Q.- Is it appropriate to use a different form of time out by using a child’s room to quiet down?
A.- When kids are melting down or fussing a lot, it’s fine to ask them to retreat to their room for a period of time until they can cool down. We like to call this procedure “time away” so as to differentiate it from “time out.” For patterns of behaviors that happen repeatedly it’s best to use the time out procedure we have described, where they go to the corner.
Q.- My child doesn’t find the holding procedure to be aversive. He seems to like and take comfort from it rather than the fussing and fighting you describe?
A.- This happens with a minority of kids. If this is the case, you may need to figure out a different method of back up to the time out. For kids who won’t go to the corner and are attached to video games or electronics, it works well to withdraw the privilege of using them for the rest of the day. Remember that to refuse a time out when you’ve asked is a serious offense in this system. It’s essential to have an effective back up that lets your child know that you care enough to be strong.