Time-Outs - good for tots, good for parents

timeoutpad logoTime-Outs are useful for toddlers and preschoolers...and ahem...adults too.

From the Keen Distribution website: "The idea behind time-outs is to remove the child from the scene of unacceptable behavior for a few minutes, giving both the child and parent time to calm down."

Essentially, it means that you give your child a little bit of time to think about their actions, to "cool off," to reconsider, to start anew. It also gives YOU time to think about what happened and to decide how to respond in a calm and compassionate manner.

time-out padOur 2-year-old still isn't at the point where she is willfully and woefully disobedient in a way that requires much "discipline" (stay tuned for our "discipline philosophy"), but we do use time-outs occasionally and I think it's a useful exercise. 

We recently had the opportunity to review Keen Distribution's time-out pad, a product that is designed to make the time-out process smoother for parents. Just set the built-in timer (one minute per year of the child's age) and sit the child on the pressure-sensitive pad. If the child gets up before the end of the programmed time, an alarm sounds and the countdown pauses. When the child's time has elapsed, a finish tune plays to notify the child that he/she can get up. 

time-out pad in useI think it's a great idea because it helps to have a designated "spot" for time-outs. The pad is easy-to-use, but my one critique is that the alarm is "delayed" if your child gets up. But that's a minor critique because we always have our daughter within eyesight anyway...

For some excellent pointers about how to use time-outs effectively, I recommend that you read the article on the Keen website, entitled 5 steps to successful time-outs. NOTE: Time-outs are recommended for 2-5-year-olds.

YOUR TURN: Do you use time-outs?

WIN IT! One winner will receive a time-out pad ($34.99) by Keen Distribution. To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Monday, February 2 at midnight (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

*UPDATE* The winner is #33 Susan C. Congratulations!

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86 comments on “Time-Outs - good for tots, good for parents”

  1. Neato! Samantha is 3 and timeouts do not work well for us. We try, we really do, but we end up giving in because it becomes a constant struggle to get her to stay put

  2. I think wee man would maybe actually use the mat since it also using sign and sound... Super nanny makes it look so easy..

  3. I've used time outs when my children were fighting. I'd put them each in their respective rooms or if they acted up as a place to calm down. I didn't have tv's, video games or anything else in there to play with except educational type toys and books.

  4. Wow, this may be sad, but I didn't know that you could actually buy a time-out mat. I think this is a GREAT Idea and I am so glad that you introdeced me to this product! Thanks!

  5. I am the director of a preschool and we are always looking for a visual for the children to know and understand when their quiet time is over. I like that it shows the visual timers. Thank you

  6. This product would be a great addition to our family considering our toddler is just getting into the tantrum stage. Time outs are something we always have believed them and this product will help us enforce them!

  7. I think the time out pad might be worth trying with my kids. Sticking the kids in the refrigerator and stove no longer are an option for punishment since cps came to visit..and they are just too darn heavy to hang from that hook on the wall these days... :O)

  8. Oh yes I use time outs some times my 3 1/2 year old grandaughter gets a little out of hand this woulb a great thing to have love it thanks.

  9. I love this product! What a great idea. It would've come in handy when I was working in the daycare setting. I love that its a mat and not a stool or seat.

  10. We use timeouts for our son and I think they are usually effective. I love that this has a timer! Thanks for the chance.

  11. we use time outs it's the best for making our little ones realize that they won't get what they want if they complain

  12. Keen Distribution’s time-out pad is something I can really use. I have two kids (3 & 4)and as of late they are battling alot. The "naughty-chair" I use doesnt seem to be doing the job. This item looks like it is something that might actually work.

  13. This sounds like just what the doctor ordered. We have a three and a half year old that is just a hand full. Every time I put him in time out, it is a struggle to make him stay there. I think this product would provide a designated place that he would feel was "official." Also, the timer is such a great concept.

  14. I love the specific steps and I'm tempted to send it to my husband who skips the politeness and goes right to "NO!!!" in a way that startles me when our toddler is doing things like messing with his electronics.

    I love the hug at the end! and the praise words and encouragements to balance things out.

  15. Great Idea. I'd love to give this to my sister in law. She just had her first child and this would be a great thing to have in the house!

  16. We would love a time out chair.
    haha, When I was little we were sent to our room...
    where there was all of our toys, and a tv....it didn't really work.

  17. Wow, this is great! My niece usually doesn't get disciplined because her parents & grandparents let her do whatever she wants. She is such a terror sometimes because she is so spoiled. I need to get her one of these...a subtle (ok maybe not that subtle) way to tell them to stop being so lax!

