Effective alternative for a time-out

Kim DeMarchi MEd, CPE Parent Educator, shares advice for parents on a few alternatives to time-outs in order to discipline your children which can prove to be much more effective
Effective Alternatives to Time-Outs for Children
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Effective alternative for a time-out

As an alternative to time-outs, you can do something called self-quieting time, or self-calming time, whatever your family decides upon calling it. Set it up in advance, talk to your child. Say, “Sometimes you get really, really upset and I need to move you to a different room. Where would you like your self-quieting space to be?” Let’s assume they pick their bedroom. Say, “Great. We’re going to make you a special box, called a self-calming box.” Inside that box let them put things with your help of anything that will calm them down – because remember, that’s your goal, to get them calm, to get them back into the family meal, to get them back into the preschool circle time, whatever it is. So things to go into the box – books, a snuggie, stickers, a water bottle filled with water and food coloring to shake, and a squeezy ball to get their energy out – anything that you know that would be self-calming to your child. When you find that they need to be removed from a situation, let’s say that they start to get really upset, go to them, use a calm voice. Look at them, touch them gently and say, “Honey, it looks like you need some self-quieting time. Do you want to go to your calming space?” Now, you’ve already talked about this, so hopefully, they go. If they don’t go, you say, “It looks like you need some self-calming time. You can go to your space or mommy’s going to help you.” And if they don’t go, you pick them up and you take them into their space. Once there, you can stay, or you can go. Time-out is not a deep, dark dungeon. It doesn’t have to be. Time-out is the goal is to get my child calm again. So you can stay. With one of my children, he didn’t want me to stay. My other child, I put my arms out, she melted into my arms completely calmed down.

Kim DeMarchi MEd, CPE Parent Educator, shares advice for parents on a few alternatives to time-outs in order to discipline your children which can prove to be much more effective


Expert Bio

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Kim DeMarchi, MEd, CPE

Parent Educator

Kim has been an educator for more than 20 years.  She has worked as an elementary school teacher in the independent school sector as well as an Assistant Director of Admissions. She had the pleasure of working with and teaching teachers, assistants, students, and parents. Kim is most proud of being a wife and mother of “tween” boy/girl twins. Being an effective parent is Kim’s passion in life. She says, “every day I try to be mindful of each decision I make in regards to parenting with the end in mind”. Besides Kim’s experiential background, she holds her bachelor’s degree, her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a master’s degree in Education, and is a Certified Parent Educator in multiple programs. Kim is the Co-Founder of Empowered Parenting, which offers courses, workshops, and one-on-one coaching to parents, teachers, grandparents, healthcare workers, counselors, corporate America, and anyone who relates to children. Kim’s knowledge and experience coupled with her enthusiasm, humor, empathy and compassion, has helped thousands of people worldwide with their daily interactions with children. Kim’s goal is to help reduce conflict, foster mutual respect, and create deeper communication and connections between loved ones.

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