Q. Do time-outs work? What’s the best way to discipline an unruly toddler?

Time-outs certainly can work if your toddler understands them and you enforce them. Once you see them doing something wrong, explain to them that they will get a “timeout” if they do not listen to you. If they persist, try following these guidelines:

Have a timer and start with five minutes. Put them in an area without toys (most children wouldn’t mind going to a room full of fun things to do.) They might cry during the time out, but that’s OK. If they’re not calming down or do not acknowledge doing anything wrong, you can extend the period of time depending on their age and also what they did. Remember: Don’t be one of those parents who keeps asking their child if they “want a timeout.” It’s a veiled threat that never works. You have to follow through with your actions!


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Do time-outs work?

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