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How to Use Time-Outs

Time-outs are a quick and effective technique for managing a child's behavior. However, as many parents know, simple mistakes can cause time-outs to backfire, or simply not work.

The How to Use Time-Outs handout provides tips and guidelines for making time-outs as effective as possible. These guidelines cover basic time-out instructions, such as how to give a time-out, as well as addressing common pitfalls, such as over-lecturing and inconsistency.

While in session, we suggest discussing and planning how time-outs will be used. Be sure to talk about specifics, such as a location your client can use for time-outs, and behaviors that might warrant a time-out. Like anything else, giving and enforcing time-outs benefits from practice.

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