Time out or time in and other positive parenting solutions

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

On our facebook page last week I shared an image of a chair that I thought was super cute.  A chair for time out.  I don’t own the chair, nor am I going to buy it, just thought I’d share it with you all.  Boy it opened a can of worms about ‘time out’.  Below is the chair and the question I asked.  The chair can be found at Zanui.

This ‘time out chair’ is so cute. Where do you put your kids for time out? We used to have a spot in the laundry, but now the cat litter tray is in there we changed it to the hallway.

I guess I was ignorant in the fact I didn’t realise that time out wasn’t used in some families. But what I love most about blogging and our facebook page is reading other’s opinions and learning from it, how you do it and as I always express, I’m not saying I do it the right way or this is how it should be done, I just share my tips and ideas for you to adapt to your family. I was just purely sharing this image cause I thought the chair was cute.

You can read all comments and opinions about this chair and time out here.

I am not going to criticise anybody for their belief’s if time out is right or wrong and I hope that you can all express your own opinions without judging others.  We all have different children with different behaviours, we all parent our children differently and what works for one child/family may not work for another.

Why I use time out

I am very grateful that my children are well behaved, have good manners, don’t hurt each other, follow instructions really well and most of the time play together nicely.  But there are times that my girls fight, one doesn’t want to share or they just argue over the silliest of things, then there are tears, yelling, dobbing.  We all know how it goes.  Then the next minute they are the best of friends and play so beautifully together.

I try my best to get to the bottom of why they are fighting, help them understand how they could of  behaved in the situation and get them to play separately. But… there are times that doing all these things just doesn’t work, one of them won’t listen, argues or continues the behaviour.  It’s then time for time out.  I use the 1 minute to every year of age rule, this is time for them to calm down, think about what happened and to apologise for their actions.  The apology isn’t for me, it’s for their sibling.

This works for my girls, but not for my son.  He rarely needs to be disciplined, but when he does having technology (iPod’s, TV time, computer or Xbox) time taken away from him is a better alternative.

Consider the alternatives

After reading through everybody’s comments I’ve learned about some different techniques such as:


Time-ins, like time-outs, are promoted as a gentle, effective tool for managing the undesired behaviors of young children.  You can read more about time in via the following articles I found:

  • Time-In: Gentler and More Effective Than Time-Out
  • From Time Out to Time In
  • Positive Discipline

123 magic process

Extract from the book depository:  The award-winning 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humour, keen insight, and proven experience. The technique offers a foolproof method of disciplining children ages two through 12 without arguing, yelling, or spanking. By means of three easy-to-follow steps, parents learn to manage troublesome behaviour, encourage good behaviour, and strengthen the parent-child relationship – avoiding the ‘Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit’ syndrome which frustrates so many parents. Ten strategies for building a child’s self-esteem and the six types of testing and manipulation a parent can expect from the child are discussed, as well as tips on how to prevent homework arguments, make mealtimes more enjoyable, conduct effective family meetings, and encourage children to start doing their household chores. New advice about kids and technology and new illustrations bring this essential parenting companion completely up-to-date.

These books can be purchased through The Book Depository, free shipping worldwide.

Positive Solutions

When I was googling for details about time in, I found this great article 12 Alternatives to Time Outs, read the article for full details about each item.  I’m actually going to try and put a few of these techniques to use before our next time out:

  1. Take a break together
  2. Second chances
  3. Problem solve together
  4. Ask questions
  5. Read a story
  6. Puppet and play
  7. Give two choices
  8. Listen to a song
  9. Go outside
  10. Pause and breathe
  11. Draw a picture
  12. Chill-out space

Community Centre Parenting Workshops

When my children were younger I attended the Triple P parenting program at our local community centre, which is where I learnt the basis of my parenting techniques.  I actually booked myself in a few weeks ago to do the course again (starts in March).  Now that my oldest two are ten I was sure that there are different techniques to what I learnt many years ago.  Clearly my instincts were right  as this post has proven. I want to be ready and prepared on how to parent pre teens.

What technique works in your family?

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About Me

My mission is to inspire and empower others to achieve a sense of order and balance in their homes, enabling them to easily tackle daily tasks so then the rest of the day is filled with activities that bring them joy.

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As a popular blogger, influencer, and author, I draw from my expertise in home organisation, cleaning, and meal planning to offer practical tips and heartfelt encouragement to my audience.