Is The Time Out An Effective Method Of Toddler Discipline?


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The time out is a discipline method that has been becoming more popular in recent years.  The fact of the matter is that, for many toddlers the time out is a very effective method of discipline.  This is not to say that the time out works for every child.  This is also not to say that, sometimes, the time out will lose its effectiveness as a method of discipline for a given child.  This only means that many parents have had success using the time out as an effective method of toddler discipline.

But why does the time out work?  Why is it an effective method of discipline?  There are several things that the time out accomplishes.  First, if the time out is given for a misbehavior, it takes the child out of the situation in which he was misbehaving, effectively putting an immediate end to the bad behavior.  Second, a time out gives the child a few minutes, undistracted by other children or other external stimuli, to calm down.  Once the child has calmed down, they are much more likely to be compliant.  But a time out does more than this.  It also allows the parents some time to calm down, and make sure that they are not disciplining out of anger.  It is because of all of these reasons that the time out tends to be an effective method of discipline.

To use a time out, you first need to pick a spot, isolated from the normal activity of your home, to use as the time out spot.  When a toddler is not compliant, give them a warning that they will go to time out if they do not comply.  Then, follow through.  If the child does not comply, tell them to go to time out, gently guiding them there if necessary.  The child then will need to stay in time out for a number of minutes equal to their years of age, after which, if they are calm and quiet, you will give them another opportunity to comply.  If they do not comply, you then send the child back to time out.

When used properly and consistently, the time out can be one of the most effective methods of discipline that you can use with your toddler.



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