Appropriate Time-Out for a 2 Year Old

Jennine - posted on 12/12/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )




I am concerned about a young mother that I know. Her idea of using time-out (for whining, tantrum, ect) for her 2 YO is to put her in her room with the door closed for about 30 sec - 1min. She justifies her choice of action by stating that "she doesn't want to hear the whining, she wants the child to know that the whining (behavior) is unacceptable, and is attempting to reinforce acceptable behavior by not allowing her to be in anyone's presence until she can control herself".

I am in dissagreement with her choice to do this - since the child is so young. I think that this frightens the child, although she is successful with the desired results.

I am not sure what advice to give if any. I am not comfotable in using this method of "discipline" when this child is in my care.

Suggestions, Feedback, help . . .


Sherri - posted on 12/12/2011




Time outs can begin as young as 1 yr of age and should be done for 1min per year of age. So a 2yo old should already have time out down pat and should be done for 2mins.

The child is far from too young. It does not frighten the child and can be done with huge success.

Just an FYI even for my daycare kids timeouts are started at 12mo's for 1min.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/12/2011




I would explain to her that if you are going to take care of the child, you will use your own form of time outs, and if she is uncomfortable with it, she will need to find another sitter.

I don't like her form either, but what you can do,....if she still wants you to watch her child, once you start having success with the way you do it, you can tell her in a very nice way how well it has been working for you.


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Medic - posted on 12/12/2011




I send my 22month old to her room when she wants to whine and cry, I have done it since she was about 18 months old. Usually she shuts her own door because she is mad. I do not put a time limit on her but she comes back when she is done. For other behaviors such as hitting her brother and what not she gets two min with her nose in the corner. After two min she has to say she is sorry and yes mam me when I explain what she did wrong.

Lisa - posted on 12/12/2011




My three year old and 22 month old spend time out in there room (door open) I do not time -time out. The chill until they are calm. They also will go to their rooms with out me asking sometimes when they start to feel frustrated. I think as long as you aproch it right it is teaching coping skills not being unkind to your children. It is far better to walk away then scream shout and throw stuff.

Jane - posted on 12/12/2011




When my daughter was two we did the same basic thing. She loved to be around people so misbehavior meant going to her room to be away from people for two minutes, 1 minute per age. It didn't frighten her, but it sure made her not want to behave badly.

It didn't work at all with my son because he liked being in his room, away from people. He also wouldn't stay put in a time out chair, so we held him on our laps and used our arms to make him stay still and thus break the cycle of activity.

I don't think what she is doing is wrong, just different from what you might do.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/12/2011




Sending a child to his/her room is different than locking in a room...just saying.

Tinker1987 - posted on 12/12/2011




i dont see it being a problem other then i wouldnt put my child in his room,i would have a small chair or stool facing a corner.

Kelina - posted on 12/12/2011




doesn't sound particuarly unreasonable to me. When my son was almost two I started telling him if he wanted to whine he could go do it in his room. Quite often he'd go in his room and shut the door until he was ready to come out and talk to me. Occasionally I still use this and he'll go to his room, sometimes putting himself down for a nap lol. He'll be 3 in february. One thing you can do to continue moms method but change it a bit, is put her in her room with a baby gate up, which is what we had to start doing once my son realized he could get down from his bed. that way he can hear you and you can hear her, but she's also out of the way where she gets no attention for her whining and/or tantrums. It's actually a method used by daycares as well.

Sharon - posted on 12/12/2011




For me personally, I prefer a timeout where I can see my son, and he can also see everything that's going on and what he's missing out on by being in timeout. He gets 2mins, but if he doesn't apologise for whatever put him there (usually only used if he throws a toy at someone or hits) then he's there for another 2 mins, this continues until he says sorry.

If he's whingey while there I'll tune him out and continue on with something else. He absolutely hates to be ignored so it works quite well for us.

EDIT: he's 25mths old, I started using timeouts around 22mths and have used it maybe 4 times. Usually I threaten to take away his favourite toy and that pulls him into line straight away. Never actually had to take it away yet, but I will if he doesn't do as asked.

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