How Parents Can Use Time-Out Effectively


The time-out area should be easily accessible, and in such a location that the child can be easily monitored while in time-out. For example, if most activity takes place on the first floor of the house, the time-out area should not be on an upper floor. A chair in the corner of the dining room is an excellent spot. Placing a kitchen timer on the table is a good way to keep the child informed of how much time he has left to serve.


Generally, it is considered more effective to have short periods of time-out, 5 to 10 minutes, rather than to have long periods, such as half an hour to an hour. Children from 2 – 5 years old should receive a 2 to 5 minute time-out. A 6-year-old child should probably receive about a 5-minute time- out while a 10-year-old child would receive a 10-minute time-out. A general guideline can be: 6-8 years of age, 5 minutes; 8-10 years of age, 10 minutes; 10-14 years of age, 10 to 20 minutes.
(Note: ADHD children may benefit from shorter times than those suggested above).

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