Dedicating more than two decades to the field of child psychology, Dr. Beth Grosshans is the author of Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm, which was published by Sterling in 2010. Dr. Beth Grosshans provides advice on how to regain control and authority over children and addresses how a history of time-outs has contributed to undisciplined children.
A dated form of punishment, time-outs are not effective on all children because of varying temperaments. The following illustrates other reasons why time-outs are not an ideal choice as a punishment.
1. Unless parents can ensure they can consistently follow through with time-out measures, the punishment becomes ineffective. A parent’s mood impacts this significantly. On happier days, time-out warnings may be given in excess, while other days a parent may only give a signal warning before enforcing the punishment. Inconsistency can result in a child testing limits and not responding.
2. Simply sending a child to time-out rather than figuring out the source of an issue does not rectify a problem. A parent should make time to explore why a child is misbehaving and give him or her options for dealing with anger, such as taking a breather. This demonstrates care for a child who may be seeking attention.
3. When used in excess, time-outs can discourage development. A child is naturally curious, and at times this curiosity leads to engaging in acts that are deemed as misbehaving. However, parents should find other means to handle these habits, so they are not punishing growth, learning, and exploration.
Experienced Psychologist Beth Grosshans Lectures on Child Development