An Alternative to Time-Outs

Recently, ExchangeEveryDay discussed how time-outs can be detrimental to children. Maureen Boggs, COAD’s ECE Division Director, describes how to obtain improved behavior from a small child (a toddler or 2-3 year old) that doesn’t involve time-outs.

1. STOP your own behavior – stand still; become visibly calm; get quiet; make eye contact with the child and move close to them in an unthreatening manner.
2. APPROACH: As you move close, speak soothingly and be sincere. Tell the child you want to help them feel better. Repeat as necessary till you have their attention.
3. EMBRACE the child, with a hand or a hug or have them sit with you, however they accept your presence best.
4. TALK through the moment – use ‘ I’ statements: When you ___ , I feel___ Let’s___. Reinforce the behavior they need to demonstrate, then follow through to help them learn that new skill when they get emotional next time. (And, they will have these moments!)

See the ExchangeEveryDay for their comments on time-outs.