I know it has been said over and over again, “Time-Outs don’t work”. That may be true if you are trying to accomplish compliance tasks and effective time-outs by yourself. It is rare a family does not need guidance when implementing compliance training and effective time-outs. I want to lay out a simple, concise, and effective time-out process if you want to try this on your own. Here are the steps to follow when you are trying to give your 2-7 year old a compliance task.
1. Give the original direction (Ex: “Go put your shoes by the door”). Don’t forget about the Giving Good Directions. If they comply, praise with enthusiasm/sincerity.
2. If they don’t comply, give ONE warning (Ex: You need to put your shoes by the door or you have a time-out). If they comply, praise!
3. If they don’t comply after the ONE warning, a time-out must be implemented. (See the rules to effective time-outs below)
4. After the time-out, return to Step 1 (if you are returning to step 1, don’t become discouraged; this is the necessary process to get your child to comply and follow rules) *It is important to understand that it will get harder before it gets easier as your child is trying to push their limits.
There are three general rules to effective time-outs.
1. No attention
2. No fun or entertainment
3. Three minutes in length
There are several myths, which could explain some of your difficulties in accomplishing effective time-outs.
– Your child’s age will determine how many minutes they should have in time-out
– A child has to be quiet while in time-out before he/she gets out
– The purpose of time-outs
If you still find that after making these adjustments that time out still is not working, please call for a consultation to see if additional short term training is needed. 402-325-0117