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Should we cater to our son when he is in time out?

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My 3 1/2 yr old bit my 2yr old on the arm. I sent my biter to his room for time out. While he was in time out, my husband answered our son's call for milk and gave him a glass of milk while I was in the other room. When I found out my husband gave him milk, we disagreed upon this action. I told him that I didn't believe we should cater (food and beverages) to our son while he's in time out. My husband believes that we shouldn't deprive him of food and water while in time out. We never put him in time out in his room for more that 30 minutes. Is my discipline too hard or is my husband's beliefs too soft? Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

answers (1)

A time out should never be as long as 30 minutes for a child so young. The general rule of thumb from doctors and therapists is one minute for each year of age. For a 3 1/2 year old a time out should not be longer than 4 minutes.As far as giving food and rinks during time outs goes, it's a time out for a reason. It's a deprivation of fun, attention and entertainment. But, with a more appropriate length of time for the time out this shouldn't be too much of a problem.That said, I rarely use time outs. My kids are almost 3 years old and 17 months old. They fight with each other, sometimes they hit each other or throw toys, etc. I only use time outs if an inappropriate behvior occurs multiple times in one day. I don't do time outs for a first offense, even I feel my kids know better. Because the thing is, young children may hear the rules but they easily forget them, especially while engaged in another activity.

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