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13 Mistakes Parents Make When Using Time Outs

13 Mistakes Parents Make When Using Time Outs

are you finding that during your day you are constantly yelling, spanking, threating, scolding or grounding your children because they won’t listen or stop throwing tantrums?

Children like to push buttons that’s just what they do. Whether they know it or not they like to see how far they can get away with something before mom or dad step in. A punishment is given and then just a few minutes or hours later you are yelling at your children for the same reason they got in trouble in the first place.

It seems like a never-ending battle when you find yourself yelling, spanking, or grounding all day long. You do this not because you don’t love your children but because they are misbehaving and not listening to what you are saying. By the end of the day, you are so exhausted and done that you no longer care because they are not listening in the first place.

Which is why a lot of parents don’t think that time-outs really help change their children’s behavior so they stop using time-outs and try other methods. However, time-out is effective!…if done correctly.

Time-outs prevent your child from pushing those buttons that they push almost every day. Time-out means placing your child in a dull and boring place for a few minutes.

You may not use time-outs because in the past you have tried them and they never worked. However, time-outs actually work amazingly! why? Because time-outs give you a tool to back up what you say. Time-out is a teaching technique and a mild punishment that you can use quickly and easily.

Time-out is a replacement for yelling, scolding, threatening, and spanking. Time-out may not be easy in the beginning but don’t give up! stick with it and you will see how easy it is and you will start to see immediate changes in your child’s behavior.

Like I said before for time-out to work effectively it must be done right and with consistency. Below I have listened to 13 mistakes parents make when using time-outs. And as a bonus, I have made a PDF worksheet on how to use time-outs correctly! and how to get the best and immediate results from using time-out ( you can get that workout at the end of this post!).

1. Use time-outs in the wrong setting

2. Use time-outs for every misbehavior

3. Don’t let their children know why they are going into time-out

4. Set a time limit that is too long

5. Use time-out impulsively

6. Don’t use time-out with determination and planning

7. Use time-out as a surprise

8. Use time-out inconsistently

9. Anger, frustration is used during time-outs

10. Using the crib for a time-out

11. Using a dark room

12. Allowing their children to be done with time-out even when they are still throwing a fit

13. Tightly holding their children for time-out

If you use one or more of these don’t feel like a bad parent! knowing how to correctly discipline your children is not easy. But it is not fun yelling at them all the time either. Constantly yelling, spanking, and threatening can create a disconnect between you and your children. Motherhood should not be a negative experience for you or your children.

Your children need to learn how to behave and know which behaviors are okay and which ones are not. That is just a part of life! Any punishment such as time-outs needs to be used constantly!

I know it can be hard to make sure you are using timeout consistently especially if you are a working mom or even a stay-at-home mom. Busy schedules make it challenging to do anything consistently but if you want to see change and want to go more than a few hours between yelling at your child then consistency is needed!

Time-out can be used for ages between 2 and 12 before the age of 2 children do not quite understand right from wrong, why their behaviors are bad and, they are still learning how to understand their emotions. Once your child has hit their teen years time-outs no longer needed. The best for teens are contracts that you and they sign so then they are learning to hold themselves accountable.

If your child is 1 year old you can use “time-out” as a form to help them learn right from wrong. For example, My daughter kept crawling toward the heater which was hot and I did not want her to get burned.

Every time she would go to touch the heater we would pick her up and say: “no, heater” and place her in her pack-n-play for 30 seconds as we stood next to her. After 30 seconds we would take her out and we would go back to the heater and say: “no, heater”

We had to keep doing those multiple times a day but now she knows to not touch the heater or she will be placed in her pack-n-play. Now at this age do not leave them in their pack-n-play for more than 30 seconds and don’t leave them alone.

Children younger than age 2 are starting to explore more and they are still learning right from wrong. If you use time-out for children ages 1-2 be gentle and only have them in timeout for 30 seconds.

The PDF below explains the appropriate amount of time, place, and how to use time out correctly! 

Now that you know the mistakes that parents make. What are the correct ways to use time-out? I said earlier that I created a PDF that you can download and print off that you can use to help you and your children understand time out and help to improve misbehaviors!

It is a no-brainer that most parents want the best for their children and wants to be the best parents that they can be.

6 Easy Ways To Deal With Toddler Tantrums - Dollar Mommy Club

Wednesday 29th of June 2022

[…] the years time-outs have been a method to punish a child for their negative behavior. Using time-outs as a punishment is not an effective method of discipline since a child isn’t learning what behaviors and actions are […]


Friday 25th of June 2021

Hello, I’m trying to find the PDF you talk about in your article. Can you help? I’m having a really hard time with my 3 year old hurting his young brother.


Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Hey, I can't find the PDF on the page. If I sent you an email could you please send a copy to me? Thanks heaps

Dollar Mommy Club

Monday 5th of July 2021

Hey Breanna! I am sorry my PDF is not pulling up for you. Sibling rivalry can be very challenging to deal with. I would be more than willing to help you out. Send me an email at and let's chat!