Disciplining Your Child

Knowing how to handle discipline can be a great challenge for parents. Discipline is the way in which parents show their children what behavior is acceptable and what is unacceptable. This is not to be confused with punishment which is a consequence for poor behavior. Discipline is an ongoing, continual means of teaching your child and structuring his/her behavior.

Time Out

Guidelines for time-out:

Time-out is a form of discipline that can be implemented to stop a child from performing an undesired behavior by “isolating” the child for a length of time. Time-out puts the parent in charge, and gives the child time to consider what he/she has done. Time-outs can be used for aggressive and unwanted behaviors in toddlers and preschool-aged children.

How long should a time-out last?

A standard measure is one minute for each year of the child’s age. For example, 4-year-olds get 4 minutes of time-out.
5 minutes should be the maximum length for a time out.

Where should a time-out occur?

Have a predetermined location for the time-out. The following are some good places for time-out:

a designated room

crib or play pen

chairs or corners of the room

Placing your child in time-out:

Explain the reason the child is in time-out to him/her in very clear statements.

If the child is unwilling to go to time-out on his/her own, take him/her there.

Spanking or yelling at the child while on the way to time-out is not needed.

Stopping time-out:

As a parent, you control when the time-out has ended, not the child. If the child removes themselves from time-out restart the clock.

The child should be told when time-out is over and then resume to normal activities.

The child should be treated normally after time-out. Do not reprimand again.