Time-Outs for Toddler Tantrums

As babies enter their toddler years, they begin testing their independence through the use of all kinds of communication tactics.

Unfortunately for parents, these tactics often include noisy and upsetting tantrums. For parents whose children have recently started kicking and screaming every time they’re asked to do something they don’t like, this trying stage can be overwhelming. To encourage more appropriate behavior from your toddler, one strategy some parents find useful is “time out.”

What Is Time Out?

Time out” is a disciplinary technique where a parent removes a child from interactions with others, for a pre-specified amount of time. Fo a very small child, just a minute or two of time-out may be an effective disciplinary tool, while trying to stretch a time out to last ten or even five minutes will quickly lose its effectiveness.

Putting A Toddler In “Time Out”

As with all disciplinary procedures, it’s important that a toddler understand what the unacceptable behavior is, and that the time out is related to their behaving unacceptably. Once a tantrum begins, children must be told firmly that their behavior must stop, and if this does not happen, the child should be taken to an uninteresting location and put in “time out” for roughly one minute per year of their age.

Taking these short breaks can allow a child to calm down when removed from the upsetting situation before rejoining the activity – at the same time reducing stress on parents and other care givers.

Other Considerations When A Toddler Throws A Tantrum

Being a toddler can be a frustrating stage of life since children are old enough to understand what they want, but frequently lack the verbal skills to communicate the specifics of their desires. Parents who make an effort to understand and address the cause of their child’s distress stand a better chance of effectively getting the child to calm down without disciplinary measures. Maintaining patience and a calm demeanor during these occasions is essential. For parents who believe their child is having a tantrum to get attention, appearing to ignore the misbehavior can also be a useful tactic.

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