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Health Tip: Timeouts for Toddlers

- While it's important to correct a young child who has done wrong, it's just as important to do it safely and correctly.

The Nemours Foundation offers these suggestions:

  • When you catch the child doing something wrong or potentially dangerous, calmly but firmly tell the child "no."
  • Either remove the object, or remove the child from the area.
  • If your child is behaving badly or throwing a temper tantrum, put him or her in "timeout."
  • Make "timeout" a stair, a corner or a chair, and don't keep the child there for longer than a couple of minutes. Longer timeouts aren't effective, especially for toddlers.
  • Don't punish your child physically. Never slap, hit or spank the child at any age. They can't make the association between behavior and physical punishment.
  • Set a good example for your child, who will learn good behaviors by watching you.
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Posted: February 2008