How to use time outs to correct a child’s behavior

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Many kids are out of school for spring break, and many parents are likely to deal with bad behavior from some of their children during the time off.

Time outs are often used to improve behavior, but experts say many parents don’t use them the right way.

According to research, time outs should be used to remove the child from whatever situation is causing the problem, not as a punishment.

UAB psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says in order to make time outs more effective, they need to be immediate, brief and should isolate the child from all other activities.

“Probably the most important: it needs to be done in a calm manner,” Klapow said. “If you’re upset while you’re giving a timeout, you’re actually reinforcing your child’s behavior.”

Klapow says time outs shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes but should remove the child from any attention, including explanations, rewards and even hugs.

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