  18. As a preschool teacher we do use time-outs. Mostly for hitting, or throwing toys. This would be a wonderful addition to our classroom. Right now, we just have a chair and a three minute egg timer.

  19. Yes! We use time-outs but I don't have a specific place for the time-outs. This prize is so perfect, I need it now!
    harmonden[at]wowway.com

  20. Not so much anymore now that my youngest is 5, but I think my sister would love this in the future with her son.

  21. How cute!!!!!!!! But what if it encourages kids to want time out, because they think its a game. Please enter me, thank you

  22. My little one is not quite 2 yet but I definitely plan to use timeouts as she gets older. This pad looks like an excellent product. I would love to get one soon.Thanks

  23. I have a 3 1/2 year old who has started to be very independent (which is great!) and defiant A(not so great). I think this could help with the time outs.

  24. I wish they had this when my kids were younger. My daughter has 5 children and she does time outs but I think this would give her more control or at least give the Time-Out Pad control. She could so use this. Thank you!

  25. Yes, I use time outs. I have four kids and some times they need to be seperated to calm down so I bring them to our time out bench and we sit and talk.

  26. We used a time out with our kids, but this seems so much better. My daughter babysits a little one and this would be great for her.

  27. Our son is only 5 months, so no time out at this point, but I definitely plan to use it, so this will be helpful. The pressure sensitive pad is such an innovative idea! Thanks!

  28. My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter occasionally gets a time out from her mom. I would love to give this to them, because it is a friendly version of time out!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  29. This will be a nice item in our home, Right now I'm using our brick wall in the kitchen and it makes me feel like a jihadist, So send me a BIG WIN for this great idea I can use. Time out does work. It gives everyone an opportunity to discharge without sparks flying.

  30. Well, I am sure at some point in time, our little man will need time outs and this seems like a good designated spot! This would be a good starting point.

  31. I really need this, we have custody of our 3 year old granddaughter. I work night shift and it is really hard to make her mind and not yell since I am sleeping while she is up playing. This might be the trick we need to help. Thank you

  32. I have a problem getting the little one to stay. Perhaps this would help. Sounds like a great product and one i could donate to daycare when the little one outgrows it!!!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  33. this would be just great. wont go on and on but we all know this is just a great product. would love to try it. thanks

  34. this would be a cool time out chair. would love to get it. right now, they just get to sit in a corner. This would help

  35. With our 6 yr old time outs became more of a fight than the original acting out. So we had to use other methods with her, but I will try time-outs with the 6mth old when he is old enough to need them. I like the mat with the built in timer.

  36. We've been pretty lucky as far as behavior goes with Pea. Usually a firm no will do it. However, as this child grows and becomes even more free thinking and independent...I wonder! I think the Time-out Pad looks like a fabulous tool to have! We bought a booster chair for the purpose of time-outs and put it in the front room. Pea loves sitting in at any time of the day looking at books, so it's kind of defeated the purpose of a time-out chair.

    I think that there needs to be a certain place for a child to go when they are needing a few moments to themselves...and I really like that the time-out pad has a timer that the kids can see.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    seeryusfam@msn.com

  37. OK, so I'm not a proponent of time-outs as a strategy overall, so I'm breaking with the majority here...but I've found really great success with the total opposite strategy, called Time-Ins (described further down in this comment). They take more energy and more consistent time up front, but I believe they can also be more proactive in dealing with some behavior issues that time outs are usually used to deal with. Time In's are where, instead of putting your child somewhere to sit and 'think' on it while everyone collects their breath. When you think about it, Time outs are kind of devisive in nature. After all, I can actually remember sitting in time out as a little one myself thinking about how mean my mom was, how bad I felt for myself, how parents just didn't seem to understand, and I'm guessing that as little people, a lot of our kids have thoughts like these crossing their minds too, you know, instead of, "oh, shouldn't have done that. won't do that again."
    Well, Time ins are like what a football team does to re-group and get back on the field together, re-connected, working together, and respecting one another. You both calm down together (modeling how to calm down with your child is invaluable). And you re-connect. Simply holding your child (nothing like holding them through the storm to remind you that they are after all just a little one), or talking, or singing, or distracting, depending on the age. So you use the time to stop what you are doing to re-connect, instead of the opposite.
    This idea and many more brilliant ones can be found in my 2 favorite all time parenting books that both promote love as the underlying basis of all interactions with your child, "Playful Parenting" (for more concrete examples of how to) and "Unconditional Parenting" (for more actual strategy and theory). 2 awesome books to consider reading.
    It does sounds like this time out pad could also be used using this notion too, although it's designed for the other use.
    Just thought I'd share since this is very important to me. Kids deserve love whenever they can get it. They are craving it all the time, just like us adults.

