We all know time out is a widely used form of behaviour management, but does time out work? Well, yes and no. It can work if you get your child used to taking time out. Initially, they may refuse to go on time out. They may get up and walk around, and they may play with things when you are not looking. If you remain strong and enforce that their time out remains however, they will eventually take their time out and get used to it. At this point, time out should become an effective tool.
When Time Out Does Work
Time out works when your voice holds enough authority over your child. If you tell them to go on time out, they should do so without arguing, swearing, or refusing to go on.
It is important that you tell them why they are on time out, and that they realise that this is time for them to calm down and reflect on what they have done wrong. If you simply put them on time out and don’t explain to them why, they will not learn from their mistakes and grow a feeling of it being unfair. So make sure you tell them the first few times, and as they become more aware of their actions, get them to tell you why you have put them on time out.
If you get them used to going on time out (Not for no reason of course) then it can really work. It gives them time to get over whatever made them angry or misbehave. It also shows that that the behaviour is not acceptable, and that it shouldn’t be done again.
When Time Out Doesn’t Work
There are two times when time out stops becomes effective:
- When You Overuse It.
If you are constantly putting your kid on time out, sooner or later they will become immune to it. It will just be normal to them, and effect the way they feel less.
The reason why time out is effective is because you’re taking away play time from your child. If being on time out every day becomes associated as part of play, they will learn to accept it. If they accept it, it won’t bother them any more, and give them no real reason to learn from their mistakes.
While good if used sparingly, time out should be used in partnership with other disciplinary methods such as taking away privileges and grounding your kids. This way they won’t become accustomed to it, and it will have more of an effect.
- When You Don’t Reinforce It.
As I mentioned before, kids may refuse to stay on time out. This is why people may ask does time out work and have doubts. If you have a wondering child, it is often the easier option to just let them go after you’ve had enough. If you do this however, you are showing your child that they can get away with anything they want if they are persistent enough. This mentality will do them a lot of bad in later life, so it’s best you be strong with them now and cut it out.
Always make sure you reinforce your punishments. If you say they’re on time out, then they are. They won’t be able to do anything until they have taken their time out, that means no playing and no eating. Even if you have to sit with them the first few times and stop them from getting up, they will take the time out.
Once you have done this a few times, they should realise you are serious about it. After this they will more likely stay on time out by themselves, which makes time out work how it’s supposed to.
Does Time Out Work Conclusion
Once you get your child used to being on it, time out does work. If you have trouble keeping your child on the naughty step or naughty chair however, it is important you remain strong and reinforce your punishment. You persistence will pay off, and it will get easier.
Does time out work, yes; Just don’t overuse it or it will lose it’s effectiveness as a behaviour management strategy.