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Better Time-Outs

Are time-outs not working for you? Maybe your strategy just needs some retooling. Instead of giving your child a time-out after he's been bad, try teaching him to take one on his own before things get out of control. To do that:

Explain what a time-out is for. At a quiet time, tell your child that you think he's big enough now to calm down on his own when he gets frustrated or so excited he forgets to follow the rules. When he gets upset, he should sit quietly for a few minutes until he decides what to do.

Put a positive spin on the idea. Tell him that while you'll sometimes still point out when he needs a time-out, it isn't a punishment  -- it's a feel-better break.

Set up a new spot for time-outs. Cozy up a corner with pillows, a blanket, and a few of his favorite books. And rather than banishing him when he misbehaves, sit and talk with him so he can learn better ways to cope.

Take your own time-outs. He'll learn by example!

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