Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Active Time-Out

Active means engaged in doing something.

Active time-out in discipline means engaging yourself when your child's behavior is inappropriate. For example, when your tot breaks the house rule, you remove him from the environment and to a quiet, pre-determined location for a briefly period of time. The time alone allows him to reflect on the inappropriate behavior and to calm down.

When my daughters were young, I'd use the corner of the bed or a corner of our living room as time-out locations. I'd send them to the location for a brief period of time. It didn't have to be long, just enough to interrupt their unruly behavior. If we were in public, I'd remove them to sit in the quiet car. Afterward, we'd rejoin others or continue with our shopping. Some parents use a chair for time-out.

Not every technique works on every kid. But, before giving up on time-out, make sure you're using it correctly. Here are some success tips:

*Be consistent - use time-out for both major and minor infractions.
*Be calm when implementing time-out (no shouting).
*Be observant; once the child is calm and cooperative, time-out is over.
*Be smart by removing distractions - time-out is to be boring.

Sometimes people don't like this phrase, they think it sounds harsh. Then, use another word ... call it "think time" if you like. The point is; when adults break society's rule, they are put in time-out and it is not pleasant. Kids must learn now to keep the rules and if not, they'll be removed from polite society.
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