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Points to remember when using TIME OUT:
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- Have a specific place to send your child for Time Out. This should be somewhere safe but boring, without any interesting stimulus for your child e.g. the bottom stair, a chair facing into the corner of a room.
- Choose 1 or 2 behaviours to focus on which you cannot ignore e.g. hitting, swearing or defiance.
- It is essential to ignore your child when they are in time out- pick up a book or magazine.
- Time out should last for 1 minute for each year e.g. 3 year old = 3 minutes, 4 year old= 4 minutes. Children 5 and over should have time out for 5 minutes. Once they have reached their time out limit, if they are still not quiet give another 2 minutes, and keep giving a further 2 minutes until your child becomes settled and quiet.
- As soon as your child has reached the time out limit successfully, ask for an apology or repeat the request which has been refused. If they comply, give praise and move on – don’t nag or criticise.
- Time out offers a cooling off time for you and your child.
- Time out is more effective than smacking or shouting as well as modelling appropriate behaviour for your child to follow.