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Doctor insights on: Time Outs

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Time Outs (Overview)

Time outs are a discipline technique to help a child learn that a behavior is unsafe or inappropriate. Time outs, if used, should be very brief -- about 1 minute - until the child is 2 years old.


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At what age are time outs effective?

At what age are time outs effective?

18mo to 2 yrs: Developmentally a child is ready to begin understanding the concept of time out between 18 months and 2 years. Make sure you use time outs immediately after the unwanted behavior happens, otherwise they are not effective. The length of the time out should be no more than the child's age in years. 2 yr old = 2 min time out. Sometimes it helps to set a timer to show the child how long it will be. ...Read more

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Time Outs (Overview)

Time outs are a discipline technique to help a child learn that a behavior is unsafe or inappropriate. Time outs, if used, should be very brief -- about 1 minute - until the child is 2 years old.


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At what age can I start giving my baby time outs?

At what age can I start giving my baby time outs?

18 months: Of course, that really depends. I've had a few of my patients who were able to understand the concept of time out at even 15 months. This depends on the developmental stage of the child. Most children will understand the concept around 18-24 months of age. Remember, time out will not last long; it's only about a minute per year of age. ...Read more

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I've tried time outs with my 4 year old. She still thinks it's a joke. I feel like she isn't processing things correctly. She doesn't listen at all?

I've tried time outs with my 4 year old. She still thinks it's a joke. I feel like she isn't processing things correctly. She doesn't listen at all?

See Your Doctor: Problems with discipline at this age are both common and complex. Parental responses can unwittingly propagate unwanted behaviors. Underlying medical/developmental conditions can also contribute. One example is Hearing Loss: affects 2-3 out of 1000 kids in USA; can lead to delays in language, processing, & more. See your doctor for focused exam and for expert advice to modify your child's behavior ...Read more

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A parenting consultant told me that time outs are terrible and cause serious damage to the parent-child relationship. Is this true?

A parenting consultant told me that time outs are terrible and cause serious damage to the parent-child relationship.  Is this true?

No: The important thing to remember about " time out" is that you are giving the child a " time out' from your attention, one minute per year of age. Ignoring your chid is the key here, not putting the child in a particular "place" ...Read more

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How old is ot when u can start putting. A kid in time out?

How old is ot when u can start putting. A kid in time out?

Time out: Once the child learns not to listen or misbehave & have temper tantrum usually around age 2 years, I would suggest for only 2 minutes in a spicific location & be strict about it no toys & no TV on. Don't use the crib for time out. Don't over do it. Good luck. ...Read more

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How can I stop feeling guilty when I take time out for myself?

How can I stop feeling guilty when I take time out for myself?

Remember: You can try to remember what airline attendants say during their talks on basic flight safety. In the event of a drop in cabin pressure, put your own oxygen mask on first -- and only then help others with theirs. Unless you're nourished, rested, and cared for, you will not be able to care for others who need you to be at your best. Self-sacrifice and human flesh have limits. ...Read more

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Happy thanksgiving to all the doctors who take the valuable time out of their day to answer people's questions. Your service is greatly appreciated.

Happy thanksgiving to all the doctors who take the valuable time out of their day to answer people's questions. Your service is greatly appreciated.

You are so welcome!: And, thank you for your appreciation. I hope that i'm correct to believe that people like you - no matter what illness, injury or difficulty they face - are better off than many in their quality of life. I also hope that your holiday was good and that the season brings you peace. ...Read more