How do you take your child OUT of a Time Out?

Julie - posted on 06/20/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




Once your child's "time is up" what do you do next? If anything. I am personally disappointed with the lack behavior and social skills in our children these days.

There seems to be no accountability for there actions? They seem unable to make eye contact, acknowledge their behavior, admit wrong doing, or make an apology. They are full of excuses, blaming of others and a sense of entitlement for their actions.

It is scary to me because I feel like, all these things should be taught in the home.

The perfect time to implement this education would be prior to taking the child OUT of time out. But from what I have seen, most parents hardly even acknowledge the kid once there time is up, as long as they have calmed down, they are free to go. Until of course, they do it AGAIN....well, maybe this is why.

What is your exit plan with timeouts?


Jenni - posted on 06/21/2012




I have always used time outs a wee bit differently than a lot of parents do. I use them as a "cool down" for very young children (toddler/preschool age) when they are acting out of frustration or anger. I actually believe in sitting with them and teaching them healthy mechanisms for venting their anger; deep breathing, counting, squeezing a stuffed animal. I try not to make it a punishment and model taking "time outs" myself because my end goal was for them to learn to take their own time outs when they were frustrated. I encourage them by identifying when they are mad and suggesting they go and cool off before they make a mistake. After they are calm we talk about the situation that made them angry and I help them figure out a solution.

So far this has worked on my eldest two; 4 and 5 years old. They will go off and take their own time out and then come back and address the situation when they are calm. They will tell me or another person that they are "mad" and then do their best to figure out a fair compromise or ask for my help.

For other behaviours I use a bunch a different discipline tools depending on the behaviour but they consist of; natural/logical consequences, discussions, verbal correction, modelling behaviour, making rules and boundaries very clear and consistent, removal, redirection (suggesting a more productive/positive behaviour they *can* do instead of a negative one), 123 magic, earning privileges and losing privileges. And of course, consistency and follow through. When I say "no" I mean it.

These methods have worked absolute wonders in my family! You just have to stick with them and stay consistent. Children need to be warned on what will happen if they engage in a negative behaviour and if they continue to engage, they must be left to experience the negative consequences of that behaviour. (As long as they're not in danger of serious harm). And if they've been disrespectful to someone else they are expected to make amends with the person.


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Sarah - posted on 06/21/2012




When my kids are done time out, I explain why they went in there, what they should have done for more appropriate behaviour, then I request an apology. They need to apologize or they will have another time out. Once they do, we have a hug and a kiss, then move on.

Krista - posted on 06/21/2012




My son is not quite three, and what I say really depends on WHY he was in timeout. I don't have to do it often, fortunately. Sometimes he's in timeout simply because he was angry and out of control and I put him in timeout in order to collect himself. Rarely, he's in timeout because he actually did something wrong, like hitting.

If it's the former, I'll just go up to him and say, "Okay. Are you able to use your big-boy words now and tell Mommy why you're mad?" And he'll tell me, and then I'll say, "Okay, let's sit down together and figure this out," and I'll give him a hug and we'll go sit on the couch and try to solve the problem.

If it's the latter, I'll get down to his level and say, "Do you know why you were in timeout?" And he'll respond that he hit. And I say, "Do we hit people?" He says,"Nooooo." "That's right. We don't hit people. It HURTS them. And if we hit people, they won't want to play with us anymore. Okay?" I usually get a tearful nod at this point, so then I give him a quick hug and tell him to go play. He's a pretty sensitive kid, so I have to be rather gentle with discipline.

I don't expect that he'll never hit again. Kids forget themselves -- they're impulsive. But eventually, the lesson sinks in.

Stifler's - posted on 06/21/2012




You can come out now and don't do (whatever they did ) again, it's not acceptable.

Louise - posted on 06/20/2012




It is very rare that my daughter has time out but when she does after her 3 minutes I get down to her eye level and get eye contact and ask her why she is sat on the step. I let her explain to me why and then I ask her how she could of dealt with the situation better, or what she could of done differently, if she has no answer to that I tell her how she should of done things differently or how I would like her to behave. I ask her if she understands and then I give her a cuddle before letting her go and play.

These things are important to make time out work. If you do not teach the child how to rectify poor behaviour how are they supposed to learn!

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