Australia: time-out is a positive discipline strategy

09 May 2019

A University of Sydney study says that time-out is helpful as a method of discipline for children.


Research conducted at the Child Behaviour Research Clinic found that the correct use of time-out does not harm children’s mental health and can boost their wellbeing and happiness.

Published in American Psychologist, the study looked at the use of time-out with children aged two to eight from a mental health perspective. 

Researchers found that when used properly, time-out can be effective and positive and is compatible with the needs of children with a history of trauma.

Lead researcher Professor Mark Dadds said: ‘When we use time-out as part of a positive parenting programme, kids are much happier and much more regulated.’

He adds that time-out developed a bad reputation because it was used incorrectly. It was never designed to isolate the child or withdraw love but rather to be ‘a very mild form of behaviour management’.

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