Since my daughter was about 2 years old (maybe earlier), we have used the “Timeout” method of punishment for bad behaviour. She must sit on the stairs, silently, with her arms folded, for one minute per year of her life (so currently five). Then she must tell us what she did wrong, starting with the words “I’m sorry for…”. A cuddle and a kiss later, it’s all forgotten.

What never fails to amuse me is that she takes herself to timeout. We never have to physically put her there. We tell her to go on timeout and off she trots, head hung low and occasionally accompanied by sorrowful tears. On the occasions when she is really naughty and doesn’t want to go to timeout, we simply count backwards from three!

Usually she goes on “THREE”, but if we get as far as “TWO”, she runs there. I’ve spoken to a lot of parents who operate the same policy, but we all have the same, unanswered question…

 …What happens if we get to “ONE”?


Do you use “timeout?” If not, what methods do you use to punish bad behaviour?

 🙂 xxx


  1. The Monko says:

    We don’t use time out. We try to use natural consequences. I want to ensure that my son equates the action with the consequence where ever possible so that it’s a learning opportunity rather than just a punishment. My son is three so he is still learning what acceptable behaviour is and while he does do things that he knows he shouldn’t, there is usually an underlying reason that we seek to address. I think time out gives a more satisfying instant result for the parent but when my husband and I discussed using it we weren’t sure that it was right for our family because it feels like it can lead to further confrontation and control rather than learning. (I say not right for our family because I don’t think there is a one size fits all solution to discipline and I respect the fact that time out work for some families).

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      I find your comment fascinating as our reason for using timeout is exactly the reason you don’t use timeout!

      We use timeout because we want our daughter to associate negative behaviours with consequences and so that she learns the reasons why such behaviours are bad. Timeout is her 5 minutes to think about what she has done and how it will hurt others (or herself). She then explains to us what she did and why it is bad. It takes the difficulty (and sometimes taboo) out of learning how to apologise properly as well as teaching her why certain behaviours are not acceptable.

      I also beleive it is important that in addition to consequence for bad behaviour, children should learn that rewards come with kindness and good behaviour. (posting on that shortly).

      Thankyou for taking the time to comment. Although our system works for us, I love hearing about how other parents do things differently. xx

  2. Katie Vyktoriah says:

    My little man is only 20 months at the moment, and he doesn’t yet understand time out or punishment in any form. I try putting him in his room and letting him scream, but because my hubby works from home, it can’t go on long, and I usually end up going in and comforting him. 🙁 I need a new system!
    Katie Vyktoriah recently posted..The Unlived LifeMy Profile

    • CrazyWithTwins says:

      I think we started using timeout when Bunny was about 2 and a bit, but not very often. We’ve been very lucky. Our daughter’s behaviour problems didn’t begin until she started primary school and now they stem from what she has seen other children do, and after-school tiredness. I’m afraid I wouldnt know what to suggest for littles but I wish you the best of luck. Please send me your link when you find a solution! xx

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