Disciplining children is an essential part of parenthood. As parents we need to incorporate in parenting skills the art of child discipline. Giving time-outs is one of the many ways in which we can discipline our misbehaving kids. There are some parents who find time-outs to be an effective form of discipline for their kids. However, there are also some parents who find that time-outs don’t always work. Time-outs can have varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on the situations involved and how parents implement them. Here are some ideas on how to make your disciplinary efforts via time-outs successful.
Develop Your Kid’s Familiarity with Time-outs
A chair or a corner is commonly used when putting your child in time-out. For the first few instances when your child misbehaves, consider choosing or designating a specific spot or chair where you can isolate your child for a time-out. You can also add a piece of cardboard, blanket, or some object in the normal time-out area so that the object can also be associated with a time-out when you take that object with you in case a time-out is needed in public. The object or the specific chair or corner can be effective reminders of a time-out punishment when your children misbehave because they have associated the object to this punishment. Be careful though, in choosing the place of time-out — do not use the bedroom as a time-out zone for your kid. For one, it may cause the child to associate their bedroom with punishment and may thus cause sleep and bedtime troubles. In addition, your kid’s bedroom should be a sanctuary and a fun place to stay; its primary role should not be changed
Don’t be afraid to change the usual way of doing time-out for your child to stay in time-out. Some parents find it effective if they sit down with their child in time-out and hold them while counting to ten. This is unconventional, but it’s worked for some them. Others consider timeout a breather for them and their misbehaving kids. It gives them both time to think about what happened and what is needed to be done and be changed in the kid’s behavior. Try to find a method that’s effective for you and stick to it — consistently.
Make Sure to Follow Through and be Consistent
Most experts agree in the area regarding following through and being consistent. Threats and warnings do not work unless you actually follow them through or make good on them. For some kids, threats and warnings are enough to elicit behavioral change. But if your child continues the bad behavior even after warning or threatening them, then you should consistently follow through with the forewarned time-out every time. It can also show that you are serious and mean it when you want their bad behavior to be changed.
Make Time-out a Last Resort If Possible
Several experts agree that a time-out should be used as last resort when disciplining your child. They agree that warnings should be given first before time-outs to give your children a chance to correct their behavior. Time-out should then be employed only if the child refuses to cooperate. This is because if time-outs are used too much, they lose their effectiveness. Kids may get used to time-outs as and think of it as a normal occurrence that they will just get through and then go on with misbehaving. If possible, use time-outs sparingly and when really necessary.
As mentioned earlier, time-outs can vary in effectiveness for different parents and different kids. There’s no harm in trying this method as long as it is done properly. If the result of this method is satisfactory, then continue with the practice and be consistent with applying it. If your child learns to change his naughtiness to good behavior, remember to compliment, reward and encourage them to be good kids; positive reinforcement is essential for maintaining good behavior in your child.