LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.
Today’s topic: How to do a “time out” correctly.
Putting your children in a time out is a common way to stop your kids from doing whatever dumb thing it is that’s annoying you or others, but many times — the point of it all is missed. Developmental experts with the Child Mind Institute say, a “time out” isn’t to shame or punish your child, but to diffuse a situation, help your child learn to manage frustration, and regulate their behavior. They add — for a “time out” to be effective, they need to be done consistently and follow a few steps.
Here are some guidelines to follow to use “time outs” correctly, or want to troubleshoot your technique:
*Use advance warning. This means your kids should know which behaviors, like hitting or not complying with a certain instruction, will lead to a time out so your kids know what to expect.
*Establish a pre-determined place. Designate a special chair or place the time out will be at — to help a child know the place to try and avoid.
*Use quick responses. Experts say when your kid misbehaves that causes a time out… immediately put them in the time out — then be specific, brief, and unemotional as to why. Delayed consequences are ineffective.
*Keep the time out brief. A standard formula for “time outs” is one minute per year of age.
*Keep it calm. The goal of a time out is for kids to sit quietly.
*Pay no attention: Kids in time out should be ignored — so no talking to them. Experts say withdrawing your attention during the “time out” sends them the message that misbehaving is not the way to get what they want.
*No rewarding stimuli. During a time out, a child should have no access to television, electronic devices, toys, or games.
After the time out is over, experts say it’s important parents resume giving them loving attention, but also make sure they understand why they were put in time out in the first place.