SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

"Time Out" - Does It Really Work?

I'm a mom of a 5 year old boy. I'm constantly telling him "If you don't stop, you'll have to sit in time out". I never follow through with it though. Recently he has started acting out more and getting sad faces in school. 

I know, I know--I should follow through when I tell him things. I just don't want to be the "mean mommy". We take video games away from him, but that just doesn't seem to work. I need a way of punishing him.

I've read parently blogs where moms say that time out works for their kids, but I want to know from you. Does it REALLY work? How long do you put them in time out?  How do you get the children to understand that time out is a punishment?

  • By heavenly41
    04.15.12  

    Crystal, problem #1 is the most important. Don't make idle threats because he picks up quickly and then runs with how far he can push your buttons. Since you didn't follow through, you now need to nip it in the bud now. My now 17 yr. old, as much as I love her, she was "hell on wheels" to put it mildly AND I disciplined her so I couldn't imagine how much worse it could have been. Do yourself and him a favor and start NOW (he will thank you when he becomes a parent), or you will be frustrated.

  • By heavenly41
    04.15.12  

    I forgot, only do the time out, which is standing up (not sitting in a chair), hands behind the back, facing direct corner, for 1 min. per his age. If he plays around or turns around he gets a min. added on for each "offense". Out of 6 kids, 5 learned real quick they didn't want the corner. Each child is different also

  • By JessicaLD1
    04.15.12  

    Only have him do time out for 5 minutes. If he comes out of time out before the time is up put him back in it.

  • By bikergirl76
    04.15.12  

    Time out works - if it is given immediately after the child breaks rules. When my son mis-behaves or breaks rules, he gets time out anywhere and everywhere. Kids quickly learn the cause and effect.

  • By krystlbear
    04.15.12  

    Thanks for the tips ladies. I will definitely be keeping this in mind.

  • By AnEverydayJen
    04.16.12  

    You need to try not to focus on whether you are a 'mean' mommy or a 'nice' mommy. What it comes down to is you are the mom and there will be times you must correct bad behavior. Sometimes talking about it will work, other times you need to halt the behavior as it is happening with a time out. How well time outs work depends on how soon after the behavior they are implemented, how long the time out is, is a time out the appropriate response for the behavior and your child's general reaction to time outs. You have to be consistent regardless. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you both!

  • By Keziah1640
    04.16.12  

    Being in the preschool profession, I would have to say that time out does not work for us. Not to put down the other responses because if it worked for them then that is good. I am only talking about that it does not work for us. The reason being is that it does not teach the child why he/she should not be doing that particular behavior they are not suppose to be doing. Children's behavior have to be redirected so that they learn about the dangers of certain behaviors. Children are naturally curious and if you constantly tell them "Stop" or Don't do this of that" they are going to continue to want to know why they have to stop or why can't I do this until their curiosity is satisfied. Just talk to him in a calm voice and explain to him why he can not do whatever he is not suppose to do and you will be surprised of the change in the behavior that he will exhibit.

  • By bridgetem
    04.16.12  

    I use a combination of time outs and redirection. They both work very well for us. I tend to use time outs when the kids are out of control and completely not listening. It doesn't work too well for my 1 year old yet, but it does for my 4 year old. Also, if I am really getting mad, I tell her that I need a time out too, and she is really responsive to that. I do think the redirecting works really well though. You definitely have to tell them why they can't do something and give them something else to do instead. I do think that the main thing though is following through. If you constantly make idle threats and don't follow through, they will not listen to you. Period. I have found that as long as I don't lose my temper and I follow through with the consequences when they don't listen, there really isn't too much craziness, and they listen the next time.

  • By noelrocs
    04.16.12  

    It works for me. I didn't grow up with timeout... we got spanked. I wanted to try the timeout method with my own child and it's working. I have a little chair in front of the sink and I say, "Timeout!" and nothing else... no matter how much he cries or whatever, I just walk him over there and he sits down. He stays 1 minute for every year old that he is--4 minutes, now. Time doesn't start until he's sitting still and not yelling. The reason it works is because it gives structure and predictability to his life--no means no. It even works at other peoples's houses when we are away from home. I support time outs :) It's good for both of you to recollect, take a minute and reset.

  • By couponing4bmx
    04.16.12  

    time out doesnt work to some kids and its up to the parents which one works for their child

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