What should I do if time out doesn't work?

Length of timeout I give her is usually 3 and a half minutes (they say time outs should be one minute for every year and she's 3 and a half). Time out is on the top stair where she can't see anybody. A couple times I have checked on her during time out and she has left the top stair or she'll talk or scream during time out. Am I supposed to ignore this? Adding minutes on to her timeout doesn't seem to help stop this behavior.


Asked by danielleoconn at 11:36 PM on Oct. 2, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (11)
  • FInd a time out where you can get to her easily if she gets up and then everytime she gets up, you put her right back there and tell her that she has to stay there. Keep doing it, she will get it eventually. As far as the screaming and yelling, just ignore that when shes in time out. She again will eventually give up. Keep your punishments consistant and never give in to her. She will get it. Get a time out alarm, sometimes that will help. IF she gets up, its another 3 minutes and so on. It will eventually work, but will take a lot of work from you as well.

    Answer by Oldham80 at 11:43 PM on Oct. 2, 2008

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  • Wow. Time outs sure sound difficult and ineffective. This is why I've never used them. Thanks for the reminder.

    Answer by GrowingMama at 12:35 AM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • Tell her why after her time out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:26 AM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • Don't be discouraged. Keep at it! You can do it. There may be sometimes that are harder than others.

    Answer by akhlass at 8:50 AM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • I use two incentive charts for my DD who's 4. One is X's- when she fills a row with 5 X's (telling me no would get her an X, anything that would get e time out, really) I take away a favorite toy or video. One is stickers- when she gets 5 stickers(doing extra good things, and showing self control) she gets something back. If the box is empty I buy her a new coloring book of cheap toy. I suggest a clear plastic box so she can see what she has lost. It works a lot better than time out. If she's melting down about something I send her to her room for some time to calm down but try not to make it too negative.

    Answer by Lorelai at 10:01 AM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • you are the adult.....you must follow throw with the time out...if not now u will have bigger problems later on

    Answer by amrb at 2:35 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • I'm kind of laughing...she's acting her age. This is the time when she realizes she doesn't have to do what you tell her to do. The best idea I ever heard (too late for me, though) was to create a "time-out" space. the difference is that you don't make them just sit there, you make it comfortable and put a basket of quiet things to do. Usually kids act up because they're tired, bored or otherwise out of sorts. The time-out I describe helps teach them what to do when they feel that way. (By the way, one mom told me that sometimes her toddler would give himself a time-out!)

    Answer by WD40 at 3:23 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • Well maybe you could try putting her in timeout somewhere near where you are so you can see her at all times . And remind her she needs to think about what she has done and then when she is done with time out you could talk to her about it. Adding on the extra time is a good idea I do that with my son and it works. Good luck

    Answer by becbec1973 at 10:22 PM on Oct. 3, 2008

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  • With five kids I have had to deal with a lot of people telling me no and throwing temper tantrums. Each child reacted differently to time outs. My 3yr old could care less about time outs. As far as she is concerned she is the princess and should be allowed to do whatever she wants. I remind her that while she is a princess that I am the queen. I also remind her that if she is acting cranky then she must be tired. Tired people get cranky and cranky people go to bed to rest for a few minutes. I have her lay on her bed instead of standing in a corner and she must stay there until she has gotten rid of her crankiness. She can play while she's there she has to remain on her bed. Each kids requires creative effort in discipline. Good Luck!!!

    Answer by TheWilds at 10:00 AM on Oct. 5, 2008

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  • DON'T GIVE UP! I have 3 boys and by the time I got to my last one I'm exhausted and feel like just letting him do what he wants because I'm so tired. But I don't. If she gets out of the time out put her back and start over. I know it's time consuming and a pain in the butt, but it works. After she's stayed in the time out for her full 3 minutes (I have a 3 and a half yr old too but I just keep it simple and give him a 3 min time out) take her aside and tell her what she did was wrong and that is why she got the time out and if she dose it again she'll be in the time out again next time with a little swat on the behind (if you believe in spankings) plus the 3 minutes. Good luck. It get's easier.

    Answer by mom3cutieboyz at 12:47 PM on Oct. 5, 2008

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