Providing positive discipline for children – Part 6: Time out and meaningful commands
Explore the purposes and principles of positive discipline. You will be able to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.
It’s important to explore and have an understanding of the purposes and principles of positive discipline for young children. Doing so will enable you to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.
Time out allows children to regain self-control before entering back into the environment; it should not be looked at as a punishment. The time should also be a break according to their age (1 minute to every age of life). A 3 year old should have no more than a 3-minute break. When we watch sports, we see the teams take time outs to think about what is not working and than talk, than return to the game. Children need a break when things are not going well to calm. Even parents benefit from time out – a break from electronics, toys and other objects. Try to rethink what time out is. It is the beginning of taking a break, calming ourselves down and rethinking the situation.
Young children are not capable of reasoning. Be brief when we are talking with them. After the first few sentences, their ability to listen diminishes. Limit your warnings and learn to give them one chance, then if they do not listen, follow through with the consequence. Actions always speak better than words. Even if you did not practice this in the past, children will pick up on this very quickly. Limit your “no’s,” so that when you do use them, they have more meaning.
Other Michigan State University Extension news articles in this series:
- Providing positive discipline for children – Part 1: Discipline and distractions
- Providing positive discipline for children – Part 2: Tantrums, whining and positive reinforcement
- Providing positive discipline for children – Part 3: Consequences