Time-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.
Our 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.
I 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!