How Do Great Parents…Implement Time Outs

    Time Out

    (material provided by The Incredible Years, Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Ph.D.)

    • Be polite.
    • Be prepared for testing.
    • Monitor anger in order to avoid exploding suddenly; give warnings.
    • Give 5-minute Time Outs with 2 minutes of silence at the end.
    • Carefully limit the number of behaviors for which Time Out is used and use consistently.
    • Use Time Out consistently for chosen behaviors.
    • Don’t threaten Time Out unless you’re prepared to follow through.
    • Ignore child while in Time Out.
    • Use nonviolent approaches such as loss of privileges as a back-up to Time Out.
    • Follow through with completing Time Out.
    • Hold children responsible for cleaning messes in Time Out.
    • Support a partner’s use of Time Out.
    • Don’t rely exclusively on Time Out — combine with other discipline techniques, such as logical consequences and problem solving.
    • Expect repeated learning trials.
    • Build up bank account with praise, love, and support.
    • Use personal Time Out to relax and refuel energy.
    • Use Time Out for destructive behaviors and times when you’re child’ misbehavior cannot be ignored.  Start by choosing just one behavior to work on.  When that behavior is no longer a problem, choose another behavior to work on.
    • Give immediate Time Out for hitting and destructive acts.  However, for noncompliance, one warning may be given.
    • Ignore inappropriate behaviors, such as screaming, whining, teasing, arguing, swearing, and tantrums.
    • Praise positive behavior as often as possible.

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