Home » Family » Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for Kids

Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for Kids

To discipline their children, parents have started to implement what’s known as the “time out method”. This type of discipline involves a chair, a corner or some quiet space where a child will remain for a few minutes, usually one minute per age, quietly to think about their actions. The problem is that many parents are starting to see that the time out doesn’t work. You will find below 4 Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for Kids!

Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for Kids

Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for KidsPin
Girl looking at a clock.

The reality of this idea that the time out method doesn’t work may be caused due to mistakes parents are making in the process of implementing said time out strategy. Today, I will share some positive tips to make time outs work for your kids, so that you won’t get so overwhelmed with implementing the time out method.

1. Do Not Speak to Your Kid

The number one rule you must follow is that you cannot speak to your kid when they are in a time out. The purpose of the time out as a discipline strategy is that your kid sits for a few minutes in silence. When you engage your kid, you’re only lessening the time they have in that time out to sit quietly and think about their actions.

Many parents engage the kid after placing the kid in time out because they want them to stop screaming in protest against the time out. Sadly, kids are smart and if they know they can get your attention, they will get it. Learn to not engage your kid at all while in a time out.

2. Do Not Overuse the Time Out

Your kids will kick and scream and be angry most of the time when they are placed in a time out. It’s completely natural for them to be made. Let’s face it, your kid probably spends more time thinking about how mean you are as a parent then what they did to have them placed there in the first place.

It’s after the time out that you can really help converse about the bad choice that led to a time out. Consider only using the time out method for extreme circumstances where the kid truly needs to pause for a few minutes, only then will it help inspire a productive conversation afterward to teach a lesson.

Boy sitting on a chair.

3. Use When and then Statements

There will be times when your kid whines about using an electronic device, not wanting what’s for dinner or similar scenarios. The time out method doesn’t work well for a kid who is simply whining about something they don’t like or something that they want. Instead of immediately jumping to time out, try to use the when and then statements with your kid. When you take a bite of what’s for dinner, then we can talk about if you like it or not. When you complete this task, then you can have some play time. Those type of when and then statements help your kid put together the bigger picture.

4. Make it Boring

Lastly, if you must use the time out method, as most parents do from time to time, be sure that it’s a boring experience. There should be zero distractions, no engagement, and a timer set so that they know when the time is up. Be sure the time out location is in an area free of sibling interaction or televisions, to ensure your kid is completely bored and somewhat forced to think about their actions. Once the timer is up, tell your kid the time out is over, sit to see if they know what bad decision they had made, discuss it and move on.

Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for KidsPin
Positive Tips to Make Time Out Work for Kids

If you follow these positive tips to make time outs work for kids, which also means not overusing them, you will soon find within about two weeks that your kid responds better to time outs and perhaps has more positive behaviors so that the time out is used less and less over time.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

Join the Ottawa Mommy Club Newsletter

* indicates required

Related Posts


  1. The ‘time out method’ I first heard about when I came to Canada and I think it’s a good idea if not used too often. I used to send my kids to their room to contemplate why they had been sent there.

  2. We used the Time out method of discipline when our children were young. For the most part it did work with two of our children, but the youngest one was just not having it. With him we had to deprive him of his favourite things to do or toys.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected


Recent Stories

Share to...