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Disciplining Without Time-Outs

The Case Against Time-Outs

When it comes to child discipline, everyone has an opinion. From those who advocate spanking, to those who support positive reinforcement, even those without children seem to have something to say.

With both Supernanny Jo Frost and Dr. Phil supporting them, time-outs have become the popular go-to disciplinary method over the past decade. But Kimberley Clayton Blaine has an issue with that. In her new book The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children ($10), she argues that kids receiving time-outs often don't understand what they did wrong and what is happening. She likens the method to using a negative action to punish a negative action. Rather, she suggests sitting with a child until she calms down and then discussing better solutions for the future. What do you think?

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amandachalynn amandachalynn 6 years
I always thought that the appropriate time out was one minute per year of age, so a 3 year old gets 3 minutes, and that the point is, like anon 1 said, to get them to calm down so you can teach them afterward. The book Children Are From Heaven really makes some good points. It's about having your child cooperate and follow your instructions, while also building their independence. It's written by the same guy who wrote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. I don't usually go for self help books at all, but when my 5 year old started getting too mouthy and the book was on my mother in law's bookshelf, I borrowed it. Really worked wonders.
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
Mine are a little older now (youngest is 9). But I always say something like, "why did you do that?". Followed by, "and why is that not a good idea?" followed by, "and what would be a better idea next time?". This worked by age 6 for all of them. My use of time outs was for my youngest when she would hit. One hit meant the rest of the day in bed except for using the bathroom or eating meals. I used it about once every 4 or 5 months for a couple of years.
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