Should I Use Time Out To Discipline My Children?

If you are a parent of a young child, you may wonder if time out is now an outdated parenting technique. You may have even read online that time out does more harm than good. This post is an attempt to address these issues.

Do time outs damage kids?

Many parenting experts and platforms are currently discouraging parents from using time out. Their argument is that time out shames kids for acting up and sends the message that they are not allowed to have or express big feelings. These professionals believe that sending a child to time out can have negative outcomes down the road.

Current research, however, does not seem to back this up. Pediatric psychologists followed children from age 3 to age 11 and found that children whose parents used time outs were at no greater risk for developing depression, anxiety, or aggression than parents who never used time out. No matter how they looked at the data, they were not able to find that time outs caused any direct harm.

Are we doing time outs all wrong?

Time outs may not be causing any harm, but in most cases, they are not that effective. This is likely because studies have found that 85% of parents are using time outs incorrectly. Objectively speaking, a child sitting in a corner to “think about what he did” until a kitchen timer rings cannot affect change. We can do better.

Let’s explore some things that make time outs less effective and how Christian parents can use them to create opportunities for discipleship.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

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