Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What age/way do you start using a "time out"?

My daughter just turned two, but has the mind of a three year old if not older. Really, I'm not just saying that, she is incredibly smart. However she's also incredibly defiant and knows when she is doing something wrong (ie- drawing on the wall, spitting food out for no reason, etc).

Her father and I are concerned about starting time outs but feel it's necessary. I've heard a lot of things but don't feel too comfortable with her just sitting in her playpen crying (b/c eventually wouldn't she fall asleep?). We purchased a playpen with no other intent except for using it as her "time out" spot but I'm looking for advice as to when/where/how to do it?!? ha so please, anything would be greatly appreciated :)

Answer Question

Asked by lexi8622 at 12:41 PM on Jun. 3, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 17 (3,640 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • She's plenty old enough for time out. I start it at age 1.

    Answer by lowencope at 12:41 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • We started at 18 months and she sits in a chair in the kitchen. Before that it was on a spot on the floor of the kitchen. Believe me they don't cry themselves to sleep. They are mad and will keep crying until they realize that the crying does not get them the attention that they want. Then they will stop and soon they realize that the sooner they are calm, the sooner their timeout is over. Ours can cry all she wants but her time does not start until she is calm and quiet.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 12:44 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • My son's time out spot is against the wall. It has been his time out spot since he was about 20 months old. When he does something repeatedly that could get him hurt and doesn't stop when we tell him to, he gets three strikes then put into time out. He stands there for two minutes since he is just over two years old now. He doesn't cry. He just does his time then goes back to playing afterward. Sometimes he will cry for a moment if he walks over his time out spot then tries to leave it before his two minutes are up because we tell him no, he has to stay in time out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:47 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • I've raised 3 children and now have a 20 mo grandson and have never used time-outs. They are a form of punishments and punishments are not an effective form of discipline. They don't stop bad behavior and they don't teach good behavior. Kids get worse, they sneak, they lie, and they resent their parents.

    There are so many ways to parent that are effective that punisments like time-outs, spanking, taking things away, ect. arn't needed. Parents can learn effective parenting techniques and communication skills and have well behaved children that you can take out in public without problems. Time-outs can be good for exhausted parents like on the mini-van commercial.


    Answer by Gailll at 12:47 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • Gailll is perfect. Some day, everyone will be like Gailll. We will all hold hands in a circle and sing together. Won't the world be perfect then.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:52 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • Gailll, why don't you tell us about these 'ways'? That way those of us who are horrible mothers can learn something instead of just telling us how bad we are.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:56 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • I used the play yard for timeouts and it is a good spot as long as that is all it is used helps that they know where that time out spot is. Two is the perfect age to start, good luck and stay will turn around and she will be a teenager and they are worse then any 2 or 3 yr old

    Answer by togo90210 at 1:18 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • I started at 1 and you def dont need a play pen for it. I sat my daughter in a chair by the wall for time out or make her go to her room when she is having a tantrum until she calms down and she is 2 now.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 7:35 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • I believe in supernanny's techniques on it. She usually says 2 is when you start. We started a month or 2 before that but essentially that IS 2. One minute per year of age. You give a firm warning first. If the child continues you place them in timeout (fine if the playpen but then it can ONLY be used for that) and explain (at eye level, don't hover over) why they are in time out. Set the timer and when it is done. Go back and explain again why they are in time out and ask for an apology. Once they apologize kisses and hugs and move on.
    I do NOT believe that there is a perfect way of parenting that then means there is no need to punish a child ever because if you are parenting right they never do anything wrong.

    Answer by SoniaL at 8:15 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

  • Time outs didn't work for my older kids until they were preschool/school aged but I started at 2 with my youngest.
    She had to sit for 2 minutes on a little stool we had. She would cross her little arms and pout (it was so cute). Now she's 4 and has progressed to 4 minutes in the corner, standing with her nose against the wall and hands at her side...just like the big kids do it.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 9:32 PM on Jun. 3, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.