• Posted on Feb 6, 2017

Could you be doing ‘time-out’ wrong?

About 75% of parents report using ‘time-out’ for misbehavior but a large percent of parents are not using this technique correctly. In a survey of 400 parents of children aged 15 months to 10 years, parents were reporting that the ‘time-out’ discipline was not working. However, further investigation showed that parents could use some education on this.

The most important principal in time out is that you are removing positive reinforcements. What is the most significant thing you can remove? A toy? No, it turns out that YOU are the most important object to your child! So…no talking or interactions during their time out! (But lots of love and talking when they are on their best behavior). And don’t give them repeated warnings or you lose your credibility! Give one warning, explain the reason they will be placed in time out and then no more talking to them despite how engaging and sweet they may act! Lastly, don’t give any toys, books or access to other children when they are in time out…otherwise you defeat the purpose entirely. If they try to escape, put them back in time out. This may mean spending most of a day working on this technique …which makes for a difficult day for both of you…but it does teach your child a very important lesson….that you are the boss!

Dr Badaracco


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