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Why Timeout as a Punishment Doesn’t Work

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  • Why Timeout as a Punishment Doesn’t Work

    Are you tired of holding the bedroom door handle closed when your school-aged child is trying to leave during a timeout? Fed up with your child trashing his room during timeout? Frustrated because you can’t get your child to calm down and think about restitution during his timeout?

    Perhaps it’s time to re-think the way a timeout is used. Timeout is a popular behavior modification technique designed to punish unacceptable behavior. Much like the use of a penalty box in a hockey game, the absence from positive play is supposed to teach children to stop doing the behavior that got them sent there. However, it rarely works.

    Judy Arnall, author of Discipline without Distress, explains at Use the login provided to you in the fall/winter issue of The Attached Family magazine or at