Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, January 17, 2014

PARENTING: How to Handle Time-Outs for Toddlers

I learned about time-outs in my Triple P training, a therapy program that teaches parents how to engage in what's called "positive parenting."

When you put your little one in time-out, make sure that you seat them in a chair where there are no distractions. For example, seat them on a chair in the hallway so they aren't in the same room with anyone else in the family. If your child is three, keep the child in time-out for three minutes; if the child is five, do it for five minutes. You get it, I'm sure.

Most importantly, clearly tell your child at the beginning of time-out, "Time-out starts when you're quiet." Do not talk to your child or respond to your child during time-out. Do not start the time-out clock until they are quiet. If the child isn't quiet until five minutes later, start the time-out then. After the time-out, try the script below.

"Your time-out was longer today because you weren't quiet for the first few minutes. Remember, time-out only starts when you're quiet."

This technique works very well. Try it and pass the word on to other friends of yours who are parents!

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