Time Outs

Meghan - posted on 08/02/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I read that you can start putting your child in time out at the age of 9 months since that is the age they understand their actions and what the word "no" means. My daughter is 13 months old and I wanted to start putting her in time out. I've read that the general rule of thumb is put them in time out for one minute equal to her age. My question is where should I put her? I don't want to put her in her crib because that is a safety zone in my opinion. I can't sit her in a corner in a room because she won't stay in that corner. Any suggestions?

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Ashley - posted on 08/02/2009

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The purpose of a time out is for whatever is going wrong to stop and for them to have time to reflect on it. It doesn't end there. After such time, it is your responsibility to talk to them about what happened and see how it was wrong and what can be done to fix it/prevent it from happening again and then reassure them of your love for them. As you can see, this isn't really effective for a 13 month old. It could be modified somewhat. Stop what's going on and then sit with her on the couch or even with her on your lap and explain in ways she can understand what happened and how it should have gone instead.

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Yvonne - posted on 08/02/2009

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my son is 21months old and i have not yet started using the time-out sytem but i do believe in it and will start very soon as he is at the stage where he is pretending not to here me and would prefer to do his own thing but needs to settle down a bit. i have used this method before on my bf's nieces and nephews and a few other kids that i have had come through my house and stay for a while. i find that it works well especially when their are other children around as it takes them away from the situation and gives them time to sit down by themselves and calm down, even if they are only young sometimes taking them away from the situation and letting them calm down (even if they dont understand properly) can really help. i also believe that it needs to be backed up though, for example when you put your child where you want them (generally away from everyone, no toys around and so they cant see the tv) it is best to say why they are going there, how long they will be there for and that u will be back to talk to them when that time is up. once that time is up get down to their level and say why they are there and if they have hurt someone to go and apologise to that person or if they have been asked to do something to ask them to now go and do it. i also think that if they are not calm enough to be talked too after being in time-out they need to be left there again and then explain to them that until they have settled down so that you can talk to them they cannot move from the time-out position (this is really needed if you have other children in the house as you dont want to send an upset/angry/destructive child back with them as they may take it out on them)

this is what i think and hope it helps, but i dont think there is an age limit as to when to start, just once they start to understand no and what they could have done instead

Ashley - posted on 08/02/2009

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I use the same technique as Kirsten, when my daughter is being naughty (shes 18 months) i remove the toy/item shes playing with or move her, while telling her "no" and why. She has the generaly idea that she being naughty, even if she does it again. Now she taken to telling herself off, pointing her finger and say NO. Very cute and hard not to laugh, but a least she knows shes not allowed to do it.

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I don't know how effective a time out would really be at that age but I don't think it can hurt. When my 9 month old is getting into something that he shouldn't I will tell him no. He usually looks at me when I say that and stops for a minute, but eventually he gets curious again and goes after it again. Kids that age don't have the self control to stop themselves from doing something wrong. I just pick him up and move him somewhere else and then prevent him from going back to that spot. Just moving him is usually enough for him to get the idea (and cry about it) but then I try to distract him with something safe and eventually he gets the idea.

Andrea - posted on 08/02/2009

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My son is almost 3and when he needs a timeout he goes in his room. Although his toys are in there, he hates being in there by himself because he wants to be around everyone else. Telling him "no" or yelling at him doesn't work but when he is told to go to his room he knows he has done something wrong. He is in there for usually 5 minutes or until he stops screaming (if he is throwing a tantrum) and then when we let him out we try to explain to him why he was sent to his room in the first place. I agree that it is hard to teach young children right from wrong but you will start to realize when they know the difference between something they should or shouldn't do. That is when it will be the most effective. All children are different, but if a timeout works for you, then by all means, do it. It also give you, the parent, time to calm down and stop stressing so that you can calmly reprimand your child instead of yelling at them or just telling them "no." If timeouts don't work, I think the other parents are right in removing a favorite object from them and explaining that they need to behave and will get to play with their toy again as a reward for good behavior. It is hard but children need to learn consequences whether they are good or bad.

Laura - posted on 08/02/2009

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When I started putting my son in time out I would sit him on the very last step.... Then we got a "time out" chair and out it away from everyone else.... Having to go away from everyone and seeing it as a possibilty of missing out on something make them more prone to listening the first time

Miangelbug - posted on 08/02/2009

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I technically don't use timeouts for my 16 month old son. Instead I sit him in my lap until I feel he is ready to get down and play again. This means that I have to take that time and sit down with him too though. I don't really have a "time" length that I do it but rather until he is 1.) stopped crying 2.) stopped being fussy/whiny and 3.) Mommy says it's ok to get down. I want him to know that Mommy is the parent and he will get down when I say so. I do explain to him what he did wrong (once he has quieted down enough to actually hear me talk in at a normal talking volume). He usually only misbehaves again if he is tired or thirsty and I haven't taken care of those needs. Good Luck!

Emma - posted on 08/02/2009

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My sister used to put her kids in a spare travel cot she had b/c they didn't like the colour. Crazy but true. I usually just put my daughter in her bedroom and she doen't like it b/c she knows it for sleep nothing else.

April - posted on 08/02/2009

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My son is 2 years old and he so hyper active, he wont sit still for a time out, we have to hold him there or keep putting him there when he gets up. I go by the age, usually. My son is 2 so he stays there for 2 mins. My daugher is 3 so she stays in the time out for 3 mins and so on. But i didnt' start putting them in time out til they were like 2 years old because I thought anything younger than 1 years old would be too hard being so little and everything, and they are still basically a baby learning before then.

Or someone told me, if they can't sit still, if they get in trouble, and time outs don't work. Put up the favorite toy or something else for awhile. Something that will get to them for being in trouble to try to get the concept.

Kristen - posted on 08/02/2009

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this was a really good question i wasn't to sure if i was doing the right thing or not but i think i do need to do something else with my daughter for time out b/c i put her in a play pen for her time out but i don't think its the right place to be putting her or not i see everyone else is using a chair in the corner so maybe thats what i should do should it be something that she can't get out of on her own or something that she can that one i don't know

Stefanie - posted on 08/02/2009

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I'm not sure where you heard that but timeouts do little to no good before age 2.

Jen - posted on 08/02/2009

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We started putting our daughter in time out at 11 months of age. She's 20 months now and I usually put her in time out for a minute and a half. We chose to put her in the hallway so that she can't see the tv (not that she really watches tv) or her toys. She usually cries the whole time, but when her time is up I get down to her level and tell her why she was put in time out. If she was put there for not listening then after her time out I take her hand and ask her to help mommy do whatever it was I asked her to do before hand. The other rule of thumb is that if they get up that you continue to put them back until they sit where you want them too. The time starts over each time. My daughter went through a phase at 17 months where she would keep getting up and kicking and screaming, but she learned that when you are in time out you stay in time out.

Rebecca - posted on 08/02/2009

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Yeah, I wouldn't go the crib, you want to keep that as safe place to sleep... It really is hard so young. I believe they do understand what no means, but I don't really think they get the concept of consequence. I'm not even sure that one minute is enough to try to teach such a young child either, it seems a little silly. The only thing I can think of is put a little chair in a corner and get her to sit on it for a minute and then go get her. I'm guessing it will take longer than the minute to get her to stay there and she'll probably be more interested in climbing on the chair than actually thinking about why she's there. Tough one sorry!!

Christin - posted on 08/02/2009

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Stay in close proximity to her and keep putting her back as soon as she starts to get up. It won't take her long to catch on. My son is 9 months old and already understands no. We are just starting to use timeouts and he catches on after putting him back a couple of times.

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