Does "Time Out" really work on toddlers?

Aliki - posted on 07/07/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Does "Time Out" really work on toddlers? My son turned 2 recently and he doesn't seem to understand the concept of time out yet.

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Keri - posted on 07/27/2012

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I honestly don't think "time out" works at any age. They need to know WHY they're in time out, and most parents don't talk to the kid about what was wrong with the behavior, they just tell the kid to sit in their room or wherever for a certain amount of time. We spank our son (and no I don't want a spanking debate, we're not beating him!) and/or use firm language and tell him why what he did or said was bad.

Cleaver - posted on 07/09/2012

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it works on my brother (3) but i havent needed to put my son on a time out

Elfrieda - posted on 07/08/2012

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I think it depends on the toddler. My nephew started getting timeouts at 18 months and they really work for him, he goes and sits by himself and calms down, etc. But my son, who's 6 months older and 2.5 right now, really doesn't get the concept. Right after he turned 2 I tried it for a few weeks (punishment for hitting), except I held him on my lap because I didn't know how to get him to stay on a chair and we stared at the clock while the second hand marched around twice. It seemed kind of silly and useless to me, so I stopped. Now I just explain what he did wrong, I explain what he SHOULD have done, and he needs to say it after me (that's important, after he says "no hitting" or "be gentle to the cat" he's much less likely to hit than if he didn't say it) and then I let him go. Why sit staring at a clock for so long when he's already sorry and knows how I expect him to behave?

Janice - posted on 07/07/2012

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Time out doesn't seem to be working great in that its not changing her behavior but my daughter does get the concept. My daughter will sit in time out and tell me (or daddy) what she did wrong and say sorry when the time out is over. However, she still does the same bad things over and over. She is now 32 months and we started time out shortly before she turned 2.

Michelle - posted on 07/07/2012

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I did it when my daughter was that age, but only really started seeing results after she turned 3 so I don't know I just try to stay very consistent and redirect.

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