Time out vs time in: Teach your child about their emotions and reward good behavior

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  • Time out means “quiet and still” time, so the time out ends when the toddler is quiet and still.
  • Time out should be used if your toddler’s tantrum involves hitting, kicking, biting, or spitting.
  • Time in is when your toddler is the center of your attention, and should be used as a reward for good behavior.

Meltdowns and tantrums are a great place to start disciplining your toddler, but remember that discipline is about teaching. When your child is 1 year old, their emotions get very strong for a while. When a tantrum starts, you can try to distract your child or ignore it, but you should think about using a time out if your toddler is hitting, kicking, or spitting. A time out is meant to be quiet and still, so it can end once your toddler becomes quiet and still. Time out is a great way to teach your child how to calm themself. Time in should be used to reward the behavior you want your child to do; it is when your toddler is the center of your attention. You are still the most important person in your toddler’s life, and they love getting one-on-one attention from you.

To find more information, check out:

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015).Time-Outs 101. Healthychildren.org. Retrieved from Time Outs 101

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015). Disciplining Your Child. Healthychildren.org. Retrieved from Disciplining Your Child

This and other exclusive tips from the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics are shared via Bloomz, the app connecting parents and educators everywhere. Want to get them on your phone? Invite your child’s teacher, coach or care provider to sign up for a free Bloomz account.

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