Time Out

According to http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/discipline/time_out.html,

“Time out is a very effective discipline technique and will work with children as young as 18-24 months old. By using this method of discipline you are giving your child
time out from positive reinforcement (which includes any parental reaction such as yelling or hitting) after he misbehaves.”

The parent or disciplinarian is to “prepare a time out chair, which can be a chair in any room of the house, a space on the floor, the child’s bed, etc. or any place where he is isolated from interaction with others. Use a kitchen timer to count down your child’s punishment time, which is usually one minute per year of age.

Unlike the way it is used for older kids, time out for toddlers is more so that you can give your child time to regroup and calm down. A toddler will likely not sit still in a time out chair, even for a minute or two, and you shouldn’t try to force him to or wait for time out to start until he has been quiet.

When you want your child to follow a command, ask him in a firm, but pleasant voice. Allow your child about five seconds to do what you have asked, and if he does not, then make direct eye contact with him and say If you do not do what I asked, then you are going to sit in time-out (and point to his time out chair). After this warning, if he still does not do what you have asked, then say something like You have not done what I asked, so you have to go to your time out chair. Give these commands in a louder and firmer voice to get your child’s attention, but do not yell or get angry.”

* * * * *
So … when your 2 year old laughs at you and repeatedly does the inappropriate action (e.g. biting or spitting) and asks for a time out?!

I did some further research that recognizes that parents of a difficult or strong willed child will have their children “often argue about everything and test their parents repeatedly, making discipline and daily life hard on all members of the family.”

I think I’m going to check out Dr. Robert MacKenzie’s book, Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child which is touted to be “a great resource for parents looking for help to learn how they can understand and effectively discipline their children, especially if they are strong-willed or can be described as ‘challenging, difficult, spirited, stubborn, hell-raising, a pistol or just plain impossible.” http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/reviews/parenting_books/setting_limits.html

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Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth is a children's book author and designer of knit and crochet character hats under the brand The Ruthless Crafter. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, spend time with her family, and swim. She lives a full, happy life in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and their two children.

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1 Comment

  1. "So … when your 2 year old laughs at you and repeatedly does the inappropriate action (e.g. biting or spitting) and asks for a time out?!"

    this is pretty frustrating… when do they get to the age where they figure out they DON'T really have to do anything you ask them, or even go to time out?

    Raising children is the most daunting task there is.

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