3 Steps to Introducing Time-Outs
Keep in mind these tips when disciplining:
- Any effort to regain your attention during this time should be ignored. If your child gets up or requires your attention, the timer should be reset.
- At the end of the time-out, comfort your child and briefly explain your future expectations: “We don’t hit when we don’t get our way. Next time tell Mommy what you need.”
- Stay calm. Few parents think rationally when mad. And a toddler knows how to push just the right buttons!
- Be consistent. If hitting our baby sister is sometimes ignored (or giggled at) and sometimes punished, what message are we sending? On the other hand, using a time-out for behaviors which occur frequently diminishes its effectiveness.
- Positive reinforcement is the best behavioral modifier. Catch your child during those times he is being gentle with the baby and point it out.
- And just like all “expert” advice, time-outs don’t work for all parents or all kids. If your discipline technique is not working, talk to your pediatrician.
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