Are Time Outs Harmful to Children?
Most parents have used time outs when their kid acts out. But some people think time outs are punishments that leave kids to deal with hard emotions by themselves. Instead, they like “time ins.”
This is when the parent or caregiver shows love for the child and makes them feel understood as they calm down.
Both of these can be useful for parents at different times. The idea behind time outs is that when kids stop getting attention for bad behavior, they will be less likely to do it again. By taking away the attention, the child learns that throwing a tantrum isn’t going to get them what they want. Experts say that time outs are not harmful.
For time outs to be a success, they should be as short as possible. One guideline is 1 minute per year of the child’s age. Some experts say the maximum should be just 3 minutes. They’re most helpful for kids ages 2 to 8. The child needs to know exactly what led to the time out, and it should happen every time that behavior happens. A time out should end with a hug from a parent.
Trying to have a conversation or “time in” with the child in the moment when the child is acting out can lead to arguing. It’s usually more helpful to discuss what happened and other ways to handle strong feelings later, when the child is calm. And heaping on the praise when your child behaves well is even more important.
Finally, it’s important for parents to know that changes in behavior don’t happen overnight. It takes time and there will probably be setbacks along the way. That’s stressful for parents, but if you stick to the plan, things will get better.
This information and more can be found on the following website.
Are Time Outs Harmful? | Pros and Cons of Time Outs (childmind.org)