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iVillage.com: Discipline Mistakes Even Smart Parents Make

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Overusing Time Outs

Time-outs are certainly the go-to discipline method for many parents, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says that if you are going to use them, make sure your child knows which few negative behaviors will result in one ahead of time. Also, the length of the time out depends on the age of the child -- the rule of thumb is one minute for every year. (So if your child is 5 years old, he'd get a 5 minute time out.) However, keep in mind that time outs aren't always effective. "For strong-willed children, a timeout usually invites a power struggle and it doesn't focus on helping the child make a better choice in the future," explains McCready. "Instead, take time to train the child on the appropriate behavior (including role play) or implement respectful, appropriate consequences that are related to the specific behavior issue that will help the child make a better choice next time." As with any discipline technique, it'll probably take a little trial and error to determine whether time outs are right for your child.

(CREDIT: Steven Puetzer/The Image Bank/Getty)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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