Questioning Our Style of Timeouts

Updated on August 14, 2008
N.D. asks from Glenview, IL
4 answers

when my 3 yr old dd acts up, we warn her of a timeout. If she continues, we place her on the bathroom carpet and shut the door. After a few minutes we let her come out, give her hugs, and make her apologize for whatever she had done.

Is this a good way? I usually hear that you place them in a corner or chair and make them sit. Any suggestions or thoughts?

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answers from Chicago on

My suggestion is to read the book 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan. Great program, if you follow it as it's written (I fall off the wagon every now and then, but the kids know when I'm using it again - they KNOW exactly what's going to happen).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Everything you are doing sounds great except I would not use the bathroom. No matter how often you clean the bathroom it is still full of germs, also with the door shut you cannot see what she may be getting into. The bathroom is not really a safe place for a time out. I would get a small chair or stool and put it in a cornor somewhere for time out. I always used my children's bedroom and I never had a problem with them not knowing the difference between they are in there because they did not behave and bedtime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sounds good to me!

Your consistency in enforcing the timeout will work wonders. You give her a warning and if she continues ALWAYS follow through with what you say.

The key is that the timeout is not just a 'boring place' but a place where she is removed from the attraction/misbehavior, etc. I absolutely love that you do the apology (helping her understand her behavior) and that you do the hugs. It sounds like it's working, so "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I believe from supernanny that the reason for the corner/chair instead of their bedroom or in your case bathroom is that they learn to associate bad things with that room. So they recommend against putting them in time out in their bedroom because they may learn to despise bedtime. In your case, your daughter may associate the bathroom with a bad place and you may have problems with potty training or baths. With that being said, my 2 and 5 year olds do have time-outs in their bedrooms and I don't have a problem with bedtime. We have been doing this for over 3 years. I start with a corner, but if they aren't staying in the corner they are warned that they will be "locked" in their rooms which they hate. If they get up again, they get "locked" in their bedrooms. I have been pregnant for most of my 5 year old's time out life and have had hernias with each pregnancy and can't be chasing them and picking them up and putting them back in a corner. Most of the time they will stay there after the warning to go in their room. I think the biggest concern with the bathroom is the trouble they can get into in there..besides some obvious dangers like 2 year old likes to play in the toilet. If she was in there for 2 minutes, I would more than likely have 2 minutes worth of water all over the floor or toothpaste all over the vanity, etc. Be careful of that!
To make a long story short, I would try the corner/chair and see if you can get her to stay there.. if you do it the supernanny way, you need to keep picking them up and putting them back. I have seen on the show where it can take 2 hours of doing this before they actually stay there. I did do this while I wasn't pregnant so that is why they usually stay there. But like the other mom said, if it's working for you, don't overanalyze it. Just be careful of the dangers in your bathroom!

1 mom found this helpful
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