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Do you think time-out works?

I have a son who spends a good part of his day sitting in time-out for one thing or another. It doesn't seem to be teaching him anything. If anything, it's teaching him he can say whatever he pleases and all that will happen is he will be told to sit for 7 minutes. I'm consistent (hence why he has a lot of time-outs). Why isn't this working for me? I'm about to go crazy!


Asked by Renee3K at 11:40 AM on Jun. 18, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (25)
  • When they are young, yes. Once they hit school age though I found it was more effective to take away privileges (screen time, outside play with friends, etc) or items (DS, most loved toy, etc.). or send them to bed 5 minutes early for each time I had to tell them to stop whatever it was.

    Answer by missanc at 11:43 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • If he is being sent to time out more than a few times a day and its not working you have to try another method. It worked for my son when he was younger, now at 8, time out is something that does not phase him as its time out for him to sit and do nothing.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 12:02 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Depends on the kid. It didn't work at all on my older 3 when they were toddlers/preschool age. They thought it was a game to try and escape the chair. Then when they were 6, 5 and 4 I cracked down on time-out. It was no longer a comfy chair where they could continue to play with their siblings and participate in life. Time-outs were in the corner (in separate rooms if they were all in trouble at the same time) with their noses and toes touching the wall and hands at their sides. There was no whining or screwing around or the time was reset. They learned real fast the time-out was NOT a game or something fun. It was minutes of staring at a wall and concentrating on staying still. After awhile just the threat of going to the corner would make them behave and they'd prefer a swift punishment like spanking or being grounded to their room where they could still play even if it was all day.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 2:08 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • It didnt work on my daughter either, I started counting with her, when I get to 3 all her toys are going to time out for 4 minutes and she hates it.

    Answer by leksismommy at 11:42 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • It works for us, but it sure doesn't sound like it does for you. Sorry

    Answer by ochsamom at 11:47 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • even at 5 they have favorite toys if time our isn't working start making him stand with nose in the corner most kids hate doing this it may be more effective. since they cant look around and entertain them selves like they can just sitting in time out... if that doesn't work then go into his room and ask him what are his favorite toys... when he's not in trouble and then start by taking 1-5 of his fav. toys away for a day every time he gets in trouble eventually he'll stop or have nothing else to play with ... and after the 24 hours don't just give him the toys back make him do things to earn each one back... if he has to earn the privilege of playing with his toys then he'll stop.


    Answer by traren at 12:32 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I worked for mine, but each child is different. It seems to me that if something isn't working then you find something new or alter the current plan. For example, it the time for each instance long enough? Is time out in a really boring place? Any discipline has to be enough that the child wants to avoid it.

    Answer by quinnmommy at 12:33 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • @justanotherjen, Our time-outs are in the corner but I haven't enforced sticking the nose in the corner. They aren't allowed to speak...everytime they do the time is reset. If I enforce putting the noses in the corner, the child I'm speaking about may never leave the corner, lol!

    He's a very strong-willed child and everything is a power struggle. When I send him to the corner I get called idiot and told to "shut up". I try so hard to ignore him but some days are harder than others! He knows my buttons and I struggle with keeping my buttons hidden from him. We're too much alike in some ways. I've taken away screen time and a few fav things like his bike or slateboard, and while he gets upset at first, he eventually gets over it and it seems like it doesn't effect him at all. There are times when he will go an entire week off video games and he seems fine about it. I don't understand him or his way of learning.

    Comment by Renee3K (original poster) at 2:17 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Everything has to be done the hard way and on his terms. He makes me want to pull my hair out! LOL!

    Comment by Renee3K (original poster) at 2:17 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I don't tolerate back talk in my house, and if you do, then you get to write some sentences. Your son is the perfect age to do this, and it's good for his fine motor skills.

    My son once said something disrespectful to me and he got to write, "Our family does not use disrepectful language towards each other at any time." 100 times.

    I like to make the discipline fit the action, it's called natural consequences. I don't use reading as a punishment though, and I don't take away playing outside, because that would be punishing me LOL! You have to get creative. I would get on Amazon and buy a book about parenting a difficult child if I were you. Just to get some more ideas and perspective. Especially if he can already push your buttons...

    Answer by dwmom2008 at 7:53 PM on Jun. 18, 2011