Originally written by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.
Originally published in Mothering Magazine, Fall 1992. Revised and updated in 2000.
As concerned parents and educators have become aware of the dangers of physical punishment, time-out has emerged as a popular disciplinary tool. Misbehaving children are told to sit quietly on a chair or go to their rooms to calm down and think about what they did. After a period of time, they are allowed to come back to the group or join the family, provided that they act "appropriately." The designated period of time is usually one minute per year of age, and children who leave the chair or room before their time is up are told to return for the full allotment once again. Some books recommend an added rule of silence, and suggest that the timing be repeated if the silence is broken. In either case, parents who use this method are promised quick and easy results.
Learn about the importance of responding to children's aggressive behaviors respectfully on this podcast by Janet Lansbury...