Defining Timeouts

Timeout is a loss-of-privilege penalty that is effective because it immediately stops disruptive behavior.

Definition of Timeout

Timeout is easy to understand in sports–it is a brief interruption of the action.

In discipline, it is a brief (you hope) interruption of your child’s disruptive behavior.

If your child is very angry or actually having a tantrum, time-outs can be a very effective form of discipline.

Timeout is a loss-of-privilege penalty.

When timeout is used for discipline, it is brief and less emotional and abusive than other forms of discipline

It is used to stop behaviors, not start behaviors.

It works because it takes the child away from the action, attention, or toy rather than taking the attention, action or toy away from the child.

Timeout is used to stop a negative behavior by removing your child from the area of trouble, then placing the child in an isolated area.

This is effective because it immediately stops the disruptive behavior.

It is unpleasant for the child because it takes away his/her freedom to play and interact with friends and family.

And it is safe because it serves as a cooling-off time for both the parent and the child.

Timeouts can be very effective and powerful motivators for disciplining children, but they must be used correctly and consistently if they are to work.

Jan Wilson

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