A recent article that appeared in Time magazine does a disservice to parents. The article is entitled, “Time-Outs Are Hurting Your Child.”
The article is a disservice for at least two reasons.
First, it misrepresents what time-out is. Here is how it is described in the article: “In most cases, the primary experience a time-out offers a child is isolation. Even when presented in a patient and loving manner, time-outs teach them that when they make a mistake, or when they are having a hard time, they will be forced to be by themselves—a lesson that is often experienced, particularly by young children, as rejection. Further, it communicates to kids, “I’m only interested in being with you and being there for you when you’ve got it all together.”
Secondly, it describes time-out as generally ineffective: “On top of everything, time-outs are usually ineffective in accomplishing the goals of discipline: to change behavior and build skills.”
The Division of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology within the American Psychological Association (of which I am a member) has issued a strong reply to the article, noting its errors (see below).
If you’re curious about how to use time-out effectively, this is a useful site:
It might also be important to know how to give children instructions in ways that are effective, given that children are often punished for not obeying parents’ instructions:
Both are from the Child Mind Institute, which also stated their opposition to the article that appeared in Time.