Which form of discipline is more effective: “time out” or “time in”?


Parents scold their children when they are mischievous or throw a tantrum. Some parents worry about how they should discipline their child when he/she acts up. “Time out” and “time in” are two discipline methods that often come up. In this article, we will cover both methods in detail.

What is “time out”?

“Time out” is a discipline method that has been widely used in the US for many years. When a child does something wrong or has a tantrum, he/she is asked to sit in a corner of the room or go to a different room by him/herself for a short period of time. After sitting by him/herself for a little while, the adult will ask the child if he/she knows why he/she got a “time out” and if they can’t answer, the adult will explain in a simple manner.

・Benefit of using “time out”
When a child does something bad it forces him/her to reflect on the action and prevents the parent and child from getting too emotional.

・Demerit of using “time out”
The use of “time out” may cause the child to think that their mom and dad do not like them, which will lead to fear and insecurity toward their parents. Also children who are used to getting “time out” will learn that if they sit quietly it will be OK and the discipline method will become ineffective.
In recent years, an opposite discipline method, called “time in” has begun to gain interest.

What is “time in”?

In this method, parents are encouraged to sit close to their child and listen to their child’s reason for performing the action. The “time in” discipline method is the total opposite approach to the “time out” discipline method where parents scold their child and give him/her a punishment. When the child calms down, the parent and child reflect on why the child’s action was wrong and what they can do to prevent the same action in the future.

・Benefit of using “time in”
Using the “time in” discipline method helps children form a trustful relationship with their parent and encourages them to reflect on their actions in a comfortable environment. Being able to converse quietly after your child has had a temper tantrum takes a lot of patience. However, scolding a child and giving him a punishment like sending them to their room will cause them to feel alienated and fear their parents. When children are behaving poorly it is often because they are trying to get their parent’s attention. It is important for parents to be calm and listen to what they have to say. It will help them reflect on their actions and find out the reason for the bad behavior.

・Demerit of using “time in”
Compared to the “time out” method, the “time in” method requires more of the parents’ time. When using this method, parents also have to remain calm no matter how emotional their child becomes. This may lead to additional stress for parents. It is important for parents to think of ways to relieve their daily stress so that they are able to concentrate on their children when needed.

Let’s show our love when disciplining our children!

In recent years, the “time in” discipline method, during which parents sit with their children and help them reflect on their actions, has become more popular. After having a temper tantrum, it is common for children to ignore what their parents say and do what they want to do. It is easy for parents to get angry and scold their child but acting calm will help lead to a better parent-child relationship. It is sometimes important for children to reflect on their actions alone. However, it is also important that parents show their love and help their child solve the problem/issue they are dealing with.

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