How to effectively give a “time out” to your kid

As you all know, paternity is not something for which there is an instruction manual. We learn how to handle our children over time, experiences, and through information that we get from different sources. Some time ago, and as part of the process of my education, I had the opportunity to attend a pediatric psychologist workshop where he taught us a procedure for behavior management that, for me, turned out to be extremely effective. It is known as a “time out.” This technique has become popular in recent years due to its easy implementation and consistent effectiveness. During the time that I used it, it gave me excellent results and even more helped me to prevent situations of misbehavior in my children. In addition, it is great to maintain control and avoid losing our temper. However, for the technique to be effective, it must be applied in the right way: the very first step is to move the child to a neutral environment.

All we need for the implementation of the “time out” is a chair. It may be an ordinary chair or one that is suitable for small children, as this procedure is recommended for children of 2 years onwards. The chair must be placed in an environment or neutral zone, outside of places that are frequently used by the child particularly for playing. For example, in my case since the children use their playroom often and because we live in an apartment with limited space, I decided to put the little chair in the dining room. It is important that the little one feels that he or her must go to a different area to start the reflection process. Notifying your child of the “time out” must be done in a normal tone and without screaming or intimidating gestures.

This disciplinary measure is not made to punish the child or to cause fear, but to stop and reflect on what has been done. Before putting him on the chair, we must let the child to know the reason for taking this action. This explanation should be short and easy to understand for the kid. It is not to give a speech or repeat the same thing several times. Let’s say that your kid bit another child, for that, you are going to remove him from the area and with a firm tone but not be intimidating you will say: “no biting.” Since this technique has a purpose of learning for the child, we must avoid any kind of arbitrariness.

The child must be in an environment or neutral zone, outside of places that are frequently used by him particularly for playing.

The amount of time of the process depends on the child’s age. According to specialists, the child must spend 1 minute sitting for each year of their life. It is important that during this time that the child stays alone and without talking with anybody. It is a time to reflect. If you distracted her, in any way, the objective of the procedure will be lost. Once the time has elapsed, it is time for reconciliation. When the time is right, then we move toward the designated place, we remove the child from the chair and we drop down to eye level. At that time we must explain again why he was in a “time out” and create a commitment on part of the child to avoid repeating the situation. Similarly, this explanation should be short and precise. Finally, we must let the child know that there is no anger or resentment on our part. To conclude, we must give him a hug to to provide security and show our affection

Since the earlier stages of their lives, we should seek to take disciplinary measures to prevent our children from becoming spoiled brats. A child that is allowed everything and anything will become an undisciplined child that is out of control. However, all forms of discipline must be within an appropriate framework for the child and without creating fear or anxiety. From this angle, the “time out” is very effective if done the right way. Put it into practice and understand that it is for the good of our toddlers and kids. Let us always remember that part of our mission as parents is to create human beings of good and principles.