Common mistakes parents make with time-outs

Boys Town

What’s the best way to discipline your child? The parenting experts at Boys Town have advice for parents on giving your child an effective time-out.

Time-outs are a great way to send a message to your child that you are not pleased with their behavior. Below are 5 ways to make the most out of a child’s time-out:

1. Place your child in a location that is boring with no distractions. Your child should experience as close to “nothing” as possible.

2. Your child’s bedroom should not be a place for time-out. Instead, find a location where you can monitor them, but they cannot watch TV or look out a window.

3. Use a timer. If they leave before the timer goes off, reset it. Begin to increase the time to have a more meaningful impact.

4. Once time-out is over have the child correct the action that caused them to be sent to time-out. If it was because they didn’t pick up their toys, have them return to that task. If they refuse send them back to time-out and start the process over.

5. Don’t take your child’s good behavior for granted. Offer frequent praise for good behavior throughout the day.

Boys Town counsels families and schools across the country on best parenting and discipline practices. These strategies incorporate those teachings and can be used for effective parenting in the home. “For time-out to work, parents have to create a positive time-in environment, meaning positive, loving and fun experiences for the child,” said Tom Reimers, Director of Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic and author. “As a rule you should give your child at least three positive comments for every one negative”.

You can find more information at http://www.parenting.org/reimers
The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.

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