Mum Daily

Does your child need ‘time out’ or ‘time in’?

Time-out is one of the most popular “discipline” methods parents use. But is it effective? And what does it teach?

While some studies suggest that time-out can help to curb challenging behaviour, many parents struggle to use time out the way experts suggest.

And there are side-effects. Time-out teaches children that a parent’s love is conditional. This can create anxiety, a sense of unworthiness, and a raft of other problems – even fear of abandonment.

But what might we do instead of time out?

I suggest time in… because the times when our children deserve our love the least may be the times they need it most.

Imagine your child was someone else’s child so you couldn’t use time-out. What then?

Chances are you’d talk about boundaries, discuss reasons for your expectations, and work with the child to come up with solutions that felt good for everyone.

We need to send time-out to the naughty corner and focus on really teaching our children.

Find out more about raising positive kids at

what your child needs from you
A practical manual for creating a connected family, What Your Child Needs From You delivers concrete strategies to help parents build meaningful relationships with their children.