Finding ways to discipline our children that don’t rely on aggressive behaviors isn’t as difficult as we might think. Positive discipline advice can be found in many different places and resources, including literature, workshops, and even online videos. Time-out strategies are some of the best ways to discipline children in a positive and effective way. However, there are certain aspects of time-out strategies we need to keep in mind in order for them to have a positive outcome. These are some of those aspects.
Choose a Suitable Time-Out Area
The very first step we need to take before we start using time-out strategies with our children is finding a suitable space for our kids. This spot should be one we can monitor, that is comfortable, safe, and away from distractions. You can either use a chair, a stool, a floor mat, bottom step, or anything else that works as a seat. Also, assign a reasonable name to this area, such as the “quiet zone” or the “thinking chair”.
Let Your Kids Know the Time-Out Space
Once you have chosen a time-out spot, let your kids know the area and what it represents. Take the time to show your kids space when everybody is in a good mood. Go over the rules of time-out, and explain to your children what kind of behavior would make them go to the time-out space. Also, let them know what you expect them to do when in time-out, and after how much time they will be able to get up.
Discipline in the Moment
Now that we have chosen a place and let our kids know what the time-out space is, in order for our time-out strategies to work, we must make sure we discipline our kids at the moment. A common mistake many parents make is waiting until they finish a task to discipline their kids. However, we should never wait, and always discipline kinds at the moment. When misbehavior occurs, we need to show our kids that the consequences are immediate. This way, they will be more aware of their actions and their behavior and try to avoid getting a time-out.
Set Time-Out Rules and Stick to Them
As we mentioned before, it is important for us and our kids alike to have clear rules about time-out. This will help us avoid any possible confrontations and misunderstanding regarding any of the time-out strategies we have mentioned. It will also make it easier for everyone to stick to the rules, allowing us to discipline our kids in a positive and effective way. Making sure they follow the rules when on time-out can be difficult, though, so try to encourage their participation.
Have a Post-Time-Out Conversation
The last aspect we want to keep in mind if we want our time-out strategies to have a positive outcome is having a little conversation with our kids after a time-out. Take the time to chat with your children and make sure they understand why they were sent to the time-out space. This will help them learn what kind of behavior is acceptable and what kind isn’t. This way, they will be more careful, making these time-out strategies an effective and positive way of disciplining our children.