Time-out basically involves you placing your child in his playpen for a short period of time following each occurrence of a negative behavior. This procedure has been effective in reducing problem behaviors such as tantrums, hitting, and other aggressive acts, failure to follow directions, and jumping on furniture. Parents have found that this works much better than spanking, yelling, and threatening children. It is most appropriate for children ages 9 months through 2 years.
- A place for time-out should be selected. This could be your childs playpen. It needs to be a dull place, but NOT a dark, scary or dangerous place. The aim is to remove the child to a place where not much is happening, NOT to make the child afraid.
- You should discuss with your spouse which behaviors will result in time-out.
Summary of Rules For Parents:
- Following the negative behavior, say to the child, No, don't _____. Say this calmly: no screaming, talking angrily, or nagging. Carry the child to the playpen without talking to him. Carry him facing away from you.
- When the child is in the playpen, wait until he has stopped crying for about 10-15 seconds. Before your child has stopped crying, do not look at him, talk to him, or talk about him. After he is finally quiet, just go over to the playpen, pick him up without saying a word, and set him on the floor near some of his toys. Do not reprimand him or mention what he did wrong.
- After each time-out episode, children should start out with a clean slate. No discussion, nagging, threatening, or reminding is necessary. At the first opportunity, look for and praise positive behaviors. Catch them being good!
- Decide which behaviors require time-out ahead of time and discuss with your spouse.
- Don't leave your child in time-out and forget about him.
- Don't nag, scold or talk to the child when he is in time-out (all family members should follow this rule)
- Remain calm, particularly when your child is being testy.
- Don't use time-out for every problem.
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Toddler Discipline Techniques