A time out is a temporary solution delivered to a child in an attempt to correct unwanted behavior. When a child becomes older, around the age of 6 or 7, they start to become defiant to punishments, and this is where you may have to explore other options. Taking privileges away, reinforcing positive behavior, and teaching them to calm themselves are a few alternatives when time outs are no longer effective.
Read to see more on what to do when time outs fail:
Take Privileges Away
When a child is younger, they are cooperative when a time out is administered to them as their parents’ affection is extremely important to them. A withdrawal of attention allows them to realize their behavior was wrong. This isn’t always the case as they get older, though. Instead, eliminate the item causing your child to misbehave. It’s important that you don’t make lengthy punishments as your child may feel unmotivated to correct their behavior because everything has already been taken away. Typically 24 hours is an acceptable period of time for discipline.
Reward Good Behavior
Delivering a reward for positive behavior can be one of the quickest ways to reinforce your child’s actions. This can work for children of all ages, but the rewards may be different. For example, a toddler may benefit from using a sticker reward system. As a child grows, the sticker system isn’t always effective. Instead allow them more screen time, more time with friends, or a break from chores. By offering them an incentive, you will increase the likeliness of their desired behavior.
Teach Them to Calm Themselves
Often times, children physically express themselves after not getting their way. In these cases, it’s important to understand that it’s okay to feel angry. Anger is a feeling, whereas aggression is a behavior. Start by figuring out the source of the problem. What caused your child to react that way? Help them to work out what they are feeling by putting their emotions into words. When the aggression becomes too much, consider putting them in a separate bedroom until they are ready to calm down. Brainstorm ideas with them on how they could have handled the situation differently and have a plan in place next time they feel upset.
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