To young for time-out

United States
July 15, 2008 2:22pm CST
My daughter is 20 months and is a very well behavedchild, but she is starting to wander into the terrible twos. While her behavior is good, she does try to see howfar she can push me. She will start to do something she isnt allowed to do and waituntil i look at her and then will continue to do it. I try to be stern but she thinks i am being funny. Is she too young for small time outs, i dont even know if she would understand. help.
7 responses
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
15 Jul 08
I'm not a fan of time out, especially at this age. I would try to redirect her. Tell her no, and if she continues, either remove her from the activity and get her involved in something else, or tell her to go find something else, and help her along, but try to allow her to be proactive in going to find something else to do. If you do use time out, I would limit it to no more than 1 or 2 minutes at a time, then redirect her. Don't underestimate the ability of a 20 month old to understand. She is definitely testing her limits, so be sure to let her know exactly where the boundaries are now, since it will be much harder as she gets older.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 08
The time out is supposed to be as old as the child is. So, if the child is three years old the time out shall be three minutes long. Then if they sit still and quietly, they can go play after the time out is done.
• United States
15 Jul 08
There is no 'supposed' to be... that is what is Recommended. I did state that it should be for 1 or 2 minutes, which, if you read the original post, is consistent with that recommendation, since the poster said her child is 20 months old. That said, I think time out is overrated, and is pretty much useless at this age, since toddlers by nature don't handle sitting still and quietly very well. Once the child starts to cry or get up, it loses its effectiveness for the original misbehavior. Then it turns into a battle just to make her sit, and what does that teach a child? A brief scolding for misbehaving in a firm voice, then redirecting to a more acceptable activity is the most effective discipline for a child under 2 years old.
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
16 Jul 08
the time out recommendation is one minute for each year. Though I did extend it for special situations. Your daughter is much smarter then you are giving her credit for. She is like cream, given the opportunity she will rise to the top of a situation.
@lightningd (1041)
• United States
15 Jul 08
Definitely not too young for a time out. You most likely will have to physically put her in a chair and make sure she doesn't get up, but you will also have to be stern and tell her NO and what she did was wrong. She'll figure it out.
@magrylouyu (1629)
• United States
15 Jul 08
Twenty months is not to young! Children know exactly what they are doing at even 12 months people just fail to see it that young! My children were doing time outs between 16-18months. They knew perfectly well what they were doing wrong. One minute per a year. so for her age, I would do a minute and a half. It may seem like she doesnt understand right away but give her about a week and she will catch on that you mean business! Good luck.
• United States
15 Jul 08
She probably will understand what it is. When my youngest sister was two she was doing the exact same thing and she would laugh whenever my mom would tell her to stay still. But after a while she would stay still. She is now three years old and is sometimes pushing our buttons still.
• United States
15 Jul 08
I have had problems like that where my child is so sweet and perfectly behave but then she has her days where she doesn't want to listen to anything or anyone. I have started using time outs. I make her sit for how old she is. My daughter is three so i make her sit for 3 min and then when she is done i make her appologize and give me a hug and kiss. It works most of the time but not all the time.
• United States
15 Jul 08
Twenty months...no, I don't think she is too young for time out, you have a special chair used for time out, its the time out chair and that's the only thing it is used for, it can be anything that the child can sit on. Next, have a timer that she can see. When she does something you don't want her two, sit her in the chair and tell her why (in kid terms) and then set the timer for the minutes that she is old. So, in this case it would be a 2 minute time out, savvy? If she keeps getting up, keep putting her back, she has to realize that she has to stay in time out, she also has to do it quietly. When the timer is up you let her know that you love her. Give her a kiss and go play. Any wrong doing before the time out is forgotten, so, don't bring it up again. Okay?