3 Steps to Introducing Time-Outs
Grab and run: This is your toddler’s favorite new game, much to the chagrin of his now-wailing playmates and his much-embarrassed parent (that’d be you). With his hands full of whatever his little buddy was playing with and his face plastered with a mischievous smirk, your toddler is a prime candidate for one of the most popular discipline tactics out there: the time-out.
The idea behind an effective time-out is that you are taking away the most important thing to your toddler—your parental attention.
Time-Outs, Step by Step
First, briefly point out the offending behavior and announce that your child is in time-out: “We don’t hit. You are in time out.” Keep it short and simple.
Then, lead your child to a spot where he can sit that is safe and totally non-entertaining. The bottom stair for older kids, a special chair, a quiet corner, or a “time-out cushion” work well.
Situate your toddler and set a timer. An egg timer, a digital timer, and the timer on your microwave all work well. One minute of time-out per year of age is the standard recommendation. You might need to start with a much shorter time frame, such as a flat 20 seconds, when you first begin.
And voila! You have introduced the concept of time-out!
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