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When to Stop Giving Time-Outs


How old is too old for time-outs?


A time-out can be used at nearly any age as long as it has the desired effect as a consequence. As our children get older and lose privileges or are grounded, those are forms of time-outs. 

When your child is young, a time-out is one of the most effective consequences you can use when he misbehaves. You remove your child from the good things in life for a small amount of time immediately after he misbehaves. It is a great way to discipline without raising your hand or your voice. A time-out is simply having your child sit in one place for a certain amount of time (one minute for each year of life).

Time-outs continue to be effective as long as your child would rather be playing or engaging in an activity than sitting still and doing nothing. An example of an older child’s time-out would be during a hockey game.​ Players who violate the rules are put in time-out, and they have to sit and watch rather than participate or play in the game. It works because they would rather play than watch.