  38. I've been using time outs here and there now that my little guy is almost 2. He's definitely pushing his limits and he knows it. It's easy to see that he knows it when he looks at you with that look in his eyes after telling him not to do something and then DOES it again. But we don't have a "spot" for timeouts. Sometimes I put him here, sometimes there...never in the same place. So I wonder if having a timeout spot would add to the effectiveness...this would certainly help though.

  39. I also have a two year old and we are trying to figure out this whole idea of discipline. We have taught him that his 'job' is to obey. People laugh when they hear me ask him what his job is and he says back - obey. But I am serious about it. I would love to try the time out seat. I think it would help with the discipline aspect of parenting.

  40. I'm a believer in time-outs, I do think that this type of product would be nice. My daughter isn't really old enough for the time out principle right now - we do still use it, I'll put her in the swing or something for a few minutes when she gets frustrated with something and starts pitching a fit and won't calm down (she has a bit of a temper). When she's a little older I think a mat like this might work effectively. I do like that it isn't designed to be "cute".

  41. This looks like a great idea. Many time out chairs and devices I don't like because they end up being "cute" or "fun" which takes away from the whole idea that time out is NOT fun. This seems very simple and not reinforcing, and yet a helpful device. I also LIKE that it stops the time if they get up. It would only take a couple times (for most kids I would guess) to figure out that they need to sit still. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  42. We have not had the need to discipline our son for much yet, but I was wondering how and when to begin time-outs. Do you just suddenly start at the magic age of 2? And how do you make your 2yr. old stay sitting on a mat? I'll have to read the article that you linked to your post. Thanks!

  43. We do use time outs and they've seemed pretty effective with my daughter, as long as she's isolated. If she's just in a corner but can still see me, she just thinks it's a game.

  44. I need this. lol My middle child is terribly strong willed and has been so for a long long time. That isn't always a bad thing but he does need limits and discipline.

    Nell

  45. We do use time outs with our three year old on occasion. For the most part we really try to use logical consequences, and sometimes, removing him from the situation is the most logical thing to do. This little gadget looks interesting...it's hard to tell from the photo, but is there a size/weight limit for it?

  46. We're just starting to use time outs but we're in the same boat that we don't really have a good place to put him while we're staying with family. This looks great!

  47. I am constantly impressed with all the new products that come out now!! I have trouble figuring out where to put my son during his "time aways" because we don't really have a good "corner" and I don't want him to sit in one of his regular chairs, so I suppose this would work perfect!!

    Again with the fabulous giveaways!

    autumn398 (at) yahoo.com

  48. We just recently started implementing time outs when my almost 2 year old started having major tantrums. I think the mat sounds like a great idea!

  49. I know, I felt the same way when my daughter was 2, she was so well behaved, I had been expecting worse because everybody talks about the terrible two's! Man I wish she had been terrible then because she is an absolute menace now! It seems like no matter what I do the message never gets across. She knows what is good and bad and when I ask her why she does something she will say "I don't know." "Because I want to." or "Because I like it." The whole time she will be smiling and laughing. This is very exasperating but I am very bad with disciplining her. I know I have to put my foot down though, it never usually lasts. Like if she draws on the walls, her crayons go in time out or if she does something bad no movie for the day. If she starts having a tantrum she gets time out. They just seem to make a mess of things you couldn't have even imagined could be made a mess of! I always try to talk to her after and try to make sure she understands what she did wrong and why it was wrong so hopefully she won't do it again. Anyway, not sure how the mat would work but I would give it a try.

  50. This is a great idea. My 3 1/2 year old has not had a time out in a long time but when she was getting them she would use the correctly. I know with Lily we will NEED this - she is a difficult baby and I am starting to think that she is going to be a difficult kid and need much more discipline than my older kiddo.

  51. We use time out here and while I was first skeptical about this product, after reading that there was an alarm if the child got up prematurely and a timer built in I changed my mind. It would be really nice to have those features "taking care of time out for me" while I am tending to the other three wild ones still running around!

  52. We do use time outs, but now that Blondie is old enough it's in a boring spot in the entryway out of our sight. For her, one of the biggest punishments is not being with us, so we feel it teaches her more since it's not enjoyable. I love that it has a timer and alarm!

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