Timeout for the Very Active, Older, or Aggressive Child

The younger very active or aggressive child will respond to timeouts. When you take her away from family and friends, she does not receive her sought-after attention.

If your child is older and is very active or is very aggressive, requiring this child to sit alone may set-off even more angry, aggressive, or destructive actions. Yet it is often this very active or aggressive child who needs isolation the most to get behavior under control. This child could need a physical action instead of a quiet time for time-out.

The following are a few time-outs you can try with this child. Require child to:

  • Walk around the back yard.
  • Walk around the block.
  • Rake the lawn.
  • Ride bicycle around the block.
  • Shovel snow.
  • Vacuum.

Any safe activity that provides isolation and uses her excess energy should work.

You can also combine timeout with restitution. You might have your child fix a toy that was broken by your child. You might also have the child do a chore for the party he/she injured.

This aggressive child is the one who is most likely to

  • Yell and scream for hours.
  • Leave the time-out location.
  • Tear-up the time-out location.
  • Refuse to go to time-out location.

Your child is counting on this wearing you down. So be prepared for this testing with additional help if possible.

If your child continues to leave the time-out location, you will have to return him to the location. Each time you must take him back to that location, take away a privilege such as TV time, phone privileges, time spent with friends, or time spent outdoors. Just make certain he knows what these consequences will be in advance.

The first few time-outs could take as long as one hour to complete. Ignore all noise, yelling or even cursing from the timeout location. The timeout location could even require an outside lock to work.

Always keep in mind that the purpose of time-out is to allow your child to get his/her disruptive behavior under control. It is not used to break the child’s spirit. If your particular child seems to benefit from physical activity during time-out, and the timeouts are working, i.e., controlling disruptive behavior, then do it–use physical activity for this particular child!

Jan Wilson

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