Child Development Central

Practical, evidence-based information for parents and professionals.

Time for the Straight Talk on Time Outs

Recently published findings found the web is not dependable at all about the basic parenting tool of giving a time out. According to the authors, the odds of finding “complete and accurate information” were “near zero.” That’s a shame, because time outs are a proven parenting tool — when implemented correctly. Read More

Time-out should be last resort. Try other methods first for tantrums.

Great advice. Another thing about time-out, when it is used, it should be the only disciplinary measure, i.e. parents should not yell at, scold at or be mean to the kid on top of the time-out. Otherwise, it's double punishment. This goes with your advice about positive-inclined parenting style.

But I'm a fan of positive discipline which means time-outs are used as the last resort when the child does something severe and bad intentionally such as hitting. For toddler tantrums, there are actually other better ways to deal with effectively.

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Mark Bertin, M.D.,is a developmental behavioral pediatrician, an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College, and the author of The Family ADHD Solution.

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