – playpens and cribs are great for young toddlers and sitting or standing in a corner is good for an older one, Pre-School can be sent to their room. Here’s how you can give a “time-out.”

• First, “time-outs” should be about one minute per year of age, with an upper limit of five minutes. A kitchen timer can be set for the required time.

• Second, be sure your child stays in “time-out” for the full amount of time. Some strong willed toddlers initially need to be held in the chair with a hand on their shoulder, but don’t be discouraged, this teaches your youngster that you mean what you say.

• Third, when the “time-out” is up, go to your child and tell him, “time-out’s over; you can get up now” and then keep an eye on him and try to praise him as soon as possible for some good behavior.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.


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Behavioral, Support and Advice, Temporary, Treatment