Parenting Tips – How to Give Time-Outs | Parents

Parenting Tips – How to Give Time-Outs | Parents

I’m Dr. Ari Brown. Many parents have questions
about time-out. So, let’s talk about it. Call it the naughty chair, the penalty box or solitary
confinement. Time-out is a tried and true discipline technique that really works if
it’s done correctly and consistently. Just like any other method, it has to be used several
times to make an impact. Here are the top seven questions I’m often asked. Number one:
What is time-out? Time-out is time away from you and that is the most severe punishment
you can dish out. Kids crave attention from their parents, so losing it is a big deal.
Using time-out signals that the offense is serious. Time-out also gives a child time
to think and collect himself. Number two: When should time-out be used? Some parents
worry that their child will spend all day in time-out. Time-out is reserved for absolutely
unacceptable behavior. That means something that will endanger your child or someone else.
There are other methods that work well for ugly, less serious offenses. Number three:
Where should it happen? Time-out doesn’t have to be in the naughty chair or sitting in the
corner. It is anywhere that is away from you. Your child just needs to be in some place
where he cannot get hurt if he throws a fit which he probably will. A younger child can
sit on your lap facing away from you or you can put yourself in time-out and go into your
bedroom. If your child is in a safe place, don’t worry about it. No matter how you do
it, the point is, you need to disengage from your child. Number four: What if your child
won’t stay in one place? Well, your child’s age, size and strength will guide you on how
to manage this one. Since it is only for a few minutes, you can secure the door of the
room that he’s in so he stays put. Another option is for you to stay in the room with
your child and let him roam freely, as long as you don’t pay attention to him. Number
five: How long does time-out last? Put your child in time-out for one minute for each
year of age. What if she has a tantrum? Once the time has ended, tell your child the time-out
is over but she can take as much time as needs to settle down with freedom to leave at any
time. And by the way, temper tantrums in general are a way for child to blow off steam and
they shouldn’t be a reason for her to get a time-out. Don’t respond, just ignore it.
If you respond to a tantrum, it will become an effective form of communication for her
because she knows it will get your attention. Just make sure your child is in a safe place
to let loose. Number six: What if your child doesn’t seem to care about time-out? Believe
me, she does. Don’t let her fool you. Like any discipline method, it can take several
times to see an improvement in behavior. Kids will test the rules to see if they can wear
you down. Just be consistent about enforcing time-out and you will eventually see progress.
Number seven: What do you do if you’re in a public place? Follow through and don’t wait
to do a time-out later. Of course, you may have to get pretty creative. Stepping outside
using a public restroom or even going out to your car are reasonable time-out options.
Good luck.


  1. What do you do if your 6 yo kicks his bedroom door during time out. I tried putting myself in my room and he started kicking my door. We've actually had to switch his door knob with one that has no lock because he kept locking himself in his room when he got mad and kicked the walls and door. Also what are the other ways to handle less dangerous misbehavior. Everytime I try to look up positive punishment techniques all I find is time out.

  2. Or. . . Dont use Time-Outs at all and just get mad at them (little to mild demanding depending on how serious the situation is). I have followed these tips/steps and they are not effective. Spanking also doesnt work, it only gives abuse towards the child, makes them angry, and the child may cause more severe things in life as they move on as a adult. the correct method is taking away things, not just Consoles or Phones or their favorite toy. Instead remove their favorite part of meals, or more of a healthy and child hated food item. Maybe a little exercise. (25 jogs in place, 5 laps across/around a lawn (maybe 10-15 in a small apartment complex depending on age).) or if they like you to do something for them, don't.

  3. Whow, you even have a mathematical formula to calculate the length of the time-outs (:o)
    This things you're saying are quite random.

  4. do you mean lock the door!!! you are evil . time-outs help me because they let me com-down so i feel good when i get a time-out and my mom knows this. if you make it a bad thing to your kids and this happened to me your kids will get so mad they WILL K.O. you trust me i know because it happened to me but with the past over with i live a happy hellthy life and 1 more thing mom's and dad's can be friends. you think im dum well that's an opinyon

  5. Love how she ends it with "Good Luck!"…she knows this is going to be a ruff road but a smart one. Thanks for the tips!!!

  6. What if the reason the child won't stay in timeout is because they are older (7-9 or so)and don't have the patience to stay put for as long as you are telling them to? Should you half it?

  7. Rubbish children should not be allowed to get away with tantrums if they start that you get down to their level and give a warning then if they carry on they go into time out tantrums are not them letting off steam and they should not be allowed to get away with that unacceptable behaviour

  8. All her advise is bologny
    We are the parents not her and we should be able to use any discipline
    Time outs don't always work
    Taking away things and privileges make things worse
    spanking works alot on most kids I knew during my childhood and and has worked with my nieces and nephews

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